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How do I calculate my family size to sponsor my parents and grandparents?

You, the sponsor (and your co-signer, if this applies), must prove you have enough income to support all the people you’ll be financially responsible for once you become a sponsor. We call this your “family size.”

You must meet income requirements for each of the three tax years before you apply.

To calculate your family size, include:

  • yourself
  • your spouse or common-law partner (who could also be your co-signer)
    • if your spouse or common-law partner is co-signing, include them in all 3 years
    • if they are not co-signing, only include them starting the year they met the definition of a spouse or common-law partner
  • your dependent children (and the dependent children of your spouse or partner above)
    • only include your children if they meet the definition of a dependent child
    • for young children, only include them starting on the year they were born (see example 2)
    • any dependent children of your dependent children
  • any other person you (and your co-signer, if this applies) may have sponsored in the past, for whom you’re still financially responsible
  • the parents and grandparents you want to sponsor and their dependants (spouse, partner and dependent children, if this applies). You must also include
    • any dependent children who won’t come to Canada with your parents or grandparents
    • your parent or grandparent’s spouse or partner, even if they won’t come to Canada
    • your parent or grandparents’ separated spouse

Here are examples to help you calculate your family size.

Example 1

Julie is sponsoring her mother and stepfather. Julie’s husband, David, will help her meet the income requirement by co-signing the application. Julie and David have 2 young children, aged 5 and 7. Julie’s stepfather has a 15 year old daughter, Dahlia. Dahlia won’t immigrate to Canada with her father.

Julie’s family size is 7:

  • Julie
  • her husband, David
  • her 2 children
  • her mother and stepfather
  • her stepfather’s daughter, Dahlia
    • because Dahlia qualifies as a dependent child, she’s included in the family size, even if she’s not immigrating to Canada

Before Julie submits her interest to sponsor form, Julie and her husband must:

  • check the income table to see what the income requirements are for 7 persons
  • check their tax information from the last 3 years and make sure that, together, they meet the minimum income requirements for each of the last 3 years

Example 2

Juan and Lise had a baby in 2019. Juan wants to sponsor his mother. Lise won’t co-sign the application. Juan’s mother doesn’t have a spouse, partner or any dependent children.

For 2019 and 2020, Juan’s family size is 4:

  • Juan
  • his partner, Lise
  • his baby
  • his mother

For 2019 and 2020, Juan must check if he meets the income requirement for 4 persons.

For 2018, Juan’s family size was 3:

  • Because Juan’s baby wasn’t born yet, the baby is not included for that year.

For 2018, Juan must check if he meets the income requirements for 3 persons.

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