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Canadian Immigration Sponsorship

Employment Insurance

Q. I have been living with my Iranian common-law partner in Canada for 8 years.  He came to Canada 10 years ago, with a fake passport and no visa. He applied for refugee status twice but was refused. He received a temporary resident permit (TRP). When his temporary resident permit expired, about 8 years ago, he did not renew it and he is illegal in Canada ever since. I would like to sponsor him, but the company I worked for closed at the end of 2008, and in 2009 I had no income except Employment Insurance.  Now, I am considering obtaining Second Career Ontario funding from Ontario government, and go to college. I am not sure if Second Career is welfare or not and whether I can still sponsor him?

A. We receive many questions regarding different provincial benefits that a sponsor may be receiving and the uncertainty of whether they are eligible to sponsor.  Generally speaking, Employment Insurance (EI) is not considered a social benefit in the sense of a welfare /social benefit income. It is deducted from your total gross income on your Notice of Assessment / Option C printout and is not considered income for immigration purposes. The same applies to any training /education course sponsored by the province as it is a grant – it is not included in your income. To sponsor a common-law partner there is no legal requirement to establish a certain income level just the ability to support the person you are planning to sponsor and his or her family members.  If you were sponsoring a parent though, different rules apply. Good luck!

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