Canada welcomes more privately sponsored refugees in 2018

In 2018, Canada will welcome 18,000 privately sponsored refugees. This is 4 times the average number welcomed in the ten years (2015 and prior).

Providing timely protection to refugees is a priority for the Government of Canada.

Our goals are to:

  • eliminate the current backlog of applications (outside of Quebec) in 2019
  • reduce wait times for the majority of new applications submitted after January 1, 2020 to an average of 12 months

To achieve these goals, we need to:

  1. increase the number of privately sponsored refugees who will be resettled in a  given year, known as levels space
  2. continue to limit the number of new applications coming in

Levels space

The Immigration Levels Plan establishes the number of privately sponsored refugees we can resettle in a year.

Canada introduced a multi-year immigration levels plan, which will allow us to better plan for the future.

Our refugee resettlement program continues to be an important part of that planning as Canada will welcome 57,000 privately sponsored refugees over the next 3 years.

Most of the growth in resettlement spaces over the next 3 years is in the private sponsorship of refugees category. This will reduce the backlog and help the department achieve a 12-month processing standard.

Intake control

We know that the continuing high level of interest from private sponsors is a reflection of the success of the program. At the same time, we must ensure that we are able to manage the number of applications we receive each year to be able to process them in a timely way, based on the Immigration Levels Plan.

Sponsorship Agreement Holders

Since 2012, we put caps or limits on the number of new applications that Sponsorship Agreement Holders, outside of Quebec, can submit each year.

For 2018, we will permit Sponsorship Agreement Holders outside of Quebec to submit applications for 8,500 persons which is an increase from the 2017 cap of 7,500 persons. There will be no limits on which missions may receive applications. For 2019, the tentative cap will be 8,500 persons. In 2020, it will increase to 14,500 persons. We will review the caps for 2019 and 2020 each year to ensure they align with the progress made on backlog reduction.

Quebec is responsible for its own resettlement processes. Refugees and sponsors who live in Quebec should contact Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion Québec for more information.

Groups of Five/Community Sponsor applications

Groups of Five and Community Sponsors must include a proof of refugee status recognition document when they apply to sponsor refugees.

All sponsors

In 2018, Canada will welcome up to 1,500 refugees through the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program. There are no restrictions on how many applications each sponsor may submit within this target.

Learn more about how private sponsorship applications are processed.  

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