October 28, 2009
Bankrupt, But Can I Sponsor?
Q My application to sponsor my spouse from overseas was recently refused. The reason for the refusal is that I sponsored my two children to Canada in 2002, and when I got sick, I went on social assistance for about a year and a half. About a year ago, I also declared personal bankruptcy. In the refusal, Immigration wants me to repay social assistance, which amounts to a big amount. That money was included in my bankruptcy as debt. My question is, can I sponsor again, and is this a debt that can be wiped out in a bankruptcy? Thank you very much for your reply.
A. This is an interesting question. As your sponsorship application was refused recently, I assume you applied to sponsor your spouse during 2009 or late 2008. When you filled out the Application to Sponsor form, you were asked, among other questions, to declare whether you “are an undischarged bankrupt” and also, whether any of the “persons you previously sponsored or their family members received social assistance during the validity period of the undertaking”. So regardless of the bankruptcy issue as you sponsored your children in 2002 you likely remain under a legal obligation (up to ten years or until children reach age 25) to support them without social assistance. So if you answered “yes” to any of these questions you may not qualify to sponsor. Although I cannot conclusively advise based on the limited facts provided, you may need to repay the amount to the Government. Seek the assistance of counsel immediately. Good luck!