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What does it mean to sign a family class sponsorship undertaking?


Sponsoring a spouse or family member entails a commitment to cover their basic needs for a number of years.

Canada admits approximately 100,000 family-class immigrants each year and works to reunite families as part of its immigration policy. A sponsor is required for all family-class immigration schemes.

An undertaking is one of the key prerequisites for family sponsorship. An undertaking is essentially a legally enforceable contract that the sponsor signs stating that you are accepting financial responsibility for your spouse, partner, dependent child(ren), parent(s), or grandparent(s).


What does being accountable with money entail?

When you sign an undertaking, it means you are legally obligated to meet the requirements of the person you are sponsoring, including clothing, food, housing, and other necessities of life. Regardless of whether the individual acquires Canadian citizenship, this continues until the conclusion of the legal undertaking period.


Anyone who enters Canada under family sponsorship is not eligible for any forms of government aid, including social assistance, disability payments, and provincial benefits. You will be liable for making the required repayments if the person you are sponsoring asks for and receives funding from the provincial or federal government.


All permanent residents are entitled to healthcare services provided by the provincial healthcare system, but if a member of your family does not have private insurance, you are responsible for any costs associated with medical care that the province does not cover, such as those associated with prescription drugs, dental work, or eye exams.


Furthermore, once you’ve agreed to an undertaking, there are no grounds for breaking it early. You are still held accountable for the person you signed an undertaking for even if you separate, divorce, or otherwise become estranged from them. This is true until the undertaking expires. In addition, even if you lose your job or experience financial difficulties, you are still liable.


How long does an undertaking last?

Depending on the curriculum, the length of the undertakings varies. When sponsoring parents or grandparents under the Parents and Grandparents Program (PGP), the time commitment is 20 years, unless you live in Quebec, in which case it is just 10 years. Spouses and partners must sign a three-year commitment.


Dependent children under the age of 22 require a 10-year commitment, or until they are 25. Children older than 22 have a three-year undertaking.


Cancellation of an undertaking

After Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) issues its final decision on your application, commitments cannot be revoked. You can send a letter to the department withdrawing your application if you change your mind before receiving the IRCC’s decision.


Do you meet the requirements to sponsor?

Every program has slightly varying standards for qualifying, but all sponsorship programs have the following requirements that potential sponsors must meet:

1. 18 years old or older

2. a citizen of Canada, an Indian who has registered under the Canadian Indian Act, or a permanent resident,

3. resident of Canada:

> If you are a Canadian citizen who is currently residing abroad, you must demonstrate that you intend to go back to Canada once your sponsored relative is granted permanent residency.

> If you are a permanent resident living outside of Canada, you cannot sponsor someone.

being able to demonstrate that you are not getting social assistance due to a handicap;

Additionally, you must demonstrate your ability to provide the basic needs of:

> yourself,

> your companion or spouse,

> dependant children of your partner or spouse (if applicable)

> dependent child or children (if you are sponsoring only your dependent child).


Income required as a minimum

Your ability to sponsor under the PGP is contingent in part on having the minimum necessary income (MNI). This is evidence showing you earn enough money to support your parents or grandparents in addition to yourself, your spouse, and any other dependent family members. The MNI rises with each dependent family member, and to qualify, you must be able to demonstrate that you have earned the MNI for the three prior tax years.

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