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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Can I still sponsor my family/spouse if I apply for CERB?

Will applying for CERB affect my immigration application?

If you are in Canada on a temporary visa (e.g. international student, temporary foreign worker, etc.) and have lost your job or other income due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) you may be considering applying for Canada Emergency Response Benefits (CERB). However, Canadian immigration application approval requires proof of the applicant’s ability to support themselves in Canada without accessing Government-provided social assistance.

IRCC defines social assistance specifically as benefits provided by a provincial government. CERB is provided by the federal government. As such, federal relief payments are not “social assistance” for the purposes of sponsor eligibility.

How Financial Benefits Affect Family Sponsorship

Can I sponsor my spouse, parent or grandparent if I’m receiving a Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) payment?

Yes, if you’re receiving CERB you’re still eligible to sponsor, as long as you meet all the requirements. CERB is not considered social assistance.

Is CERB considered social assistance?

The Canada Emergency Response Benefit payments (CERB) are not considered social assistance. Receiving CERB won’t make you ineligible to sponsor your spouse, parent or grandparent.

If I collect EI or CERB during the undertaking period as a sponsored permanent resident, will it cause my sponsor to go into default?

No, neither EI or CERB would cause the sponsor to default if you collect these benefits during the undertaking period.

However, if you collect social assistance during the undertaking period, that would cause your sponsor to default and they would have to repay the amount.

How to Qualify for CERB

To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You did not apply for, nor receive, CERB or EI benefits from Service Canada for the same eligibility period

  • You did not quit your job voluntarily

  • You reside in Canada

  • You are 15 years old or more when you apply

  • You earned a minimum of $5,000 (before taxes) income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:

    • employment income

    • self-employment income

    • provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave


  • You stopped or will stop working due to COVID-19, and:

    • You are applying for the first time

    • For at least 14 days in a row during the 4-week payment period, you do not expect to receive more than $1,000 (before taxes) from employment and self-employment income

    • You are re-applying for another period

    • You do not expect your situation to change during this 4-week period and you do not expect to receive more than $1,000 (before taxes) from employment and self-employment income

    • OR

    • You received regular or fishing EI benefits for at least 1 week since December 29, 2019

    • You are no longer eligible for EI benefits


How to Qualify for EI

You may be entitled to Employment Insurance (EI) regular benefits if you:

  • were employed in insurable employment;

  • lost your job through no fault of your own;

  • have been without work and without pay for at least seven consecutive days in the last 52 weeks;

  • have worked for the required number of insurable employment hours in the last 52 weeks or since the start of your last EI claim, whichever is shorter;

  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day;

  • are actively looking for work (you must keep a written record of employers you contact, including when you contacted them).


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Our Services

Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.

We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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