Operational Bulletin 405-B - April 17, 2013

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

Centralized In - Canada Processing of Private Sponsorship of Refugee sponsorship applications at Centralized Processing Office-Winnipeg (CPO-W)


This Operational Bulletin (OB) updates information with respect to the roles and responsibilities of the Centralized Processing Office – Winnipeg (CPO-W), the local Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) offices and the Matching Centre regarding Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) sponsorship applications.


Revised procedures for the processing of Private Sponsorship of Refugees sponsorship applications will come into effect on April 2, 2013. These will affect operations of the Centralized Processing Office – Winnipeg, local CIC offices, and the Matching Centre.


As part of the Department’s modernization initiative, the intake and in-Canada processing of PSR sponsorship applications has been centralized at CPO-W.

A single centre of expertise for the processing of PSR sponsorship applications was put in place to:

  • ensure consistency in processing methods and criteria through the application of standardized procedures;
  • allow officers to be assigned to processing PSR sponsorship applications only;
  • reduce processing times, both overseas and in Canada, with the immediate goal of meeting the current standard of 30 working days to process PSR sponsorship applications and seeing improvements in the short-term; and
  • improve the tracking and monitoring of sponsorship applications.

Roles and Responsibilities

All new PSR sponsorship applications are now being managed at the CPO-W.

The areas of responsibility for the key CIC players involved in the intake and in-Canada processing of PSR sponsorship applications are as summarized below.

CPO-W is responsible for:

  • Receiving and assessing all new PSR sponsorship applications (from Sponsorship Agreement Holders [SAH], Groups of Five [G5], Community Sponsors [CS]);
  • Issuing the Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter;
  • Monitoring the limits of SAHs under the global cap;
  • Creating PR files in the Global Case Management System;
  • Responding to enquiries on case-specific follow-up requests for any files approved in Canada;
  • Processing Visa-Office Referred (VOR) and Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) applications;
  • Assessing and processing sponsorship withdrawals;
  • Processing One-Year Window (OYW)/Non-Accompanying Family Member applications;
  • Processing Add Dependants forms.

Local CICs are responsible for:

  • Monitoring sponsors and sponsored refugees;
  • Providing assistance in finding a sponsor for JAS cases;
  • Mediating between the sponsor and client in cases of sponsorship breakdown/default;
  • Issuing Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) coverage as per existing local office procedures and in accordance with the procedures outlined in the IR IFHP Chapter;
  • Issuing in-Canada immigration loans;
  • Managing post-arrival issues within their area of responsibility;
  • Providing Notification of Arrival Transmission (NAT) information to Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs), Groups of Five (G5) and Community Sponsors (CS) for applications that were received prior to April 2, 2012;
  • Initiating RAP income support for VOR cases as per OB 512.

The Matching Centre is responsible for:

  • Issuing the NAT directly to SAH/G5/CS for applications that were received on or after April 2, 2012;
  • Issuing the NAT to the local CIC for SAH/G5/CS applications received prior to April 2, 2012;
  • Maintaining the JAS/VOR websites and coordinating matches with sponsors, local CICs and CPO-W.

Visa office

It is recommended that visa offices copy (e-mail is the most efficient option if an e-mail address is available) sponsors, the local CIC that processed the application, and the CPO-W when sending correspondence to PSR applicants. Copying the sponsor, local CIC, and CPO-W, on all PSR case correspondence increases the likelihood that applicants will receive and comply with CIC requests, including showing up for interviews. Correspondence may include the following:

  • Document requests;
  • Interview convocation letter; and
  • Approval or refusal letter.

Eventually, as the PSR inventory is reduced, the visa office will only have to copy sponsors and the CPO-W, not local CICs, as all applications will only be processed by the CPO-W.

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