How Long is the Financial Responsibility Duration for a Sponsored Individual in Canada?

Family sponsorship programs enable Canadian citizens and permanent residents to bring their loved ones to Canada. While sponsoring your parents, emphasize the goal of reuniting with your family. However, it’s crucial to understand that sponsoring a family member comes with significant financial responsibilities. This commitment includes offering financial support to your family member for a specific period. Whether you are planning to sponsor your loved ones or are simply eager to learn more about family sponsorship programs, you have landed in the right place. In this blog, we will explain the concept of family sponsorship programs and the duration of such a responsibility, allowing you to make an informed decision. 

Exploring the Duration and Dynamics of the Undertaking Period

In those cases, when you agree to sponsor your parent, spouse or common-law partner in Canada, signing a legal agreement known as the undertaking becomes vital. In this, you are legally responsible for providing financial support for the basic needs of your spouse (and their dependent children, if applicable). Some basic needs include clothing, shelter, food, dental care, eye care, and other health care not covered by public health services. 

However, before agreeing to the contract, you must be certain that the sponsored person will not demand any financial aid from the government in the future. In those circumstances, when the sponsored individual obtains any financial assistance from the government, you will be directly accountable. You must repay the amount the sponsored person has acquired on their behalf. 

The undertaking demonstrates a legally binding commitment to provide financial support. It holds you responsible for supporting the applicant throughout the length of the undertaking period. The undertaking will stay in effect for the following conditions: 

  1. The individual you sponsor acquires Canadian citizenship.
  2. You experience financial issues. 
  3. You undergo a divorce, or the relationship with the sponsored person breaks down.
  4. Either you or the sponsored individual relocates to another province or country.
  5. The sponsor or the sponsored individual passes away during the undertaking period, and the financial responsibility no longer applies.

Duration of Commitment: Understanding the Undertaking Period 

1. Parents and Grandparents

One of the most extended undertaking periods applies to sponsoring your grandparents or parents. The financial responsibility period usually lasts twenty years from the day they become permanent residents.

2. Dependent Child

The dependent child’s duration will last for ten years from the day they become a permanent resident of Canada. Additionally, such obligation ceases when the child turns 25, whichever comes first. 

3. Spouse, Common-Law, or Conjugal Partner

When sponsoring your spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner, the undertaking period will be three years starting from the day the sponsored person obtains permanent residency.

It’s important to clarify that once the sponsored individual obtains permanent residency in Canada, they become independent, relieving you of any financial responsibility for them.

Understanding the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI): Deciphering Financial Requirements

To sponsor your loved ones to Canada, you must qualify under family sponsorship programs, which demonstrate a minimum income level to support the sponsored individual financially. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada employ “Minimum Necessary Income” or MNI thresholds evaluating the sponsor’s capability to support their family members financially. Remember, eligibility for sponsoring family members entirely depends upon the sponsor fulfilling the MNI requirements corresponding to their family size.

On the other hand, the family unit size is determined by those currently supported by the sponsor in Canada and those planning for sponsorship. However, to calculate a family unit, you might include:

  1. Yourself
  2. Your spouse/partner
  3. Your dependent children
  4. Dependent children of your spouse/partner 
  5. Your parents/grandparents who you wish to sponsor


Sponsoring your loved ones in Canada is a significant decision for both the sponsor and the sponsored party. However, it’s crucial to understand that sponsoring a family member comes with significant financial responsibilities. This also involves qualifying under family sponsorship programs, which include demonstrating a minimum income level to support the sponsored individual financially. Remember, open communication with the sponsored individual regarding the duration and terms of the undertaking may lead to a smoother transition and a successful start to their new life in Canada. At Sponsorship Lawyer, we are a seasoned, licensed Canadian law firm with years of experience in different kinds of sponsorship applications. Get in touch with us today, and allow us to guide you through the sponsorship process, leading to a streamlined experience.

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