Lost password

HomeSponsoring Family

Sponsorship of parents, children, spouses (common-law, conjugal, same sex), refugees.

Pension for parents after sponsorship 

Posts: 2

Posted On: 5/18/2021
Posts: 2
Quick question about the qualifications for government support for parents who were sponsored 10 years ago. In 10 years they were away from Canada for 2 years straight (due to their parent’s terminal illness). Do they qualify for any kind of support from the government now that the sponsor doesn’t have any obligations toward them? I know about the 10 year residency requirement for OAS and GIC, but they will not meet that for another 2 years.

Thank you, any help would be appreciated!
Posts: 3646

Posted On: 5/26/2021
Posts: 3646
Hi there,

Thank you for sharing your situation and question with us.

Ultimately, the answer may vary between government programs and their eligibility criteria. We suggest that you reach out to a local settlement agency near you for assistance on finding programs your parents are eligible for. A number of settlement services are providing intake appointments online and over the phone in this time of need. You may want to connect with a settlement agency using our Services Near Me section.

It may also help to connect with a community resource navigator at 211 to narrow your search.

211 Ontario is a free, confidential service. Their phone service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Here is a link to their live chat if you prefer to communicate online. Their live chat service is available Monday to Friday from 7am-9pm ET.

The Ontario Trillium Benefit is an example of a tax credit that does not identify immigration status in the eligibility criteria. Still, there are a few programs like the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) they may not be eligible for as sponsored immigrants. Here is an excerpt from a Steps to Justice article on the topic:
Sponsored immigrants are generally not able to get the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS), the Allowance, or the Allowance for the Survivor, while their sponsorship undertaking is still valid.

Your sponsorship undertaking refers to how long the person who sponsored you is financially responsible for you.


If your child or grandchild sponsored you, the length of your sponsorship undertaking is 20 years from when you became a permanent resident. So you won’t be able to get the GIS or the Allowance until those 20 years are up.

There a few situations where you may be able to get the GIS and the Allowance, even if your sponsorship undertaking is still valid. Some examples are:
  • your sponsor dies
  • your sponsor is bankrupt
  • your sponsor is in prison for more than 6 months
  • your sponsor is convicted of abusing you
IRCC has also identified what is and isn't considered social assistance here in their Help Centre article, What’s considered social assistance when sponsoring my parents and grandparents? Here is an excerpt:
What is considered social assistance
Some benefits (money, goods or services) from provinces or territories are considered to be social assistance for the purpose of sponsoring. This includes assistance from the government to cover basic needs like:
  • food
  • shelter
  • clothing
  • fuel
  • utilities
  • household supplies
  • health care not covered by public health care (extra benefits paid by the government to low-income people or others in need)
What isn’t considered social assistance
Social assistance doesn’t include:
  • Employment Insurance
  • provincial student loans
  • immigration loans
  • subsidized housing
  • tax credits
  • child care subsidies
  • public health care (services your province or territory gives to all people who live there)
  • other benefits widely available to residents, including people who are working
Provinces and territories have created temporary programs to help people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. We don’t consider these benefits to be social assistance if they aren’t considered as such by the province or territory. The Canada Emergency Response Benefit isn’t considered social assistance.

We hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to follow up with us if you have any further questions.


Your Settlement.Org team