Can I Sponsor Someone to Immigrate to Canada While Bankrupt?

March 24, 2012

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In life things tend to happen all at once. Rarely do we face big challenges one at a time. Instead they tend to come at you all at once, making things difficult indeed.

A case in point: you have been going through severe debt problems. After consulting a licensed trustee, such as Doyle Salewski, you decide the best way to deal with the situation is to file for bankruptcy. But at the same you have a pressing need to sponsor a relative – let’s say your mother – to immigrate to Canada from overseas.

But you ask yourself, can I sponsor my mother for immigration while going bankrupt?

The answer is no and yes. If you have filed for bankruptcy and are waiting for your discharge, you are not allowed to sponsor someone to immigrate here. However, once you have received your discharge, not only will you have a large debt weight lifted from your shoulders, you can also sponsor mom to come here.

But it’s always a good idea to discuss the situation with your trustee, to understand your options. You might, for example, try putting off your bankruptcy so you can do the sponsorship right away. However, the immigration process can be long and drawn out, so it might not be practical to put off dealing with your debt situation so long.

Your trustee could also provide strategies for speeding up the bankruptcy process. If you are going bankrupt for the first time, for example, you could be discharged as quickly as nine months.

Also, the trustee would discuss a popular alternative to bankruptcy called a consumer proposal. Simply put, a consumer proposal reorganizes your debts. If its is accepted by your creditors, you only have to make one manageable payment a month to the trustee. This can go on for five years or less, depending on how fast you want to go and address your obligations.

With a consumer proposal you avoid the ‘stigma’ of bankruptcy and get to keep all your assets. You are also free during the process to sponsor mom to immigrate here.

For the sponsorship you should of course follow the rules outlined at Citizenship & Immigration Canada
According to the Canadian government site, some of the things that could disqualify you for sponsorship include that you:

  • Sponsored another relative in the past and did not meet the terms of the sponsorship agreement.
  • Are in default of alimony or child support payments.
  • Got government financial help for reasons other than being disabled.
  • Were convicted of a violent crime, any offence against a relative or any sexual offence, depending on details of the case.
  • Did not pay back an immigration loan, made late payments or missed payments.
  • Are in prison.

You also must meet set income guidelines, and agree in writing to give financial support to your relative for up to 10 years, depending on their age and how you are related.

At Doyle Salewski, we can help you solve your debt and budgeting crises, using our proven expertise and experience to achieve financial freedom and peace of mind. Contact us today for a free consultation, either through our Ottawa headquarters, 613-237-5555, or our fully bilingual Gatineau office, 819-776-7777. Email: [email protected].

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