Financial Ability

Last updated: 17 March 2021

MNI for Family Sponsorship

To sponsor family members for permanent residence in Canada, you may have to show that you have a level of income that meets the Minimum Necessary Income or low-income cut-off (LICO) for a given family size.

This CanadaVisa page will help you find out who is required to prove their financial ability to support the sponsored person and how the financial requirements differ for sponsors living in Quebec and the rest of Canada.

Find out if you are eligible to sponsor your loved one!


Table of Contents

What is Financial Ability for Sponsorship?

As a sponsor, you assume certain responsibilities for the well-being of the person you are sponsoring. Among them is the financial support of the person you are sponsoring for a specific period of time as determined by the government.

As a sponsor, you must meet the financial criteria established by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to qualify for sponsorship. These criteria vary depending on the size of your family, where you live in Canada, and the sponsorship category that applies to you.

This is to ensure that you have the financial ability to provide for the basic needs (such as shelter, clothing or food) of the sponsored person. 

Financial Ability to Sponsor in Canada (Outside Quebec)

A sponsor must demonstrate a level of income that meets the minimum necessary income or low-income cut-off (LICO) for a given family size, as established by Statistics Canada. 

The sponsor is freed from this requirement only if:

If your child has children of their own, you must meet an income requirement to sponsor them.

If you are sponsoring your parents or parent and grandparent, you must meet or exceed the NMI or the LICO plus 30 per cent for each of the three tax years immediately preceding the date of the application.

To determine if the sponsor's total income is sufficient, one must deduct the following from the amount indicated on line 150 of their most recent Notice of Assessment issued by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

  • Provincial instruction or training allowance;
  • Social assistance paid by a province;
  • Guaranteed income supplement paid under the Old Age Security Act; and
  • Employment insurance: maternity, parental and sickness benefits paid under the Employment Insurance Act are considered income. Other payments such as employment insurance and federal training allowances are not considered income.

If the sponsor is unable to demonstrate a financial ability to provide for the essential needs of the immigrant, his or her spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner may act as a co-signer, if:

  • Their combined income meets the minimum necessary income; and
  • The co-signer meets all the other sponsorship requirements of a valid sponsor.

It is important to note that employment Insurance (unemployment) or disability benefits are not considered social assistance and you can still sponsor your spouse, common-law or conjugal partner if you receive these benefits.

Financial ability to sponsor in Quebec


A Canadian sponsor residing in Quebec must demonstrate a level of income that meets the minimum income for a given family size, as established by the Quebec government in the chart below. 

The sponsor is free from this requirement if:

  • The individual requiring sponsorship is the spouse, common-law partner, or conjugal partner of the Canadian sponsor; or
  • The individual requiring sponsorship is the dependent child of a Canadian sponsor.

The sponsor must be able to prove a steady income and one that has consistently exceeded the low income cut-off over the last 12 months.

Basic needs of sponsor and dependent persons:

Number of dependent personsGross annual income of sponsor
1$24,602
2$33,209
3$41,001
4$47,156
5$51,829
Each additional dependent$5,326

Basic needs of Sponsored Person(s):

Persons 18 and overPersons under 18Annual gross amount required by sponsor
01$8,515
02$13,496
The annual gross amount required is increased by $4,500 for each additional person under 18.
10$17,994
11$24,177
12$27,300
The annual gross amount required is increased by $3,121 for each additional person under 18.
20$26,388
21$29,560
22$31,912
The annual gross amount required is increased by $2,342 for each additional person under 18 and by $8,389 for each additional person over 18.

Find out if you are eligible to sponsor your loved one!