As of January 2, 2014, CIC has re-opened the parent and grandparent sponsorship stream.  However, at this time, only 5,000 applications will be accepted in 2014.

Sponsor Requirements

Sponsors must be 18 years old or older and be a citizen or permanent resident.  As well, sponsors must live in Canada (you can not sponsor a parent or grandparent from overseas), and agree to provide for the basic requirements (including food and lodging) for your parent or grandparent.  Don’t take this too lightly – the undertaking you sign will be for 20 years.

That means if your parents or grandparents collect social assistance, you will be personally responsible for the amount paid to them by the government during that 20 year timespan.

As well, there are minimum income requirements to sponsor a parent or grandparent.  Count the number of people in your current family (i.e., you, your spouse, and any dependent children whether they live with you or not), and add your parents or grandparents (the number of people you are sponsoring, usually 1 or 2).  User that total number to see if you meet the income requirements below for the past 3 consecutive years.

So for example, if you are a family of 4 and you are sponsoring your mother and father, then the family unit would be 6, and require a minimum income of $69,950, $68,689, and $68,509 in each of 2012, 2011, and 2010 respectively:

Federal Income Table for Parents and Grandparents Sponsorship
Size of Family Unit Minimum Income
Minimum Income
Minimum Income
2 persons $36,637 $35,976  $35,881
3 persons $45,040 $44,229  $44,113
4 persons $54,685 $53,699  $53,557
5 persons $62,023 $60,905  $60,745
6 persons $69,950 $68,689  $68,509
7 persons $77,879 $76,475  $76,275
More than    7 persons, for each    additional person, add $7,929 $7,786  $ 7,766

You Can Not Sponsor If…

You can’t sponsor if you receive social assistance (but disability assistance is excluded).  As well, if you are in default of an immigration undertaking, loan, performance bond, or in default of support payments to a family member, you can not sponsor.

In addition, an undischarged bankrupt, an individual convicted of a sexual or violent criminal offence, or an offence against a relative resulting in bodily harm (or even a threat of bodily harm in some circumstances), will prevent you from being a sponsor.

If you are under a removal order or in prison, you won’t be able to sponsor.