4. Learn the rules about income guidelines

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has income guidelines that say what is the minimum necessary income a sponsor must have.

The guidelines don’t usually apply when sponsoring a dependent child. But they will apply if the has a dependent child of their own.

Figuring out minimum necessary income

The minimum necessary income you need as a sponsor depends on:

  • the number of people in Canada who you already have a responsibility to support financially, plus
  • the number of people you want to sponsor.

Co-signing a sponsorship application

If you have a or partner who lives with you, they can co-sign your sponsorship application. This means that they’re also responsible to make sure the child’s basic needs are met. This responsibility lasts as long as the sponsorship agreement is in effect.

A co-signer’s income can be included in calculating whether you have the minimum necessary income you need for your sponsorship application. And the number of people will include anyone the co-signer is already responsible to support financially.

Financial responsibility for others

When counting the number of people that you as a sponsor are financially responsible for, you include:

  • yourself
  • a spouse, partner, or dependent child who lives with you
  • a spouse, partner, or dependent child, even if they don’t live with you

You also include anyone who you or your co-signer sponsored or co-signed a sponsorship for in the past. You must do this if the sponsorship agreement is still in effect or not yet in effect.

For example, a single parent with a dependent child in Canada wants to sponsor a dependent child who has a dependent child. To do this, they must have the minimum necessary income for 4 people.

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