Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship

Parent and Grandparent Sponsorship for Permanent Residence

Canada boasts one of the most extensive family reunification immigration programs, for countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom have very restrictive criteria regarding the sponsorship of parents and grandparents, some even disallowing the sponsorship of grandparents altogether.

NOTE: The Parent and Grandparent (PGP) sponsorship program has already reached their imposed program cap of 5,000 new sponsorship applications for permanent residence in 2014.  No new applications for the Parent and Grandparent Sponsor will be accepted during 2014, but potential applicants should consider the Super Visa option as an alternative.

Eligible Sponsors

Canadian citizens and permanent residents who are at least 18 years old may be eligible to sponsor their parents or grandparents and their spouses, common-law partners, and dependent children (less than 18 years of age). They must be able to provide financial support for at least 20 years once their parent or grandparent has become a permanent resident. Under certain circumstances, individuals may be excluded from eligibility as sponsors.

Medical Examination

Sponsored individuals under the Parent and Grandparent program must complete an immigration medical examination, the results of which must be submitted at the time of application.

Sponsorship Agreements

Sponsors must demonstrate that their total income meets a threshold called the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) required to support themselves, their own immediate family members in Canada, as well as the needs of the parents or grandparents being sponsored. An agreement proving the sponsor’s MNI must be submitted along with the sponsorship application for permanent residence in order to confirm that sponsors have the financial means to support and properly take care of incoming family members.

The MNI is currently determined by Statistics Canada’s low-income cut-off (LICO), which is the income threshold below which a household is expected to allocate greater expenditure towards basic necessities relative to an average household.

Minimum Necessary Income

Sponsoring Your Parents to Canada- Federal Program

All those eligible to sponsor their parents to immigrate to Canada are required to show that they meet the minimum necessary income (MNI) necessary to support the size of their family.

You are not required to demonstrate this if you are only sponsoring your spouse or dependent children. Your spouse or partner may be able to act as a co-signer for this amount if your combined income meets the MNI and they meet the sponsorship requirements in order to be considered valid sponsors. 

Determine whether you meet the minimum necessary income by subtracting the following amonts from your total family income:

  • Debt
  • Welfare Assistance
  • Federal, provincial, and municipal financial assistance for employment training or social/welfare benefits
  • Compensation board payments, excluding those for permanent disabilities

In order to be eligible to sponsor parents or grandparents, the sponsor must meet the minimum necessary income for the three years preceding the application date.  The MNI for recent years is detailed below: 

Family Size

Minimum Necessary Income 2012

Minimum Necessary Income 2011

Minimmum Necessary Income 2010

2 persons




3 persons




4 persons




5 persons




6 persons




7 persons




Each additional family member




Quebec Family Class Sponsorship Financial Requirements

Those sponsoring individuals other than their dependent children and spouses or common-law and conjugal partners to immigrate to Quebec must prove that they have a steady income stream and have regularly surpassed the minimum necessary income established by the Quebec government within the past twelve months.

NOTE: The financial scales below are valid for the 2014 year.

Basic Income Required for Needs of Dependent Persons and Sponsor

Number of Family Members

Gross Yearly Income of Sponsor











Each additional family member


Basic Needs of Sponsored Family Members Immigrating to Quebec

Persons 18 and over

Persons younger than 18

Annual gross amount required by sponsor







The annual gross amount increases by $4,052 for every additional sponsored family member under 18










The annual gross amount increases by $2,809 for every additional sponsored family member younger than 18










The annual gross amount increases by $7,553 for additional sponsored persons older than 18 years of age and by $2,109 for every additional sponsored family member younger than 18.