Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) Requirements for Family Class Sponsorship

The sponsor must meet (or exceed) the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirement in order to sponsor a family member for Canadian permanent residence.

The Minimum Income Requirements (MNI) is also know as the Low-Income Cut-Off (LICO). LOCOs are defined as the income threshold, below which the specific family under consideration may devote a larger share of their income on basic necessities of life like food, clothing and shelter. LICOs are calculated using the Consumer Price Index (CPI). That is, if one can know the base of the LICO calculated for a specific region (geography), within which for a specific community, then depending on the average spending trends for an average family, the LICO can be calculated using the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

For example, the Family Expenditure Survey conducted in Canada in the year 1992 is exhibited in the image below. Considering the this as the “base” year, the CPI for the same year can be calculated. Assuming the CPI for the year 1992 is CPI (1992), the LICO for the year 2011 had been calculated as:

LICO (2011) = LICO (1992) X CPI(2011)/CPI(1992), which arrived at the figure 30,487 in 2011



Source: Survey of Family Expenditures (Famex)

In brief, the LICO requirement, when it comes to family class sponsorship, will vary depending on the following parameters:

  • The number family members being supported by the family’s income in Canada;
  • The location of the sponsor in Canada; AND
  • The number of family members being sponsored.

For parent and grandparent sponsorship specifically, the sponsor is eligible for the sponsorship only if he or she meets the MNI/LICO requirement for three consecutive years. This is to ensure that the sponsor who is sponsoring the parent or grandparent will be capable of caring for the sponsored person(s) financially once the sponsored person(s) are in Canada.

The below table shows the Minimum Necessary Income (MNI) requirements for the three consecutive years 2014, 2015, and 2016:

Number of members in the family Minimum income for 2016 (C$) Minimum income for 2015 (C$) Minimum income for 2014 (C$)
2 persons 39,371 38,618 38,272
3 persons 48,404 47,476 47,051
4 persons 58,768 57,642 57,125
5 persons 66,654 65,377 64,791
6 persons 75,174 73,733 73,072
7 persons 83,695 82,091 81,355
For each additional person, add 8,522 8,358 8,271

  Note: The values in the above table doesn’t apply to sponsorships in the province of Quebec.

Canadian Immigration Eligibility Check

Find out the easiest way to CANADA
Pay Online