Agreement for Canada-British Columbia
Co-Operation on Immigration - 2004

Annex E:
Sponsorship of Family Classes


1.0 Objective

1.1 In recognition of their joint commitment to reduce the incidence and cost of family class sponsorship default, Canada and British Columbia will continue to exchange information and to undertake collaborative measures respecting:

  1. deterrence and enforcement activities aimed at minimizing and reducing the cost of default;
  2. notification and recording of default; and
  3. recovery of social assistance costs arising from default.

1.2 The Parties confirm that information will be shared pursuant to a separate Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), attached to the Agreement for Canada-British Columbia Co-operation on Immigration (Agreement) as Annex G, and through methods to be determined through the processes described in section 5.0 of this Annex E.

2.0 Definitions

2.1 For the purposes of this annex:

  1. “family member” has the same meaning as defined in section 1(3) of the IRPR, as amended from time to time;
  2. “social assistance” means, pursuant to section 2 and paragraph 133(1)(k) of the IRPR, any type of social assistance provided by British Columbia under the legislation designated by British Columbia in Annex G;
  3. “foreign national” has the same meaning as defined in section 2 of the IRPA, as amended from time to time; and
  4. “disability benefits” means, pursuant to the reference to disability in paragraph 133(1)(k) of the IRPR, any type of disability assistance, hardship assistance or supplements provided by British Columbia under legislation designated by British Columbia in the MOU.

3.0 Background

3.1 In order to sponsor a foreign national and his or her family members, a sponsor must meet certain eligibility criteria. For example, a sponsor cannot be in receipt of social assistance (excluding disability benefits), and cannot be in default of a previous sponsorship undertaking.

3.2 Sponsors sign a sponsorship undertaking promising to provide for the basic requirements of the foreign national they are sponsoring and his or her family members listed on the undertaking, and to ensure that they are not dependent on any social assistance.

3.3 Where a sponsored person and/or his or her family members listed on the sponsorship undertaking apply for and are granted social assistance during the validity period of the undertaking, a default of the sponsorship undertaking occurs.

4.0 Commitments

4.1 Canada will continue to administer, pursuant to the IRPA and IRPR, the decision-making process for family class sponsorship applications.

4.2 British Columbia will continue to administer provincial programs of social assistance pursuant to legislation designated by British Columbia in the MOU.

4.3 British Columbia will notify Canada, pursuant to a mutually agreeable approach to be determined under section 5.0, if an applicant sponsor is in receipt of social assistance other than a disability benefit for which no final determination has been made.

4.4 Following notification under section 4.3, Canada will ensure that, pursuant to the IRPA and IRPR, no application to sponsor from a person who is in receipt of social assistance, other than a disability benefit, will be approved by Canada until the person is no longer in receipt of social assistance.

4.5 British Columbia will, pursuant to a mutually acceptable approach to be determined in accordance with section 5.0, notify Canada when a family class sponsored person and/or his or her family members listed on the undertaking are receiving social assistance.

4.6 Following notification under section 4.5, Canada will provide British Columbia with family class sponsorship case information as outlined in the MOU.

4.7 Where family class sponsorship case information has been provided by Canada under section 4.6, British Columbia will, pursuant to a mutually acceptable approach to be determined in accordance with section 5.0, notify Canada when the debt incurred as a result of sponsorship default has been extinguished or repaid to the satisfaction of the province so that Canada no longer considers the sponsor to be in default.

4.8 Notification provided by British Columbia to Canada under sections 4.3, 4.5 and 4.7 will be recorded by Canada in order for Canada to maintain accurate records for the effective implementation of the IRPA and to monitor the integrity of the family class sponsorship program.

4.9 Canada will ensure that, pursuant to the IRPA and IRPR, no subsequent applications to sponsor from a sponsor who has defaulted will be approved by Canada until British Columbia confirms, pursuant to section 4.7, that the debt has been extinguished or repaid to the satisfaction of the province.

5.0 General Implementation

5.1 As per Annex A, section 1.3 of the Agreement, a Family Class Sponsorship Sub-committee of the Program Management Committee (PMC) will continue:

  1. to determine the manner (including electronic transmission), form and content of exchanges of information under sections 4.3, 4.5, 4.6, and 4.7 so that such exchanges support program administration needs and objectives of the receiving Party;
  2. to arrange and monitor collaborative efforts to deter default, to enforce family class sponsorship undertakings and to recover social assistance costs;
  3. to identify and analyze, and recommend to the PMC new measures to encourage repayment of family class sponsorship debt or to reduce the incidence and cost of default; and,
  4. to provide updates on operational changes and identify and respond to items of concern.

5.2 The sub-committee, in agreeing on or recommending measures under section 5.1, will take into consideration the mandate and deliberations of multilateral federal-provincial sponsorship matters.

5.3 Both parties to Annex G are committed to updating and maintaining the MOU that allows for the implementation of Annex E.

5.4 This Annex will take effect on the date the last party signs the Agreement.

5.5 Amendments to this Annex in whole or in part may be made by written agreement of both parties. The Amendment must be signed by both parties and will form part of this Annex, becoming effective on the date the last party signs.

5.6 Either party may terminate this Annex at any time by providing at least six months notice in writing to the other party.

5.7 The parties referenced in Section 5.8 of this Annex undertake to give one another notice of any change in policy, regulations or legislation relating to their respective programs that is likely to affect this Annex.

5.8 Any notice to be delivered under this Annex should be sent to the party concerned as follows:

Address for notice to Canada:

Deputy Minister
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1L1

Addresses for notice to British Columbia:

Deputy Minister
Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services
6th Floor - 800 Johnson Street
P.O. Box 9490 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9N7

Deputy Minister
Ministry of Human Resources
7th Floor - 614 Humboldt Street
P.O Box 9934 Stn. Prov. Govt.
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9R2

6.0 Transition

6.1 Annex G, which consists of a Memorandum of Understanding entered into between those parties on April 4, 2001, the term of which continues for (5) five years from that date unless earlier terminated under its own terms, will remain in effect until the parties to the MOU have entered into an expanded and updated MOU to be substituted in its place.

6.2 The parties to the MOU agree to negotiate the terms of an updated MOU that reflects current provincial and federal legislation within six (6) months of the signing of the Agreement.

Date Modified: