Guide 5413 - Sponsorship Agreement Holders to privately sponsor refugees

Announcement: This guide was revised on March 1, 2021. It includes changes regarding the processing of applications and the documents required from sponsors which are effective immediately.

Changes to processing:

  • No initial Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) will be sent for mailed applications.
  • For requests to add additional dependents (if applicable) once the application is transferred to the IRCC office abroad, the principal applicant and/or sponsor should notify the IRCC office abroad directly.

New document requirements when submitting applications to ROC-O:

  • If appointing representatives in the community of settlement, an Identification Document (ID) confirming place of residence must be submitted.
  • If the sponsorship undertaking includes a CG, proof of status in Canada must be submitted for the Signing Authority.

Finally, the revised guide includes clarifications and examples for reference and has been reformatted for improved readability.

This guide is to assist you, the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), to submit a complete application to sponsor a refugee abroad under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program.

Be sure to read this guide in its entirety. It contains information about the process, links to application forms and instructions for completing and submitting your application. The appendix incudes the financial guidelines, information on how to add family members to your application and a list of acronyms used throughout the guide.

Please note: This is not a legal document.

You, the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), can ask for this guide in another format.

If you are applying to sponsor from Quebec, or if you are applying for the One-Year Window of Opportunity (OYW) program, do not use this application guide.

Please refer to the links directly below for more information on these programs and for general information about the PSR program:

Symbols used in this guide

Information to be aware of.

Important information that you need to know to avoid delays or other problems.

What you must do to have your application processed.

Steps for a SAH to sponsor a refugee living abroad


Step 1: Understanding who is involved in a sponsorship application

Parties to the sponsorship

Parties to the sponsorship (also known as group members, sponsors or the sponsoring group) include every person who signs the Sponsorship Undertaking as part of a SAH sponsorship application. It is important to remember that all parties to the sponsorship are jointly and severally or solidarily liable.

Definition of a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH)

An organization that has signed a Sponsorship Agreement with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to resettle refugees from abroad and provide settlement support. These organizations are usually religious, ethnic, community or service organizations. SAHs can sponsor refugees themselves or work with other groups (Constituent groups) and/or co-sponsors.

For dealings with IRCC, SAH’s have to authorize a person within their organization to act on their behalf, referred to as the Signing Authority.

What is a Signing Authority?

The Signing Authority:

  • has the authority to submit sponsorship applications on behalf of your organization
  • can legally bind your organization to the terms of the private sponsorship as part of the organization’s Sponsorship Agreement with IRCC

Definition of a Constituent Group (CG)

A group authorized by a SAH to sponsor refugees under the Sponsorship Agreement. An example of a CG is a local congregation or chapter of a national church or organization that is a SAH.

For dealings with IRCC the CG has to authorize a person within their group to act on their behalf, referred to as the Signing Authority.

Definition of a Co-Sponsor

An individual or organization that partners with a SAH to help with providing settlement support to the refugees.

An organizational co-sponsor can be an organization (for-profit or not), an association or a corporation (incorporated or not). For dealings with IRCC, the organizational co-sponsor has to authorize a person within their organization to act on their behalf, referred to as the Signing Authority.

Refugees who can be included in the PSR application

Principal Applicant (PA) and their family members

When a family applies for permanent residence together, one family member must be the “principal applicant” (usually the head of the family).

Under the Canadian immigration system, a family includes:

  • the PA
  • the PA’s spouse or common-law partner
  • the PA’s dependent child
  • the dependent child of the PA’s dependent child
  • the dependent child of the PA’s spouse/common-law partner
  • the dependent child of the PA’s spouse/common-law partner’s dependent child

As per subsection 1(3) and 2 of the Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations (IRPR), a dependent child must be in one of the following situations:

  • under 22 years of age and not married or have a common-law partner
  • 22 years of age or older, have depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22 being unable to support themselves financially due to a physical or mental condition

All family members must be included in the application and on the undertaking.

All dependents who meet the above definition and who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents must be included in the sponsorship and permanent residence applications, whether they are accompanying the PA to Canada or not as the family may wish to be reunited at some point during the sponsorship period.

Sponsors must commit to sponsoring the PA and all of their family members whether or not they are accompanying the PA to Canada.

As family reunification is a pillar of the resettlement program, it is not possible for a refugee to “waive their right” to bring their family member to Canada in a sponsorship application and it is the responsibility of the sponsor to facilitate the reunification of the family (through a one year window application) should the family wish to apply.

Example:

  • You are sponsoring a PA, who has a spouse and two children (12 and 18 years old, both unmarried).
  • The PA, spouse and one child live together in country A.
  • The PA’s second child lives in country B and does not want to immigrate to Canada at this time.
  • The PA must include the second child who lives in country B in their permanent residence application, making them a family of four persons, not three persons.
  • The sponsors must show 12 months of financial and non-financial (settlement) support for four persons, not three persons.

Other parties involved in a sponsorship

Immigration Representative

Each of the sponsors and/or the principal applicant (PA) can appoint an immigration representative, if they choose to. The immigration representative can do business on their behalf with IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). The immigration representative can be an immigration consultant, lawyer, friend or family member; however, only approved immigration consultants and lawyers can be compensated. If you have paid someone to assist with the application, you must declare this using the Use of a Representative Form.

This authorization is different from the disclosure in section D of the refugee applicant’s Schedule 2 Refugees outside of Canada form [IMM 0008] (PDF, 1.91 MB), which authorizes IRCC to share required case information with you but does not authorize you to act on the PA’s behalf.

To appoint an immigration representative, the Use of a Representative Form (IMM 5476) must be completed and submitted to ROC-O. For more information on using an immigration representative, you can review the IRCC webpage on using an immigration and citizenship representative.

Representative in the expected community of settlement

Sponsors must reside, or have representatives in the community where the refugees expect to settle. This means that one of the following persons or organization must be based in the community where the refugees are expected to settle:

  • either the SAH and/or the Constituent Group (CG)
  • at least two co-sponsors
  • at least two appointed representatives

The representative:

  • lives in the PA’s expected community of settlement
  • represents the sponsor in the community, according to the scope of representation agreed between the representative and the sponsor
  • is not a party to the sponsorship (does not sign the sponsorship undertaking)
  • while expected to help support the refugee, is not liable to fulfill the sponsorship obligations

To appoint a representative in the expected community of settlement:

  • complete the Appointment of Representative(s) form [IMM 5956] (PDF, 1.56 MB)
  • submit a copy of a photo identification document (ID) with the address of the representative (for example, a driver’s license or provincial and territorial photo cards)
    • If the ID does not contain the address of the representative, submit an additional document with the ID showing their residential address

Appointing a representative does not diminish your obligations with IRCC: sponsors must fulfill all responsibilities as per the sponsorship undertaking and outlined in the settlement plan and remain jointly and severely or solidarily liable regardless of whether they have appointed a representative. Everyone who signed the sponsorship undertaking remains equally responsible. See section 153(1)(a) of IRPR for more information.


Step 2: Make sure you are eligible

General eligibility requirements for all sponsors:

The SAH, and if applicable, the CG Signing Authority, the organizational co-sponsor’s Signing Authority and the individual co-sponsor must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • be 18 years of age or older
  • be a Canadian citizen, Registered Indian or a permanent resident of Canada
  • reside in the expected community of settlement (or appoint a representative who does)
  • not be ineligible to be a party to a sponsorship pursuant to subsection R156(1) of IRPR:
    1. a person who has been convicted in Canada of the offence of murder or an offence set out in Schedule I or II to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, regardless of whether it was prosecuted by indictment, if a period of five years has not elapsed since the completion of the person’s sentence
    2. a person who has been convicted of an offence outside Canada that, if committed in Canada, would constitute an offence referred to in paragraph (a), if a period of five years has not elapsed since the completion of the person’s sentence imposed under a foreign law
    3. a person who is in default of any support payment obligations ordered by a court
    4. a person who is subject to a removal order
    5. a person who is subject to a revocation proceeding under the Citizenship Act
    6. a person who is detained in any penitentiary, jail, reformatory or prison

Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH)

Your organization must:

  • be an incorporated organization that has signed a Sponsorship Agreement with IRCC
  • assume overall responsibility for the management of sponsorships under your agreement
  • have the necessary financial resources, expertise and commitment needed to support the refugees
  • be located in the community of settlement (or appoint representatives who do)

Constituent Group (CG)

The CG must:

Co-Sponsor

The Co-sponsor must:


Step 3: Make sure the Principal Applicant abroad is eligible to be sponsored

The PSR program is only for sponsoring refugees and persons in refugee-like situations. Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, persons who may qualify as refugees for Canada’s refugee and humanitarian resettlement program are grouped into two categories:

  • A Convention refugee as per section 96 of Immigration and Refugees Protection Act (IRPA) as they have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; or
  • Member of the asylum class as per R147 of IRPR as they have been, and continue to be, seriously and personally affected by civil war, armed conflict or massive violation of human rights.

Step 4: Document checklist

Keep a copy of each application you submit and do not submit original documents.

If your application is approved or refused or if you decide to withdraw your application, it will not be returned to you.

You must submit a complete sponsorship application for each permanent residence application.

  • For example, if you want to sponsor three brothers:
    • you will need to submit three sponsorship applications and three permanent residence applications
    • Forms which are not specific to the case, such as Sponsor Assessment [IMM 5492] (PDF, 2.19 MB) must be copied and included in each application
    • Documents which are not specific to the case, such as a criminal record check, must be copied and included in each application

All forms and documents listed below must be submitted for ROC-O to facilitate the application process which consists of two stages:

  • Review
    ROC-O reviews all required application forms and documents listed below. If any application form or document required for review is missing the application may be returned.
  • Sponsorship decision
    ROC-O assesses all supporting documents listed below. If any supporting document required for assessment is missing the application may be refused.

Application forms and documents required for review

Supporting documents required for assessment

  • Proof of Canadian Citizenship, Indian Status or Permanent Residence if applicable, the CG Signing Authority, the organizational co-sponsor’s Signing Authority and the individual co-sponsor

Other forms, if applicable

These forms need to be completed if you are appointing an immigration representative or a representative in expected community of settlement:


Step 5: Gather documents

You must submit all required documents, and you can submit as many additional documents as you want to support your application and demonstrate that you meet the sponsorship requirements.

It is your responsibility to submit an application which demonstrates that you are eligible to sponsor. Please note that in most cases, a decision will be rendered based on the evidence you submit with your application you will not be contacted for missing documents or information.

Translation of documents

You must submit the following for any document that is not in English or French, unless otherwise stated on your document checklist:

  • the English or French translation
  • an affidavit from the person who completed the translation
  • a certified copy of the original document

Translations must not be done by: you or the applicants themselves or by any of the applicant’s family members.

What is an affidavit?

An affidavit is a document on which the translator has sworn, in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths in the country where the translator is living, that the contents of their translation are a true translation and representation of the contents of the original document.

  • In Canada, the affidavit must be sworn in the presence of either a notary public, a commissioner of oaths or a commissioner of taking affidavits.
  • To translate a document outside Canada, consult the local authorities.
  • Translators who are certified in Canada do not need to supply an affidavit.

Documents to submit to the Resettlement Operations Center in Ottawa (ROC-O)

Proof of Canadian citizenship, Indian status or permanent residence status

If applicable, the CG Signing Authority, the organizational co-sponsor’s Signing Authority and the individual co-sponsor must submit a copy of one of the following documents with each sponsorship application.

Must submit a copy of one of the following documents:

  • Canadian Passport
  • Canadian provincial or territorial birth certificate
  • Canadian citizenship certificate (card or paper certificate)
  • Canadian certificate of registration of birth abroad
  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292 or IMM 5688)
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Indian status card (formerly known as a Certificate of Indian status)

The SAH Signing Authority does not need to submit the above document with each application. SAH Signing Authorities provide the documents to IRCC.INPSR-PPPRRI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca for IRCC to keep on file.

ROC-O does not accept: Driver’s licenses and health cards as valid proof of Canadian citizenship or permanent residence.

Step 6: Fill in the forms

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The Sponsorship Application

Important reminders

  • Make sure to complete the latest version of all the required forms.
    Only use the links in this guide to ensure that you are using the most updated forms.
  • All forms must be typed.
    Handwritten forms are not accepted. If you submit handwritten forms, the application may be returned.
  • Make sure all forms are signed and dated.
    Typed signatures are not accepted. All forms must be signed or have scanned signature. If a signature is missing, the application may be returned
  • Co-sponsors, CGs and the PA should only include information about a representative on a Use of Representative form (IMM 5476).
    For example, when IRCC requests co-sponsor or CG’s personal email address or the PA’s email address, the email of a representative should not be included.
  • It is a serious offence to give false or misleading information in your application.
    IRCC may verify the information sponsors and the applicant(s) abroad provide on the application.

Sponsorship Undertaking – Sponsorship Agreement Holders (IMM 5373)

Common errors when submitting IMM 5373:

  • Form was not submitted.
  • Invalid version of form was submitted.
  • Form was handwritten.
  • Incomplete contact information:
    • Section A – SAH Information
    • Section B – CG Information
    • Section C – Co-Sponsor Information
  • One or more email addresses are missing or email provided is invalid or not the sponsors’ own personal email address.
  • PA and family member information does not match the Generic Application Form [IMM 0008] (PDF, 0.65 MB).
  • Family member does not meet the definition of a family member as per the IRPR.
  • Form was not signed and/or is dated more than 90 days from the date of the application’s submission to ROC-O.

Fill in the form:

For BVOR Sponsorships

If you are sponsoring refugees referred to your sponsoring group by IRCC under the (BVOR) Blended Visa Office-Referred Program:

  • check the box for (Blended) Visa Office Referred sponsorships
  • type the profile number you received from ROC-O
Section A – Sponsor Information

Type the following details about your organization:

  • name of the SAH
  • SAH Signing Authority’s family name and given names
  • your address
  • contact details: home, business or cell phone numbers and email address
Section B – CG Information

If you have a CG in this application, check “yes” (if not, check “no”).

If you checked “yes”, more fields will appear.

Type the following details about the CG:

  • name
  • CG Signing Authority’s family name, given names and date of birth
  • address of the CG
  • contact details: home, business or cell phone numbers and email address
Section C – Co-sponsor Information

If you have one or more co-sponsors in this application, check “yes” (if not, check “no”).

If you checked “yes”, more fields will appear.

Type the following details about the co-sponsor(s):

  • from the drop-down menu, select if the co-sponsor is an individual or organization (more fields will appear)
  • to add another co-sponsor, click the “add a co-Sponsor” button
  • to remove a co-sponsor, click the “remove this co-sponsor” button

For each co-sponsor, type the following details:

  • the name of the organizational co-sponsor
  • the family name, given name and date of birth for the individual co-sponsor or organizational co-sponsor Signing Authority
  • Unique Client Identifier (UCI). This number can be found on official documents you get from IRCC. It can be either eight or ten digits (Example: 0000-0000 or 00000-00000). If you do not have or do not know your UCI number, type “N/A”
  • relationship of the individual co-sponsor or organizational co-sponsor Signing Authority to the PA. If it is not applicable, type “N/A”
  • address of the individual co-sponsor and organizational co-sponsor Signing Authority
  • contact details: home, business or cell phone numbers and email address

You must provide a personal e-mail address for each sponsor so that IRCC can communicate with each of you directly:

  • be careful when typing your email address and adjust your junk mail settings to make sure you do not miss important messages
  • if you do not provide an email address for each sponsor, the application may be returned
  • if you change your email address while the sponsorship application is being processed, notify ROC-O immediately
Section D – Refugee Applicant(s)
  • All names and personal information must match your travel documents.
  • All persons who do not meet the definition of family member as per IRPR should have their own sponsorship and permanent residence applications.
    • If you submit the name of a person in this section that is not a family member as per the regulations, the application may be returned.

Principal applicant (PA):

Type the:

  • family name
  • given names
  • gender
  • date of birth
  • place and country of birth, including the name of the town or city
  • marital status
  • country of citizenship
  • other citizenship, if applicable

Family Members:

Before you complete this section, check to see who qualifies as a family member.

If you have more family members to add, follow the instructions below:

  • If you check “yes”, more fields will appear:
    • click the “add additional family member” button to add more family member
    • click the “remove this family member” button to remove a family member
  • For each family member, type or select from the drop down menu:
    • family name
    • given names
    • gender
    • date of birth
    • place and country of birth, including the name of the town or city
    • marital status
    • relationship to the PA
    • check the box if the family member will be accompanying or non-accompanying the PA to Canada
    • citizenship
    • other citizenship, if applicable
    • check the box if a family member has separate contact information (address, email, phone) from that of the PA and a new box will appear below. Fill out the separate contact information for this family member
Section E – Linked/Multiple Sponsorship Applications
  • Fill in this section if you want to link multiple sponsorship applications.
    • For example, family members that plan to live in one household or as a family unit in Canada, but they do not meet the definition of a family member as per IRPR.
    • Efforts will be made to have linked applications processed at the same time.
  • It is strongly recommended that you link applications of family members only when they must all travel together to Canada.
    • The information you fill in must be identical to the biographic information that is on the linked application. If not, ROC-O might not be able to link the applications together.
    • Please include a cover letter explaining the reason why the applicants of the linked applications must travel together.
    • Having linked applications may delay processing as all applications move through each step of the process together.

Type the:

  • family name of the other PA
  • given names
  • date of birth
  • application number (G number) if known

Click the “+” symbol to add another linked application. Click the “-“ symbol to remove a linked application.

Section F – Obligations, Consents and Declarations

This section must be read carefully and understood by all parties to the sponsorship.

Section G - Signatures
  • Each sponsor must sign and date the application
    • By signing here, the sponsoring group declares that they understand and commit to upholding the terms outlined on the Sponsorship Undertaking.
    • If a signature is missing or if it is dated more than 90 days prior to the date of submission at ROC-O, the application will be returned to you without being processed.
  • As the sponsors, you must ensure that all the information contained in the application is accurate at the time of submission at ROC-O

If there are changes to your sponsoring group’s composition or changes to your PA’s family composition within this 90 day period, you must complete, sign and date a new Sponsorship Undertaking before submitting your application to ROC-O.

Settlement Plan – Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) - IMM 5440

Common reasons for return:

  • form was not submitted (if SAH agreement with IRCC is less than 2 years old)
  • invalid version of form was submitted
  • form was handwritten
  • form was not signed

This form must be completed by the SAH:

If the SAH signed a Sponsorship Agreement with IRCC

  • Less than two years ago: must be submitted with each application, also keep a copy for your records
  • More than two years ago: does not have to be submitted with each application, unless requested.

If a settlement plan is submitted even though it is not requested or required, it will be assessed as part of the application.

  • Be as precise and detailed as possible.
    • Do not leave any questions blank.
    • Not applicable (N/A) is not an acceptable answer.
    • Note that, the officer assessing your application does not know you and cannot make assumptions on the services you will be providing to the refugees.
  • Each settlement plan must address the unique needs of the PA and their dependents.
    • Include details of your plan to the unique needs of the PA and their dependents whether they are accompanying the PA in Canada or not.
    • Your answers should not be copied from other settlement plans.
  • Do not include the needs of linked cases
    • Linked applications listed in Section E – Linked/Multiple Sponsorship Applications on the PA’s Sponsorship Undertaking require separate sponsorship applications.
Section A – General information

Type the:

  • name of the PA and date of birth
  • name of the SAH organization
Section B – Settlement Needs Checklist

Check the box to indicate who will provide for the settlement needs of the refugees. Where more than one party is providing for a particular need, check all boxes that apply. The boxes checked in section B should align with the details of the sponsorship plan outlined in section C.

  • Financial Assistance: Explain who will provide one-time start up items and cover ongoing monthly expenses. See Appendix A for more information on financial requirements of sponsorship.
  • Settlement Assistance: For each of the items listed in this section, explain who will provide the support.
Section C – Settlement Needs – Details

Question 1 – As sponsors, you must arrange proper housing for the refugees you are sponsoring.

Provide details of your plan on the housing arrangement such as the location, number of rooms, if the housing is shared or not, number of other people if any, etc.

Question 2 – What support structure (staff or volunteer) will be providing the required settlement services?

Explain the role of your SAH in providing the required settlement services. Provide details on the number of staff and/or volunteers who will support in the settlement process and their availability. List the names of the volunteers or staff and what tasks they will be helping with arrival, Social Insurance Number (SIN) card application, Health card application, medical appointments, etc.

If you are authorizing a CG or partnering with co-sponsors discuss the settlement arrangements and responsibilities together and jointly fill out the settlement plan. Explain how your SAH oversees, trains and supports to your CGs and co-sponsors. Also add details on any contingency plans to support refugees should there be any issues.

Question 3 – Which immigrant settlement assistance agencies will the refugees likely access and for which services?

To answer this question and to better understand your obligations under the sponsorship undertaking you signed with IRCC, we strongly recommend that you:

  • attend a training session with RSTP
  • meet the settlement agencies in your region to ensure that you understand their services and whether they will apply to the refugees you are sponsoring
  • meet with community and/or religious groups in your region that offer services to refugees
  • check the different programs your province offers to newcomers
  • read about how to apply to certain programs under the federal government (CCB, SIN, etc.)

Indicate your research, the meetings you attended with different groups including RSTP, which services you/refugee will apply for with the municipal, provincial and federal governments, etc.

Provide as much detail as possible to demonstrate that you are aware of the needs of the refugee and have a plan to assist the refugee upon arrival.

Examples of settlement activities a refugee may need:

  • orientation
  • language training
  • counselling
  • cultural orientation
  • employment services
  • newcomer youth services
  • settlement support groups

For more information, learn about free newcomer services near you.

Example of services a refugee is entitled to when they arrive in Canada:

Question 4 – As a sponsor, you must plan and make arrangements for any additional needs of the refugee(s), including medical needs and/or special needs for persons who have suffered trauma and would benefit from crisis support and counseling.

Indicate:

  • if the refugees are living with certain trauma/crisis such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), severe physical pain, or if they are victims of gender based violence
  • what services are needed such as the need to see a psychologist, attend support groups, to see a physiotherapist and the need to have a wheelchair

Question 5 – Explain your group’s contingency plans for supporting non-accompanying family members under the One Year Window of Opportunity provision (OYW).

This question will only appear on your form if you indicated that the PA has non-accompanying family members. Explain your group’s contingency plans for supporting non-accompanying family members who may decide to immigrate with the PA or who may come to Canada later under the OYW of Opportunity provision include both financial and settlement considerations.

Section D – Signatures

All parties that signed the Sponsorship Undertaking [IMM 5373] (PDF, 1.93 MB) must also sign the Settlement Plan [IMM 5440] (PDF, 1.52 MB). By signing the Settlement Plan, you confirm that you are aware of the terms of the plan and commit to fulfilling them.

Sponsor Assessment (IMM 5492)

Common errors when submitting IMM 5492:

  • form was not submitted by either the co-sponsor or CG
  • invalid version of form was submitted
  • not all questions were answered
  • form was handwritten
  • form was not signed and dated

This form must be completed by each of the:

  • SAH Signing Authority (form must be submitted once and sent to IRCC.INPSR-PPPRRI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca for IRCC to keep on file)
  • CG Signing Authority (if applicable) with each sponsorship application
  • Individual co-sponsor (if applicable) with each sponsorship application
  • Organizational co-sponsor Signing Authority (if applicable) with each sponsorship application
Section A

Type the name of the SAH.

Section B

Type your family name and given names.

Section C

Type any other names you have used (including birth name, maiden, previous married names, aliases and nicknames).

Sections D to M

Check the appropriate box.

If a box is not checked, the application may be returned.

Section N – Signatures

Sign and date the declaration. If a signature is missing, the application may be returned.

The principal applicant’s permanent residence application

The PA and their family members must fill in the forms for permanent residence. As sponsors, you should remind the PA of IRCC’s definition of what constitutes a family member in IRPR.

All forms are available in the Application for Convention Refugees Abroad and Humanitarian-Protected Person Abroad (IMM 6000).

Common errors principal applicants make when submitting their application package:

It is highly recommended for the PA to provide a personal email address

Other forms, if applicable

Appointment of Representative(s) in Expected Community of Settlement (IMM 5956)

General Application Information

Select Sponsorship Agreement Holder and more fields will appear.

Part 1 – Appointment of Representative
Section A – Principal Applicant

Type the name, date of birth, and IRCC file number (G number) of the PA (if available).

Section B – Sponsoring Group

Type the name of the SAH and if applicable, the CG and/or co-sponsor that signed the Sponsorship Undertaking.

  • to add a co-sponsor, click the “add a co-sponsor” button
  • to remove a co-sponsor, click the “remove this co-sponsor” button
  • for each co-sponsor, select the type of sponsor from the drop-down list (either individual or organization)
Section C – Appointed Representatives

Type the name address, phone number and email address for each representative being appointed.

Section D and E – Appointed Representative Declaration and Signatures

Each appointed representative must read, sign and date the form.

Part 2 – Settlement Plan
Section F – Settlement Needs Checklist

Check the box by each settlement need to indicate who will be responsible for that task. The boxes checked in this section should align with the details in Section G

Section G – Settlement Needs Details

Question 1 – Provide details of your plan on the housing arrangement such as the location, number of rooms, if the housing is shared or not, number of other people if any, etc.

Question 2 – Indicate which settlement assistance services you will apply for with the municipal, provincial and federal governments, etc.

Question 3- Indicate if there are any known medical needs and/or special needs for the refugees and your plan to meet this needs.

Question 4 – Indicate further details on how the responsibilities are shared among all involved. Include explanation on how the SAH oversees adequate supports are provided for the appointed representatives and any contingency plans to support refugees should there be any issues.

Question 5 – This is only applicable if there are non-accompanying family members in the undertaking. Indicate your plan for those family members who may come to Canada on a later date.

For more information refer to detailed instruction provided in the Settlement Plan form, section C.

Section H – Sponsoring Group’s Declaration

This section must be read carefully, signed and understood by all parties to the sponsorship.

Section I – Sponsorship Group Signatures

Each sponsor who has signed the Sponsorship Undertaking [IMM 5372] (PDF, 1.93 MB) must sign and date the form.

You must include a copy of a photo identification document of the representative(s) with the form.

Use of a Representative (IMM 5476)

Section A – Applicant Information

Question 1 – Type your last name (surname or family name) and given name(s).

Question 2 – Type your date of birth.

Question 3 – If you have already submitted your application, write: the name of the office where the application was submitted and the type of application you submitted.

Question 4 – Type your IRCC’s Identification ID or Unique client Identifier (if known).

Section B – Appointment of Representative

Question 5 – Type your representative’s full name.

Question 6 – Check the box to indicate if your representative is uncompensated or compensated

Question 7 – Type your representative’s contact information.

Question 8 – To accept responsibility for conducting business on your behalf, your representative must sign and date the declaration.

Section C – Cancel the Appointment of a Representative

Fill in this section if you wish to cancel the appointment of a representative.

Question 9 – Type the representative’s full name.

Section D – Your Declaration

Question 10 – By signing, your authorize IRCC to complete your request for yourself and your dependent children under 18 years of age.


Step 7: Submit your application by email or mail

Send your application (which includes your sponsorship application and the PR application of the refugee abroad) by email or mail, not both. Duplicate applications will delay the processing of your application and application of others.

We highly recommend that you submit your application by email. Applications submitted by email are processed faster than applications submitted by mail.

Applications must be sent from the email or mailing address of the SAH’s representative listed on the sponsorship undertaking or immigration representative (if applicable). This means that any emails or documents sent from an address or email not listed on the undertaking (a third party) may be returned.

Emailing your application

Email: IRCC.INROCO-CORORI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

Prepare the email by following these steps:

  1. Check scanner settings:
    • you and the PA abroad should use a high resolution scanner of at least 400 DPI
    • scanned documents can be in color or black and white
    • all forms and supporting documents must be saved and submitted in PDF format
    • applicants’ photos can exceptionally be saved in JPEG format
    • ensure the photos meet IRCC’s photo specifications
  2. Prepare your email to ROC-O:
    • you need to submit at least 6 separate email attachments and each attachment cannot be bigger than 5MB
    • ROC-O does not accept compressed files (such as ZIP or RAR) as we cannot open them
  3. Use these naming conventions for your attachments:
    • Sponsor forms and documents
      Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name - Sponsor documents”
    • Generic application form to Canada IMM0008
      Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name - IMM0008”
    • If separate signature page is included where the PA printed and signed only the signature page of the IMM0008 form
      Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First name - IMM0008 signature page”
    • Schedule A, Schedule 2 and Use of Representative forms
      Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name - Schedules”
    • One photo per applicant
      Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name - Photos”
    • Passports: if available for the PA, family members and sponsors providing proof of status with a copy of passport
      Name this file: “PA LAST NAME, First Name –Passports”
    • Refugee Status Determination (RSD) document for the PA
      Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First name – RSD”
    • Supporting documentation:
      Name this file: “PA FAMILY NAME, First Name - Supporting documents”
      • for the PA include if there are any identity and civil status, birth marriage, divorce, separation or death certificates (etc.)
      • for the sponsor include if there are any additional supporting document to demonstrate their capacity
  4. Email the application to ROC-O with the subject line as: “SAH Sponsorship Application - PA FAMILY NAME, first name”
    • The email (including the attachments) size cannot be bigger than 10 MB
      • if it is, send the attachment in 2 or more emails and number your email subjects
      • For example: “part 1 of 2” and “part 2 of 2”. If your email is larger than 10 MB, it will bounce back and you will not receive an email auto-reply
    • After you sent your email to ROC-O, ensure your application was received:
      • You should receive an auto-reply from ROC-O for each email sent; save this auto-reply; this auto reply/replies
      • If you do not receive an auto-reply within 48 hours, write to ROC-O and ask whether we received your application
      • do not re-send your application unless ROC-O asks you to re-send it

Mailing your application

It is recommended that you send your application via registered mail: if you mail your application, this will ensure your package is trackable by Canada Post or a courier service. It is strongly suggest that you keep your mailing receipt until ROC-O completes the assessment of your application.

It is recommended that you send one application per envelope: if you send more than one application per envelope/box, itemize the applications in a list contained in the envelope/box. If this is not done, all applications may be returned.

Mailing address:

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O)
Sponsorship Agreement Holder Unit
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1A 1L1


What happens next?

Emailed applications will receive an auto-reply upon submission.

If you sent your application via email, an immediate auto-reply is sent to the email address from which the application was submitted. This email confirms that the sponsorship application package has been received. It does not confirm that your application is complete nor does it include the name of the PA (or the application number - “G” number).

When ROC-O receives your sponsorship application, you can expect:

Stage 1: Review

Application forms review

After receiving your application by email or mail, ROC-O reviews the application to ensure that all required forms for review were signed and submitted. At this stage, there is no verification as to whether the SAH submitted all supporting documents necessary to assess the application (such as proof of Canadian Citizenship, Indian Status or Permanent Residence).

If the application is not missing forms:

  • an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) is sent via email to the SAH Signing Authority to confirm that all of the necessary forms were submitted and signed and that the application was created in our electronic system
  • you will receive your application number (G number) at this time
  • cap space will be taken from your allocation

If the application is missing forms or if they are not signed:

  • this means the application cannot be created in IRCC ‘s electronic system
  • an Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) is not sent
  • for a mailed application, the application will be returned to the SAH Signing Authority mail
  • for an email application, an email will be sent to all sponsors, the representative (if applicable) and the PA explaining the reasons for return
  • processing will not continue and no cap space will be taken from your allocation

Stage 2: Sponsorship Decision

All complete applications receive a final decision

An officer will assess your application by reviewing the application forms and your supporting documents to decide whether they are satisfied that you meet the requirements to be a sponsor under section R154 IRPR.

If the officer is satisfied that you meet the requirements of IRPR:

If the officer is not satisfied that you meet the requirements of IRPR:

  • the application will be refused and the decision will be communicated to all sponsors, the representative (if applicable) and the PA via e-mail
  • any refused applications will not be returned to your group.
    • IRCC is obligated to retain all applications for which a decision has been made
    • ROC-O strongly encourages sponsors to keep a copy of each application submitted to IRCC
  • Cap space used for this application will not be returned to your SAH

If your application is returned or refused and you wish to re-submit it, you must submit a new and complete application. You cannot simply include the missing documents or updated documents from the previous application.

Stage 3: Updating the sponsorship and permanent residence (PR) applications

During the application process, you must notify IRCC of any change in your contact information, or the contact information of your CG or co-sponsors.

You must also notify ROC-O via email of any changes in your sponsorship application, such as:

  • decision to withdraw your sponsorship application
  • changes in your financial situation that could affect your financial contribution to the sponsorship
  • changes in your life that could affect your contribution to the settlement plan
  • whether you have moved out of the expected community of settlement of the principal applicant
  • whether the principal applicant has decided not to move in the expected community of settlement

The principal applicant abroad should also contact ROC-O to change their contact information (new email, etc.):

  • if the principal applicant’s family composition increases (PA got married, birth of a child, etc.), the PA or you should advise IRCC as soon as possible following the process in Annex B – Add a family member to a PSR application
  • if the principal applicant’s family composition decreases (PA is getting a divorce, death in the family, etc.), you or the PA should notify ROC-O immediately
  • depending on the current location of the sponsorship and PR applications, at the time of change, you will need to contact ROC-O or the IRCC office abroad

Notify ROC-O of any changes in your application. Not having updated contact information (for you and the PA) and/or updates in the family composition of the PA are two of the main causes of delays.

Stage 4: Checking your application status

Application status can be checked on-line.

Once you receive an acknowledgement of receipt email with an application number, you can check your status online.

Contact ROC-O for a case status update when:

  • more than 48 hours have passed since you sent your email application to ROC-O and you have not received an auto-reply or auto-replies. Before contacting ROC-O, review your junk mail folder and verify whether you sent your application to the correct email address (watch for spelling errors in the email address you used)
  • more than 60 days have passed since you submitted your paper application package and you have not heard back from ROC-O
  • more than three months have passed since you received your AOR and no decision was made on your sponsorship application at ROC-O; if less than three months have passed since you received your AOR, ROC-O will not answer your case status request
  • you believe that your application has been erroneously delayed abroad

Contact ROC-O at IRCC.INROCO-CORORI.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.

Use this email subject line: pa family name, first name, G number, case status request.

Contacting ROC-O to request a case status update always takes time away from processing applications: receiving a high volume of case status updates delays processing of your application and applications of others.

For multiple emails about the same request, ROC-O will only answer the first email received: if you decide to send a case status request, please do not ask others to email the same question on your behalf, such as your Member of Parliament (MP), other sponsors, or the PA.


Check processing times

You can check current processing times on the IRCC website.


Protecting your information

Your personal information is:

  • available to IRCC and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employees who need to see it to provide the services to you, and
  • not disclosed to other organizations except as permitted under the provisions of the Privacy Act or the Citizenship Regulations.

For more information about the protection of your data, visit the Help Centre.

Need help?

If you need help, you can find answers to your questions by visiting the Help Centre.


Appendix A: Financial Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to help sponsoring groups to plan for sponsorship costs when preparing their Sponsorship Applications.

For detailed information on financial support that should be provided after the refugees have arrived, FAQs on Post-Arrival Financial Support for the PSR Program (PDF, 402 KB).

It is strongly recommend that you meet with RSTP before you submit a sponsorship application: RSTP will help you fully understand your financial and non-financial (settlement) obligations towards the refugees you want to bring to Canada.

General Requirements

Sponsoring groups will not:

  • profit financially by sponsoring refugees
  • accept funds from the refugees for any of the situations below, either before or after the refugees arrive in Canada:
    • as payment for submitting a sponsorship
    • as a prepayment or repayment for lodging, care and settlement assistance
    • as a deposit to guarantee the refugees will stay with the sponsor for one year after they arrive
  • act as paid representatives
  • require that refugees, their relatives or friends use services of a paid representative for the purpose of a sponsorship application
  • charge an administrative fee to the refugees
  • be responsible for covering the costs of the refugee’s immigration loan or any debt that a refugee incurs in Canada, unless you have co-signed loans

Administrative Fees

As per the Sponsorship Agreement, SAHs may recover a one-time maximum payment of $250 per application from the Constituent Group (CG) or co-sponsor for direct administrative costs incurred in support of the application. Direct administrative costs include rent, staff, accounting fees, telephone, facsimile, postage, courier and photocopying. As per the Sponsorship Agreement, SAHs must maintain for one calendar year a record of all fees collected.

These costs cannot be imposed on or required from the refugees.

Cost of Sponsorship

You should provide income support to at least the equivalent amount that is provided by the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) in the expected community of settlement, adjusted by any eligible in-kind contributions. Use the RAP rates in the expected community of settlement to calculate the income support you will have to prepare to give.

Sponsorship costs include start-up costs and monthly costs.

Family Composition

If there are linked Sponsorship Applications (including for adult children), you should estimate the costs for each family separately, even if the families intend to live together in Canada. Any adult children over the age of majority in the province they are expected to live are entitled to receive adult benefit rates, adjusted by in-kind contributions.

Sponsorship start-up and monthly costs include:

  • furniture (beds, mattresses, dining set, couches, end table and lamps, etc.)
  • clothes (winter and other clothes)
  • one-time payment for household items (basic window coverings and common household products such as kitchen supplies and utensils, pots, pans, brooms, mops, detergents and cleaners)linens (including bedding)
  • food staples (flour, sugar, rice, spices, etc)
  • school registration fees (if applicable)
  • Utility connection fees (hook-up costs) for internet and phone service installation and rental deposits)

Monthly costs include:

  • housing rent, electricity and heat
  • food
  • a communication allowance to cover the costs of a telephone and/or internet services
  • pocket money and allowances
  • monthly public transportation passes for all adults
  • other costs to cover incidentals

In-kind donations include:

  • all donated goods, commodities or services (for example, gently used furniture or clothing, or housing provided at no cost to the sponsored family)
  • in-kind donations cannot be more than the maximum allowance indicated in the In-Kind deduction table
  • you can subtract the total value of in-kind donations from your estimated sponsorship costs

Types of costs that may be deducted through donations (In-kind deduction)

  • One-time Start-up Costs
    • Clothing: includes basic clothing needs and seasonal needs such as: winter coat, boots, mittens, scarf, snow pants, rain wear, etc.
    • Furniture: includes bed frame or crib, dining set, couches, end table, lamps, etc.
    • Household needs: includes basic window coverings and common household products such as kitchen utensils, pots, pans, brooms, mops, detergents and cleaners, etc.
    • Linens: includes bedding, towels, etc.
    • School supplies: includes pens, notebooks, backpacks, gently used school uniforms, etc.
    • Food staples: includes new, unopened pantry items (rice, flour, sugar, spices, etc.).
  • Ongoing Monthly Costs
    • Shelter: includes housing costs, utilities, etc

Some items must be purchased new:

  • clothing items such as undergarments and footwear cannot be used
  • mattresses should be new
  • pantry items should be unopened
  • consider personal and cultural preferences
Ongoing monthly costs
Donated Item % of RAP amount that can be deducted from total sponsorship cost

Shelter

Includes housing costs, utilities, etc.

100%
One-time start-up costs
Donated Item % of RAP amount that can be deducted from total sponsorship cost

Clothing

Includes basic clothing needs and seasonal needs such as: winter coat, boots, mittens, scarf, snow pants, rain wear, etc.

Note: There are some clothing items that must be purchased new (such as undergarments and footwear). You should also account for personal or cultural clothing preferences.

70%

Furniture

Includes: bed frame or crib, dining set, couches, end table, lamps, etc.

70%

Household Needs

Includes: basic window coverings and common household products such as kitchen utensils, pots, pans, brooms, mops, detergents and cleaners, etc.

50%

Linens

Includes: bedding, towels, etc.

100%

School supplies

Not including registration costs

50%

Food staples

New, unopened pantry items (rice, flour, sugar, spices, etc.) can be donated

50%

Post-arrival financial support

Financial support includes the one-time start-up cost, to help establish the refugee, and the monthly income support which is at least the equivalent amount to the prevailing rate that is provided by the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) in your province, adjusted by any eligible in-kind deductions.

  • Your sponsoring group needs to provide the refugees with financial support for:
    • PSR cases: up to 12 months or until the refugee becomes financially self-sufficient, whichever comes first
    • BVOR cases: up to 6 months or until the refugee becomes financially self-sufficient, whichever comes first
  • A refugee becomes financially self-sufficient when they earn a certain amount of employment income or when they have personal asset or funds that can be applied to their monthly income support as described below
  • To be considered financially self-sufficient based on income, refugees should earn employment income which equals to their monthly income support amount and an additional 50% of the monthly income support amount
    • Example: If the refugee’s monthly income support is $1000.00, to be considered self-sufficient they have to earn a total of $1500.00 (monthly income support is $1000, plus additional 50% of their monthly income support is $500, which totals to $1500)
  • To be considered financially self-sufficient based on personal asset or funds, refugees should have declared personal assets more than the personal asset exemption limit. To learn more refer FAQs on Post-Arrival Financial Support for the PSR Program (PDF, 0,40 MB).

If the refugee becomes financially self-sufficient during the 12-month sponsorship period (or 6 months for BVOR cases), your sponsoring group does not have to provide income support under the terms of the sponsorship undertaking for the rest of the sponsorship period, so long as the refugee continues to remain financially self-sufficient


Appendix B: Add a Family Member to a PSR Application

All additional PA’s family members must be added

Both accompanying and non-accompanying additional family members of the PA must be added to the PA’s application for permanent residence before the PA departs for Canada.

Notify IRCC of new additions as soon as possible (within 30 days)

To prevent delays in processing the PR application, the PA should notify IRCC of the new family members within 30 days of the birth of a child or the PA’s marriage.

Not declaring or misrepresentation may result in the refusal of your application

Failing to declare a family member is misrepresentation and may result in the refusal of the application. The new family member will be ineligible for future family reunification in Canada.

For example, under the One Year Window of Opportunity (OYW) provision, the PA can apply to bring their non-accompanying family members to Canada for up to one year after their arrival in Canada, but only if the family members were declared on the application before the PA departed for Canada.

Make sure additional family members fit the definition of a family member

Before you, the sponsor or the PA add a family member, carefully review the IRPR definition of what constitutes a family member. Members of the PA’s family that do not fall within the definition cannot be added to your sponsorship application.

For example, if you wish to sponsor a PA’s single 24 year old daughter (who does not fall under the definition, and who recently joined the PA), you must submit a separate Sponsorship Application package for her and link it to the current application of the PA. IRCC will do its best to process the applications at the same time.

Make sure required forms and documents by IRCC are submitted within the requested period

All required forms and documents to add the new family member must be submitted as requested to ROC-O or IRCC office abroad within the requested period. If requested forms and documents are not received, the application may be refused.

Sponsors may withdraw their sponsorship

If the sponsors do not believe that they have the capacity to fulfil the requirements of the settlement plan (financial and settlement needs) for the original family members and the new addition, the sponsor may withdraw their sponsorship application. This would result in the refusal of the PR application of the PA. Sponsors must notify ROC-O or IRCC office abroad immediately.

Procedures to add a family member

After sponsorship application received at ROC-O, the procedure for the following two scenarios depends on whether the application is with ROC-O or the IRCC office abroad.

The two scenarios are:

Scenario #1: Adding newborn biological child

If the application is at IRCC office abroad:

  1. PA or sponsor notify IRCC office abroad
  2. IRCC office abroad requests:
    1. Updated Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008] (PDF, 0.65 MB)
    2. Copy of child’s birth certificate
  3. PA or sponsor submit all requested identity and other documents
  4. When requested forms are received, IRCC office abroad will add the child to the application and send the sponsor an email informing them of the addition of the child. The sponsor is not required to respond to this email as it is for information purposes only and to help the sponsor prepare for the arrival of the family. Sponsors are automatically responsible for newborn children after the sponsorship is approved as per the Sponsorship Undertaking – Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) [IMM 5373] (PDF, 1.93 MB) - Section F (Obligations, Consents and Declarations), that you signed.

If the application is at ROC-O and sponsorship decision has not been made:

  1. Sponsor must notify ROC-O.
  2. ROC-O requests new documents to support the addition of the child to the undertaking.

No cap space is required for biological children born after the application was received at ROC-O.

Scenario #2: Adding other dependents – Spouse, adopted child or situations where you are adding a spouse and a biological child

If the application is at IRCC office abroad:

  1. The PA or sponsor should advise the IRCC office abroad of the new additions to the family as the relationship must first be verified before adding the family member to the sponsorship undertaking.
  2. IRCC office abroad will request from the PA:
    1. New Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008] (PDF, 0.65 MB)
    2. Documents (marriage certificate, adoption documents, etc.)
    3. Note that Schedule 2 [IMM 0008] (PDF, 1.91 MB) will not be requested by the IRCC office abroad.
  3. IRCC office abroad verifies that the family member meets the IRPR definition and assesses whether the relationship is genuine or not, and notifies ROC-O.
  4. If the migration officer at IRCC office abroad is not satisfied that the relationship is genuine, the additional dependants will be removed and the processing will continue the PA’s application only.
  5. If the migration officer at IRCC office abroad is satisfied that the relationship is genuine, ROC-O will request that you, the sponsor submit Request to Add Family Members to a Private Sponsorship Undertaking form [IMM 5618] (PDF, 1.61 MB) and any additional document required within 30 days (preferably via e-mail)

If the application is at ROC-O and sponsorship decision has not been made:

  1. Sponsor must notify ROC-O
  2. ROC-O requests new documents to support the addition of other dependents to the undertaking

Cap space is required for additional dependants.

Complete the form Request to Add Family Members to a Private Sponsorship undertaking form (IMM 5618) (PDF, 1.6 MB)

The sponsor must complete each of the following sections:

Section A – Principal Applicant

Type the name of the PA, including:

  • family name
  • given name(s)
  • date of birth
  • application number (G number)
Section B – New Family Members

Type the name of the new family member, including:

  • family name
  • given name(s)
  • gender
  • date of birth
  • country of birth
  • relationship to the PA
Section C – Agreement to Add Family Members

By checking the “yes” box, you agree to sponsor the additional family members listed in Section B.

By checking the “no” box, your sponsorship and the PA’s permanent residence applications will be refused.

Section D – Signatures

Sponsors who signed the sponsorship application must all sign this form.


Appendix C: Acronyms

AOR:
Acknowledgement of Receipt
BVOR:
Blended Visa Office Referred
CBSA:
Canada Border Services Agency
CCB:
Canada Child Tax Benefit
CRA:
Canada Revenue Agency
G5:
Group of Five
ID:
Identification Document
IFHP:
Interim Federal Health Program
IRCC:
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
IRPR:
Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
JAS:
Joint Assistance Sponsorship
MIFI:
Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration.
MP:
Member of Parliament
OYW:
One Year Window of Opportunity Provision
PA:
Principal applicant
PR:
Permanent residence or permanent resident
PSR:
Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program
PTSD:
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
RAP:
Resettlement Assistance Program
ROC-O:
Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa
RSD:
Refugee Status Determination
RSDD:
Refugee Status Determination document
RSTP:
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program
SIN:
Social Insurance Number
UCI:
Unique Client Identifier
UNHCR:
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNWRA:
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East

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