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. Apply online using the permanent residence portal
  3. Submit your 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. You can do this through the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program, which brings refugees with the greatest need to Canada. It also:

Learn how to sponsor a refugee through the BVOR program.

Apply online using the permanent residence portal

Your organization needs to apply online using the Permanent Residence Portal (opens in a new tab) .

The person who starts the online application will be considered the “primary sponsor” in the portal.

Read the instruction guide for details on

If you’re a paid representative for a sponsor

You can start an application in the representative PR portal (opens in a new tab) for your client. You’ll need to invite them to join your application.

If you’re a paid representative for a refugee
If you’re an unpaid representative for a refugee

1. Complete your forms and gather your documents

Documents for the sponsor

PDF forms you’ll download and fill out

Forms and documents depend on the SAH’s assigned risk management plan.

Plan A, B and C:

Plan A only:

Plan C only:

Additional application forms you might need

Supporting documents you need to upload

If you’re the CG Signing Authority, organizational co-sponsor’s Signing Authority, or an individual co-sponsor:

  • proof of Canadian citizenship, Indian status or permanent residence status
Documents for the person (refugee) being sponsored

Forms you’ll fill out directly in the portal

  • Generic Application Form for Canada [IMM 0008]
  • Schedule A – Background/Declaration [IMM 5669]

PDF forms you’ll download and fill out

Supporting documents you need to upload

  • 1 photo of you and each of your family members
  • ID documents for you and each of your family members
  • any other supporting documents
    • Examples include civil documents, diplomas, membership cards and military documents.
If you want to use an immigration representative

If you’re an authorized paid representative, find out how you can create an account and submit applications on behalf of your clients.

If you want to appoint someone to do business with IRCC on your behalf, you must

An immigration representative (an immigration consultant or lawyer) can give you advice and help you with your application for a fee, but they can’t

  • open a portal account on your behalf
  • electronically sign the application for you
  • sign in to the portal using your username and password

A representative can fill out forms and submit the application on your behalf through their own account. They can also

  • help you prepare the supporting documents you need to upload
  • answer questions about the forms

After you read the declaration, you must be the one who types your name. This is the legal requirement for your application to be considered “signed” according to Canada’s immigration law.

If you want to apply on paper

You’ll need to download and print the forms and documents you need. Check the guide for where and how to mail your application.

If you’re having technical issues

If you’re having technical issues applying, contact us using the web form.

  • Under type of application/enquiry, choose technical difficulties from the drop-down menu
  • Upload screenshots from your account that show us
    • the page where you’re having problems
    • the error message(s) you get

If you need to upload a number of documents, find out how to combine them into 1 document.

Submit your application

Before you submit your application, make sure you:

If you submit an incomplete application, we won’t review it. We’ll send you an email explaining what needs to be added or fixed.

Once you’ve completed and resubmitted your application, we’ll review it.

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