Sponsorship agreement holders: How to sponsor a refugee

All SAHs must now complete an organizational assessment

Sponsorship agreement holders (SAHs) must complete and submit an organizational assessment template between September 1 and November 30, 2022. You must submit this template to be able to renew your agreement in 2023. Learn more about this assessment and get the template.

Apply to sponsor a refugee

These instructions are for Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) only. If you’re not approved already, find out how to become a SAH.

There are 3 steps to sponsor a refugee after you become a SAH.

  1. Decide who you want to sponsor
  2. Get the application package
  3. Submit your sponsorship application

Step 1. Decide who you want to sponsor

The first step when sponsoring a refugee is to decide who you want to sponsor. When you sponsor a refugee as a SAH, you’re participating in our Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program. Read our guide to the PSR program for more details about the program and the refugees you can sponsor through it.

How many refugees you can sponsor

We let SAHs sponsor a certain number of refugees each year. We call this number an allocation. We give every SAH an allocation based on several factors, including

  • experience sponsoring and settling refugees
  • past performance
If you’re a new SAH

In most cases, we’ll send you your first allocation of spaces the February after you complete the additional training requirements. All new SAHs will be allowed to sponsor 25 people total for the first 2 years of their agreement.

With the PSR program, you can sponsor refugees

Sponsor refugees you’ve identified on your own

You may want to sponsor a refugee you already know. They could be

When you choose a refugee like this, we call them “sponsor-referred refugees.”

Sponsor-referred refugees must meet the definition of a refugee under Canada’s refugee and humanitarian resettlement program.

Processing times for sponsor-referred refugees can be longer than for refugees that have been referred to us already.

Sponsor refugees who’ve been referred to us

You may prefer to sponsor refugees who’ve already been identified by a referral organization. We call these refugees “visa office-referred.”

We’ve already screened these refugees and confirmed they’re eligible for resettlement in Canada. Processing times for visa-referred refugees may be shorter.

How to find a refugee profile

If you choose to sponsor a visa office-referred refugee, you must

There are 2 programs to help you find the profile of a visa office-referred refugee:

Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program

The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program brings refugees with the greatest need to Canada. The BVOR program

  • reduces the financial burden on private sponsors
  • prioritizes the most vulnerable refugees through referral organizations
  • connects sponsors with refugees we’ve already screened and interviewed, making them ready to travel sooner

Find a refugee profile through the BVOR program.

Visa Office-Referred (VOR) program

The Visa Office-Referred (VOR) program is similar to the BVOR program but requires that sponsors take on the full costs of the sponsorship. We won’t provide any income support.

To request a profile

Contact the RSTP for more information.

2. Get the application package

The application package includes

Sign and date each form before you submit your application.

Download the application package.

For sponsor-referred refugees

Sponsor-referred refugees must complete the “principal applicant” sections of the application package.

For visa-office referred refugees

If you’ve decided to sponsor a refugee through either the BVOR or the VOR program, include a copy of their refugee profile with your application.

Since we’ve already confirmed the status of visa-office referred refugees, they don’t need to complete the “principal applicant” section of the application package.

3. Submit your sponsorship application

You can either mail or email us your complete application. Emailed applications may be processed faster.

If you send us an incomplete application, we’ll return it to you without processing it.

Find out how to send us your complete application in our application guide.

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