Author: Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB
Last Updated On: November 1, 2022

Parental sponsorship 2022 – sponsoring parents or grandparents to Canada

Canada intends to invite 23,100 candidates to sponsor their parents or grandparents in October 2022. Of course, the first step is to know the requirements for parental sponsorship in 2022. The following article covers all the basics you need to know.

What is parental sponsorship?

About thirty percent of immigrants to Canada fall under family reunification programs. However, we could divide these programs into the following major groups:

The most popular option is parental sponsorship. However, due to the caps on the number of applications, spousal sponsorship is the primary source of sponsorship immigration. For example, the government accepted 20,000 parental applications in 2021. On the contrary, they approve about 40,000 to 70,000 spousal cases yearly. There is no cap for the spousal sponsorship program.

A Canadian citizen or permanent resident sponsor accepts their parents’ or grandparents’ financial responsibility in a parental sponsorship application. Of course, the sponsor must meet the income requirements. However, the sponsor’s spouse or common-law partner could co-sign the application to cover income shortfalls. Parental sponsorship in 2022 is no exception.

Who qualifies as a sponsor in parental sponsorship 2022?

A parental sponsor in 2022 must meet all the following requirements:


When you sponsor your parents or grandparents to Canada, you agree to a 20-year undertaking. The undertaking process begins when your parents or grandparents land as permanent residents. Within those twenty years, they may not use social assistance. Of course, you will have to pay the government back if they do. Unfortunately, nothing could spare you from undertaking obligations.

If your parents have dependent family members, the 20-year undertaking extends to them. Consequently, you will remain responsible for the applicant’s spouse, common-law partner and dependent children.

Minimum necessary income for parental sponsorship 2022

The minimum necessary income (MNI) depends on the size of the family unit. For parental sponsorship, consider the following people in a family unit:

  • The sponsor and their dependent family members (i.e. spouse or common-law partner and dependent children)
  • Any previous undertakings that are still active
  • Concurrent undertakings (e.g. when you are co-signing for your spouse)
  • The number of people you are sponsoring (i.e. your parents or grandparents and their dependent accompanying family members)

When you have the correct number, match your income with the following table. Of course, your income must be equal to or greater than the figures in the table each year.

*Due to the economic impact of the year 2020, the government is considering LICO for this year. However, the MNI for the other two years reflects 30% above LICO. The figures in this table are unofficial. Double-check everything with IRCC

Important notes about MNI

The only proof of income is line 15000 (or 150) of your Notice of Assessment (NOA) or equivalent (i.e. Option C printout). Unfortunately, you may not refer to any other documents. However, if you have a co-signer, you may add their income to yours. Nonetheless, they must also rely on line 15000 of their NOA. Remember, you must meet the MNI for all three years. Otherwise, you won’t qualify.

If you have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) but do not meet the MNI or other requirements, you could apply under H&C. However; you must have solid humanitarian evidence to proceed. Regardless, the officers will most likely refuse your application, and you must go through the appeal process.

Criminal convictions

You may not sponsor your parents’ or grandparents’ immigration to Canada if you have certain criminal convictions. Generally speaking, the criminal convictions that could affect you include domestic violence, sexual abuse and significant violence toward others. However, in certain circumstances, IRCC may spare you. For example, receiving a record suspension in Canada could help. If the offence was outside Canada and five years have passed since you completed your sentence, they could spare you. Nonetheless, consult with a professional to make specific exemptions apply to you.


If you file for bankruptcy, you may not sponsor your parents or grandparents to Canada in 2022. However, if you are discharged bankrupt, then you may proceed. A discharged bankrupt is someone free from paying any debts they had when filing for bankruptcy. Of course, some exceptions apply. The government of Canada has some guidelines to explain this issue. Regardless, I recommend discussing the matter with a bankruptcy professional to ensure you qualify.

Social assistance

You may not sponsor your parents or grandparents if you receive social assistance. Section 2 of the Immigration Regulations defines social assistance as follows:

Social assistance means any benefit in the form of money, goods or services provided to or on behalf of a person by a province under a program of social assistance, including a program of social assistance designated by a province to provide for basic requirements, including food, shelter, clothing, fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements and health care not provided by public health care, including dental care and eye care.

Regardless of the preceding paragraph, receiving social assistance because of disability does not affect your application. Consequently, programs such as ODSP do not disqualify you.

Who qualifies as a co-signer in parental sponsorship 2022?

The only person who could be the co-signer is the sponsor’s spouse or common-law partner. Nonetheless, the co-signer must meet all the requirements for the sponsor. Of course, when there is a co-signer, the income will be the sum of both incomes. In other words, you will add NOA line 15000 of both incomes each year, and they must remain more than MNI. Under paragraph 132(5)(b) of the Immigration Regulations:

The co-signing spouse or common-law partner is jointly and severally or solidarily bound with the sponsor to perform the undertaking’s obligations and is jointly and severally or solidarily liable with the sponsor for any breach of those obligations.

Consequently, co-sign the application if you truly want to accept this responsibility for 20 years. Unfortunately, a divorce or separation does not release you from the undertaking. Furthermore, the sponsor’s siblings or other family members may not co-sign a parental sponsorship application in 2022 or previous years. Unfortunately, there is no indication the government intends to make changes to co-signer requirements soon.

Who qualifies as the principal applicant?

Every immigration application has a principal applicant (PA). Of course, parental sponsorship in 2022 is no exception. The principal applicant must meet the following requirements:

Sometimes you sponsor both of your parents, who are still common-law partners or spouses. However, you must pick one of them as the principal applicant. Consequently, please choose the one with fewer complexities in their lives. Of course, this could reduce your paperwork a little bit.

The parental relationship could be biological or through legal adoption.

Who qualifies as an accompanying family member?

The following people could be the accompanying family members of the principal applicant (PA).

  • Spouse or common-law partner of the PA
  • Dependent children of the PA or the PA’s spouse or common-law partner
  • Dependent grandchildren of the PA or the PA’s spouse or common-law partner

Of course, each accompanying family member increases the size of the family unit for MNI calculations. Also, each family member’s inadmissibility makes the rest of the family members inadmissible to Canada. Even non-accompanying family members affect the admissibility of the other family members.

Suppose your parents get divorced and then remarry other people. Consequently, you need to sponsor two principal applicants and two sets of family members. Of course, this means more income and complexities in the applications. Consult with a professional to realize the best options for you.

Humanitarian and compassionate considerations in parental sponsorship 2022

Sometimes you do not meet the requirements of the sponsor. Alternatively, the applicants may not meet the criteria. In these situations, you may proceed with the application under humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds. Of course, you must have evidence to show that H&C applies to you. Since this is a complicated situation, please book a consultation session with me to explore your options.

Appealing the refusal of an application

If an officer refuses a parental sponsorship application in 2022, you have the right to appeal. Of course, this means you have 30 days from the day you receive the refusal to tender the Notice of Appeal to the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD). You may not appeal if,

  • Refusal is on the grounds of inadmissibility due to any of the following reasons:
    • Security
    • Human rights violations
    • Serious criminality
    • Organized criminality
  • Either the sponsor or the applicants have committed misrepresentation.
  • The IAD believes the applicant is not a family member.
  • You waved your right to appeal at the time of application.

Of course, if you persist on an appeal when facing these issues, IAD will dismiss your appeal. However, you may still have the option to file for a judicial review. Since the appeal process is complex, please book a consultation session with me to explore your options.

Let us help!

We could help you with your parental sponsorship application for 2022. Fill out the following form, and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. Alternatively, you may fill out our assessment form or book a consultation session with me.

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    Al Parsai, MA, DTM, RCIC
    Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
    Ashton College Instructor – Immigration Consulting
    Author – 88 Tips on Immigration to Canada

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    Al Parsai, LL.M, RCIC-IRB

    Al Parsai is a distinguished Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (L3 RCIC-IRB – Unrestricted Practice) hailing from vibrant Toronto, Canada. Al's academic achievements include an esteemed role as an adjunct professor at prestigious Queen's University Law School and Ashton College, as well as a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from York University (Osgood Hall Law School). A respected member of CICC, Al's insights are further enriched by his experience as the dynamic CEO of Parsai Immigration Services. Guiding thousands of applicants from over 55 countries through the immigration process since 2011, Al's articles offer a wealth of invaluable knowledge for readers.