Blended Visa Office-Referred Program
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
This page contains guidance on the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program. The BVOR program facilitates the matching of refugees who have been identified by designated referral organizations and deemed eligible and admissible for resettlement to Canada.
Cases are selected by the Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O) and converted to the BVOR program. These cases are then sent to the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) to be matched with a refugee sponsorship group. If matched, the refugee receives financial support from both the Government of Canada and the sponsorship group, as well as settlement support from the sponsorship group for the duration of the sponsorship period, typically 1 year after the individual or family has arrived in Canada.
Key message: All BVOR cases start off as Government-Assisted Refugee (GAR) cases. ROC-O is responsible for identifying and referring selected cases for potential sponsorship matching under the BVOR program.
On this page
- Counselling refugee applicants
- Selecting applicants for the BVOR program
- Matching with a sponsor
- Making a final decision (sponsorship)
Counselling refugee applicants
BVOR clients have already been found eligible and admissible under the GAR program.
For more information, consult the GAR Program.
Where an interview with the GAR applicant takes place, migration officers are asked to briefly counsel the refugee applicant about possible inclusion in the BVOR program.
Following a positive eligibility decision, the migration officer must ensure that the following information is correctly and clearly documented in the Global Case Management System (GCMS):
- family size/composition
- occupation/work experience
- contact(s) in Canada
- associated cases
- non-accompanying family members (possible one-year window (OYW) provision)
This information will be important during the BVOR matching process.
If a refugee applicant refuses to participate in the BVOR program, the migration officer must clearly document this information in GCMS.
Where an interview is waived due to expedited processing, it is unlikely that the case would be suitable for the BVOR program. However, where an interview is waived for a non-urgent case, officers are encouraged to include BVOR program information, where possible, in correspondence shared with the refugee applicant.
Selecting applicants for the BVOR Program
ROC-O officers are responsible for assessing suitability and converting GAR cases to the BVOR program during the destination matching request (DMR) stage.
While the list of criteria used to select cases for the BVOR program is determined based on operational factors and sponsor capacity/interest, generally, any GAR case may be selected at the DMR stage, unless
- the client’s medical exam validity period is near expiration (that is, 3 months)
- the client is pregnant, nearing date of delivery and air travel is not permissible
- the client is highly vulnerable and requires urgent protection
- specialized settlement support is required
- the client is applying under the OYW provision
- the client is destined to Quebec
- the client has high medical need(s) and is travelling with a medical escort
ROC-O converts selected cases, together with any cross-referenced cases, to the BVOR program to ensure that families remain together after their arrival in Canada.
ROC-O tracks selected cases in GCMS with the “VOR” special program code and a VOR activity. As well, ROC-O officers change “Financial Support” to “Blended Support” and create a note in GCMS to indicate the BVOR number and the date the case will be shared with the RSTP.
Matching with a sponsor
The RSTP is funded by IRCC to manage the promotion and matching of BVOR cases with interested refugee sponsorship groups in Canada. ROC-O periodically shares information on selected BVOR cases with the RSTP.
The RSTP posts profiles on a restricted website for a set period of time (usually 2 weeks), where they can be reviewed by potential sponsors. All BVOR profiles shared on this website are unnamed, and every effort is made to ensure that no information is shared that may lead to the identification of the refugees.
Once a sponsorship group has confirmed interest in a particular BVOR case, ROC-O provides the sponsors with the name of the refugee applicant and requests that the sponsorship undertaking form, along with other required forms/documentation, be submitted within 2 weeks.
Where the undertaking is not received or the case is not matched with a sponsorship group, case processing resumes under the GAR program.
Making a final decision (sponsorship)
A ROC-O officer assesses and renders a final decision on the sponsorship undertaking.
If the sponsorship application is approved, the ROC-O officer will
- inform the sponsor by email (approval letter)
- inform the refugee applicant by email (Sponsor Introduction Letter)
- notify the migration office abroad
- update the final destination in the DMR activity to “Sent to Visa Office”
- create a note in GCMS confirming the sponsorship approval
If the sponsorship application is not approved, the ROC-O officer will
- send a refusal letter to the sponsor
- update the VOR activity and mark it as “Cancelled”
- change the “Financial Support” field to “Government Assisted”
- remove the “VOR” special program code
- create a note in GCMS indicating the BVOR cancellation and conversion back to GAR
- notify the corresponding IRCC office abroad of the sponsorship refusal by email
Cases for priority or special processing
Considerations for assessing and processing special or priority case groups. Includes cases referred for urgent protection, vulnerable cases, public policies, applicants who are persecuted on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity expression (SOGIE-LGBTQI) and other groups requiring special attention.
Resettlement: Program delivery partners – roles and responsibilities
Key partners within and outside of IRCC and their respective responsibilities regarding resettlement.
For other processing stages, refer to
Report a problem or mistake on this page
- Date modified: