What is the minimum income required to sponsor a spouse?
There is no specific income level that is needed in order to sponsor a spouse (a husband, wife, or common-law partner) to Canada. However, the sponsor needs to demonstrate that they can financially support their spouse once they become a Permanent Resident. Showing proof of employment is the best way for a sponsor to show they meet the financial requirements. If the sponsor is not employed, they can still prove their ability to support by showing that they have sufficient savings (by showing bank statements), assets (such as a house), or other forms of income.
The financial requirements for spousal sponsorship should not be confused with those for Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship, where the Canadian sponsor has to meet specific Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) levels over the preceding three years.
What are the financial requirements to sponsor my Husband, Wife or Partner?
In addition to proving that they are able to financially support their spouse, Canadian sponsors are required to sign a financial "undertaking". This is a promise to provide for the basic needs of their sponsored spouse for a period of three years. If the sponsored person ends up collecting social assistance (welfare) within the three year window, the sponsor is legally required to repay all of this money to the Canadian government. The sponsor will be required to repay the amount even if the relationship ends, or if the sponsored person becomes a Canadian citizen.
What happens if you don't meet financial requirements for a spouse visa?
If a sponsor does not sufficiently demonstrate that they will be able to support their spouse once they become a permanent resident, then the sponsored person may be found inadmissibile to Canada for financial reasons. This will lead to a refusal of the application. If your application is refused, it is possible to appeal the decision within 30 days. However, if the sponsor did not show any proof of their ability to provide support for their spouse, it is generally better to make a new application which contains the necessary documentation.
How does IRCC verify Income and Proof of Funds?
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) relies primarily on documentation from employers, financial institutions, and the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) to assess income and proof of funds. They will also look at other supporting documentation to get a holistic picture of the sponsors financial situation.
If the sponsor is employed, the following documentation should be provided:
- Employment Verification Letter (an ofifcial letter from the employer indicating job title, dates of empoyment, duties and responsibilities, and the wages or salary given)
- Pay Slips / Pay Stubs (generaly, slips for the most recent three pay periods sufficient)
- Notice of Assessment from the CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) for the most recent taxation year
If a sponsor's employment income is above the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) corresponding to their location and family size, this is generally enough to satisfy the financial requirement.
If a sponsor is not employed or has a low income, they should provide a detailed explanation of how they are going to support their spouse once they become a permanent resident. In addition, the sponsor the sponsor and the sponsored person should provide alternative documentation, which may include:
- Bank statements showing sufficient cash savings
- Proof of other income (such business income, retirement benefits, investment income, etc)
- Proof of assets (such as a house or apartment)
- Employment proof for immediate family members, if they provide the family with financial support