Last updated on April 28th, 2020
Section 133 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the “Regulations“) prohibits a Canadian citizen or permanent resident from sponsoring a foreign family member (generally a spouse, common-law partner, parent or grandparent) if the Canadian is in receipt of social assistance for a reason other than a disability. The Regulations define social assistance as being any benefit, whether money, goods or services, provided to or on behalf of a person by a province under a program of social assistance. It includes assistance for food, shelter, clothing, fuel, utilities, household supplies, personal requirements and health care not provided by public health care.
Pursuant to the internal Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (“IRCC“) e-mail below, it is important to note that IRCC does not consider subsidized housing to be social assistance.
Section 133(1)(k) of the Regulations explicitly provides that a person can still sponsor a foreign family member to immigrate to Canada if the sponsor receives the social assistance because of a disability.
Previous Receipt of Social Assistance
Depending on the circumstances, the previous receipt of social assistance can render a sponsor ineligible. Section 133(1)(b) of the Regulations provides that a sponsor must intend to fulfil the obligations in the sponsorship undertaking. In Alriyati v. Canada (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship), 2020 FC 496, Justice Pentney determined that it was reasonable for a visa officer to determine that because someone had been on social assistance for a lengthy period, and only stopped receiving social assistance shortly before submitting a spousal sponsorship application, that the person did not have an intention to fulfil the obligations in the sponsorship undertaking. Justice Pentney noted:
There is no jurisprudence of this Court on the interpretation of intention under paragraph 133(1)(b).Read more ›
Please note that none of the information on this website should be construed as being legal advice. As well, you should not rely on any of the information contained in this website when determining whether and how to apply to a given program. Canadian immigration law is constantly changing, and the information above may be dated. If you have a question about the contents of this blog, or any question about Canadian immigration law, please contact the Author.
- Business and Entrepreneur Immigrantion
- Citizenship Applications and Revocations
- Family Class (Spousal Sponsorships, Parents & Grandparents)
- Humanitarian and Compassionate
- Immigration and Refugee Board
- Immigration Consultants
- Immigration Trends
- Judicial Reviews
- Labour Market Impact Assessments
- Maintaining Permanent Residency
- Provincial Nominee Programs
- Skilled Immigration (Express Entry, CEC, FSWC, Etc.)
- Study Permits
- Tax and Trusts
- Temporary Resident Visas
- Work Permits