Sponsorship Agreement Holders: How to sponsor a refugee
Apply to sponsor a refugee
There are 3 steps to sponsor a refugee after you become a SAH.
- Decide who you want to sponsor
- Get the application package
- 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
In most cases, we’ll send you your first allocation of spaces for 25 people the February after you complete the additional training requirements. We allocate the same number of sponsorship spaces to all new SAHs.
With the PSR program, you can sponsor refugees
- you’ve identified on your own
- who’ve been referred to us by an organization
Sponsor refugees you’ve identified on your own
You may want to sponsor a refugee you already know. They could be
- members of a family in your community
- refugees identified by an overseas contact
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
- find the profile of the refugee you’d like to sponsor
- include the profile with your sponsorship application
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
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
- fill out a Request for a Refugee Profile (IMM 5438) (PDF, 572.45 KB)
- email the completed form to the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) at firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Get the application package
The application package includes
- an instruction guide
- the forms you need to fill out
Sign and date each form before you submit your application.
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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