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Will My Consumer Proposal Prevent My Loved Ones From Coming to Canada?

By Zach Brull

Will My Consumer Proposal Prevent My Loved Ones From Coming to Canada?

Anyone who is familiar with North York, Scarborough, and Markham won’t be surprised to learn that about 90% of my clients are not Canadian born, and English is not their first language. Cantonese, Tagalog, Farsi, Hindi, Urdu, Russian, Korean, Punjabi, and Arabic are just a handful of the languages I hear spoken by my clients on a weekly basis. Consumer proposals are filed by Canadians of all backgrounds, and debt unfortunately finds its way into every community in the city.

One of the most common concerns I hear from potential clients is the impact filing a Consumer Proposal will have on their ability to sponsor family members who wish to come to Canada. This concern is so common that I keep this information about immigration close by at all times.

So, does filing a proposal prevent a person from sponsoring a family member?

Short answer: No. Filing a Consumer Proposal does not stop you from sponsoring someone.

Longer answer…No. Filing a Consumer Proposal does not stop you from sponsoring someone…but let’s look at what’s actually written in Sponsorship and Immigration Canada: Processing Applications to Sponsor Members of the Family Class

Section 5.28 Bars to Sponsorship lists a number of situations/reasons where sponsorship would be denied. Examples include…

  • You are a permanent resident subject to a removal order
  • You are in jail
  • You have been convicted of a sexual offense
  • You are in default of a debt owed under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act

There are more examples, but these are just a handful. More importantly is the reference to what we’re most concerned with – debt and Consumer Proposals as a method for restructuring debt.

The Bars to Sponsorship list makes no reference to Consumer Proposals. None whatsoever. However, one of the Bars to Sponsorship that is clearly written in regards to potential sponsors is…

“They are an Undischarged Bankrupt under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act”

As you can see, being an undischarged Bankrupt is a problem. Filing a proposal is not.

I have met many people who are eager to address their debt and believe that a Consumer Proposal is the best solution available to them. Unfortunately, the spectre of not being able to sponsor family members is lorded over them by well-meaning, albeit ill-informed people. This includes family, friends, lawyers, accountants, doctors (seriously!), etc.

When in doubt, it’s always best to look at the actual rules. A Consumer Proposal will not prevent a person from sponsoring family members. If anything, it will place the indebted individual in a better financial position so they will be able to support family members when they arrive, and help them get settled.

About the Author:

Zach Brull operates the 4 Pillars Markham, On and Scarborough, On and North York, On Debt Restructuring office.  To contact him directly visit his website or call him directly at : 289-466-1029

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