Sponsorship agreement holders: About the program


All SAHs must now complete an organizational assessment

Sponsorship agreement holders (SAHs) must complete and submit an organizational assessment template. The checklist, guide and template are only available during the assessment window. This happens every 5 years, starting in 2022. You must submit this template to be able to renew your agreement. Learn more about this assessment.

Becoming a Sponsorship Agreement Holder

We sign sponsorship agreements with organizations that help refugees resettle in Canada. We call these organizations Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs).

They’re often religious, ethnic, community or humanitarian organizations. 

SAHs support refugees they sponsor either

  • on their own
  • by working with other groups or individuals, called “constituent groups” (CGs) or “co-sponsors”

When you can apply

 May 30 to September 1, 2023

We only accepted applications during this period.

We’ll update this page with the dates for the 2024 application window when they’re available.

When working with CGs or co-sponsors, SAHs

  • decide how the relationship should work and what criteria CGs and co-sponsors need to meet
  • must monitor the performance of CGs and co-sponsors and their sponsorship activities

SAHs are ultimately responsible for each refugee sponsored under their agreement.

SAHs have a number of financial and legal responsibilities. They must

  • be based in, or have representatives in, the community where they resettle refugees
  • oversee all sponsorships under their agreement, even if CGs or co-sponsors are participating
  • ensure the refugees they sponsor have what they need to live safely and independently in Canada
  • participate in ongoing training to stay up to date on program requirements

Read the full list of SAH responsibilities.

In their first agreement, new SAHs will

Understanding the sponsorship agreement

The sponsorship agreement outlines what you’re committing to when your organization becomes a SAH. Some of these commitments include

  • financially supporting refugees during their sponsorship
  • providing settlement services to sponsored refugees, including helping them adjust to life in their new community
  • overseeing any co-sponsors, CGs or volunteers you choose to work with

You can read the current version of the sponsorship agreement (PDF, 610 KB) before joining the program.

To get the sponsorship agreement in another format, email us at IRCC.RASOPSR-PPPROSRA.IRCC@cic.gc.ca

Make sure you understand your responsibilities as a SAH. Your agreement could be impacted if you don’t meet your responsibilities.

Being an effective sponsorship agreement holder

Not all organizations have the resources and support network they need to become SAHs. Make sure you have everything you need to be an effective SAH before you apply.

We assess and monitor sponsorship groups, including SAHs, regularly to make sure you’re fully supporting the refugees you’re sponsoring. This includes occasionally checking in with the refugees you’re sponsoring.

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