If you’re looking to sponsor someone and have debt problems, there are a few things you need to be aware of. The most important thing to note is that a past or current debt problem can affect you sponsoring someone who wants to immigrate to Canada.
If you have been declared bankrupt and are still undischarged, you can’t sponsor someone. When you do become discharged from your bankruptcy, you are then eligible to sponsor again.
Are there ways around this?
Yes, and no. There is no way around sponsoring someone if you are an undischarged bankrupt. However, if you’re not yet bankrupt and are looking to solve your debt problems, there are ways in which you can do it without forfeiting your right to sponsor family members to immigrate.
If it is the first time you have filed for bankruptcy, you might be eligible to be discharged after 9 months. This means that you can sort your debts out quickly and then submit a sponsorship application. Your bankruptcy might be extended to 21 months, though, if you have to pay ‘surplus income’. You should discuss this likelihood before going down this route. National Credit Help can assist you with this process.
A consumer proposal
If you don’t want to file for bankruptcy, a consumer proposal won’t have an impact on any sponsorship application. Just as bankruptcy does, a consumer proposal offers the debtor the same protection from creditors while helping you to negotiate a settlement on the debts.
A consumer proposal means you are not bankrupt and can, therefore, submit a sponsorship application straight away. Speak to National Credit Help to see if you can afford to go down the consumer proposal route instead of bankruptcy.
It is also possible that you sponsor your family member first and then file for bankruptcy once the sponsorship application is finalized. It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that sponsorship applications can take a long time to complete, perhaps even years. This means that you would have to try to hold off creditors for a long time.
If you have already declared yourself bankrupt, it’s not ‘game over’ for sponsorship. It is possible to file for a consumer proposal despite being bankrupt. If your proposal is accepted, your bankruptcy filing becomes annulled, which means you can still be a sponsor. You will have to be able to support a consumer proposal financially for this to work.
What does affect you completing a sponsorship application?
Here is a list of things that prevents you from being a sponsor:
- Being an undischarged bankrupt (as per the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act)
- Not meeting the minimum requirements for income
- Being in default of a debt owed (under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act)
- Having defaulted on payments for child support
- Having been convicted of a sexual offense
- Being in jail
- Being a permanent resident subject to a removal order