What If The Sponsor Does Not Fulfill The Terms Of The Undertaking




What Is the Undertaking?

According to Regulations, a sponsor must make a formal three to ten year commitment to become financially responsible for the family members depending on the sponsorship relationship and the age of the family members being sponsored. This commitment is called an undertaking and is included in the sponsor’s application and is a legal contract with the minister of citizenship and immigration.

The basis for this requirement is two-fold. First the sponsor’s function is to ensure that relatives receive the support they need to establish themselves in Canada so they will not become a financial burden on the community and require social assistance. By signing the undertaking, the sponsor agrees to repay the Canadian government for any social assistance payments made to the sponsored family members.

The undertaking takes effect the day sponsored relative arrives into Canada. Generally the duration of the undertaking is for 10 years but there are exceptions depending on the relationship of the person being sponsored and can vary with the age of a dependent child.


  • A three year commitment for a spouse, common law partner, or a conjugal partner
  • Ten years or age 25, whichever comes first for a dependent child who is less than 22 years of age
  • Three years for a child who is 22 years of age or older
  • For anyone else such as parents or grandparents it’s 10 years.

Sponsor Does Not Fulfill Undertaking

If a sponsor fails to fulfill the terms and commitment of the undertaking it may result in legal action being taken against the Sponsor and the co-signor (if applicable) by the government.

If the sponsored relative start receiving social assistance then either the provincial or federal government may recover the cost of every benefit provided as social assistance from the Sponsor. The Sponsor will not be able to sponsor anyone until all his debt under the Social Assistance has been paid. The government will contact the Sponsor in case when a sponsored member starts receiving Social Assistance and notify them of the debt owed to the government for each month. The undertaking is binding notwithstanding any change in the sponsor’s personal circumstances, even if the permanent resident becomes estranged form the sponsor for any reason including marriage fraud.

In relation to marriage fraud, in 2012 the government introduced a new regulation that placed a condition on the sponsored permanent resident to live together in a legitimate relationship for two years following receipt of their permanent resident status. However in cases of domestic abuse or violence this requirement does not apply.

The undertaking, once made cannot be revoked, modified or cancelled by the Sponsor any time after the Sponsored family member has arrived in Canada. Furthermore, a sponsorship undertaking is not cancelled by either granting of citizenship or divorce or even annulment of the marriage. It will remain in effect even if the sponsor’s financial situation deteriorates or if you or the sponsored relative moves elsewhere in Canada.

Contact Akrami & Associates

Undertaking can be a difficult topic to understand which is why Akrami & Associates have the correct answers and advice for you. Contact us for any further questions or concerns.