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Getting Ready for the Parent Sponsorship Program to Re-Open

Published: Nov 28, 2018

Getting Ready for the Parent Sponsorship Program to Re-Open

As we reported at the end of August, 2018, at the beginning of January, 2019 the lottery program for parent sponsorship applications will be replaced with a first-come-first-serve process. In theory (if Immigration does not change their plans) the first 20,000 Canadian citizens or permanent residents who register an Interest to Sponsor form electronically with Immigration, will be allowed to sponsor their parents or grand-parents.

Many people, though, overlook the financial requirements of sponsorships. The sponsor will sign a 20 year undertaking. The sponsor also must show that their taxable income reported to the Canada Revenue Agency is equal to or exceeds the minimum income required by Immigration for the last three taxation years.

We do not yet have access to next year's minimum income table, but for people applying in 2018 the table read as follows:

Size of Family Unit Minimum Income

Minimum Income 2017

Minimum Income 2016

Minimum Income 2015

2 persons




3 persons




4 persons




5 persons




6 persons




7 persons




If more than 7 persons, for each additional person add




Family size is a combination of:

  1. the sponsor's family including the sponsor, the sponsor's spouse, and unmarried children under the age of 22;
  2. the people who are being sponsored, and;
  3. non-accompanying dependants (spouse, common-law partner, or unmarried children under 22) of the people being sponsored.

Sponsors must also maintain a minimum income, according to Immigration's charts, to the point the family member is granted permanent resident status.

If your taxable income is not high enough to meet the "minimum income", there is probably no point in registering an Interest to Sponsor form.

We believe at Eisenberg & Young LLP that it is still possible to successfully apply for citizenship, temporary worker and permanent resident status in Canada despite these changes. We strongly recommend, given the complexity of the present and ever-changing immigration system, that you do not apply without first obtaining professional help with the application.

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