How privately sponsoring a refugee works

Video: A Refugee’s Resettlement Journey to Canada


Find out what it’s like to resettle to Canada.

This video is also available in HD on YouTube.

The Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program lets private groups sponsor eligible refugees abroad. As the private sponsor, you’ll support a refugee for the sponsorship period, usually up to 1 year. The support you provide will include

  • start-up costs, such as furniture and clothing
  • on-going monthly costs for basic necessities, including housing, food, and public transportation
  • supporting refugees socially and emotionally

Groups that can sponsor refugees

You can’t sponsor a refugee on your own. You must be part of one of the following groups in Canada:

  • Sponsorship agreement holders (SAH) sign agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees when they come to Canada
    • Constituent Groups are groups who work with SAHs to sponsor refugees under the SAH’s agreement
  • Groups of Five are groups of 5 or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who sponsor refugees to settle in their communities
  • Community Sponsors are organizations, associations or corporations that sponsor refugees

Assessing refugee sponsorship groups

We assess and monitor all refugee sponsorship groups to make sure they meet their responsibilities. Find out how we assess groups and how SAHs assess themselves.

Refugee sponsors in Quebec

Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. Learn how to sponsor a refugee in Quebec.

Decide which refugees to sponsor

There are different ways to sponsor a refugee depending on how you choose them.

Choose from a list of refugees we’ve already approved to come to Canada

The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program helps your group sponsor refugees who are most in need while lowering the costs of sponsorship.

The BVOR program has 3 main benefits:

  • 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

Learn more

The Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) Program helps your group sponsor refugees with special needs.

Only SAHs and their Constituent Groups are eligible to sponsor through the JAS program.

With the JAS program

  • sponsors must support refugees for up to 24 months
  • the Government of Canada provides financial assistance

Sponsor a refugee you know

You can sponsor a specific refugee or refugee family. The person your group wants to sponsor must be eligible under the PSR program.

If you choose to sponsor a refugee you know

  • the processing time may be longer than if you sponsor a refugee we’ve already reviewed
  • you won’t get financial assistance from the Government of Canada

The process depends on the type of sponsorship group you are:

How we process sponsorship applications

When we process applications to resettle a privately sponsored refugee, we review the:

  1. sponsor’s application
  2. refugee’s application

Find out more about how the process works.


What kinds of fraud should newcomers watch out for?

Page details

Date modified: