Refugee sponsorship group responsibilities

Sponsorship groups in the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program have a number of responsibilities they must meet.

On this page, we list

General responsibilities

All sponsorship groups have the following responsibilities:

  1. Meet and follow all acts and regulations about eligibility and applying to sponsor a refugee that are set out in
    1. the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
    2. the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations

    For help understanding the acts and regulations and how they affect your sponsorship group, review the sponsorship application guide for:

  2. Support the refugees they’re sponsoring for the entire sponsorship period listed in the sponsorship undertaking form.
    1. This support can only stop if we declare a sponsorship breakdown.
    2. If a refugee can support themselves financially, the sponsorship group:
      • can stop providing financial support
      • must still help them settle and integrate during the sponsorship period
      • must restart financial support if the refugees stop being able to support themselves during the sponsorship period

    Post-arrival requirements for private sponsorships

    We’ve released a guide that explains how sponsors are expected to provide support to resettled refugees once they arrive in Canada.

    The guide for private sponsorships:

    • consolidates and clarifies existing requirements found in other forms and guides
    • includes the answers to common financial questions from the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program
    • addresses gaps in areas such as timelines for providing support

    The post arrival requirements focus on what support sponsors need to prove and when.

  3. Meet the responsibilities listed in the sponsorship undertaking form, including:
    1. meeting the refugee when they arrive in their new community
    2. finding housing for them
    3. setting up their new home with basic furniture and other household essentials
    4. giving them food, clothing and other basic necessities
    5. covering the cost of local transportation
    6. helping them feel welcome in their new community
    7. making sure they know about the service providers in their community that can help them
      1. learn English or French
      2. find a job
      3. find out about other community services they can use

Responsibilities that apply only to SAHs

Along with the sponsorship undertaking form, SAHs also sign a sponsorship agreement with the minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. SAHs must meet the general responsibilities above as well as the ones below.

  1. Manage, submit and track all of their sponsorship applications.
  2. Have space within their yearly sponsorship allocation (the number of refugees they’re allowed to sponsor each year) to submit a sponsorship application.
  3. Make sure the person they want to sponsor meets the definition of a convention refugee or country of asylum refugee before applying to sponsor them.
  4. Live or have representatives who live in the community the refugees will settle in (residency requirements of sponsoring).
  5. List all the refugee’s family members in the application, even if those family members aren’t coming to Canada.
  6. Create a settlement plan for each refugee they sponsor.
  7. Make sure everyone (including the refugee they apply to sponsor) knows if the sponsorship application is returned or refused.
  8. Have enough resources and knowledge to meet all their responsibilities.
  9. Meet their responsibilities for each person listed on the sponsorship undertaking.
  10. Monitor and encourage the refugee to
    1. use the settlement services available to them
    2. stay in the community (where the refugee has support and other services available to them)
  11. Understand and follow all of the added responsibilities if they’re sponsoring through a special program (like the Joint Assistance Sponsorship program).
  12. Screen all volunteers and staff who work with the refugees they sponsor.
  13. Let us know about any problems that could lead to a sponsorship breakdown and work with us to solve the problems as quickly as possible.
  14. Report to us each year on
    1. any change in their organization’s governance or structure (including changes to the board of directors, treasurer, or similar)
    2. the past year’s sponsorship activities and any activities planned for the coming year
  15. Report to us right away if there are any changes to their signing authority.
    1. Signing authorities must be eligible to be part of a sponsorship and may need to go through background screening.
  16. Not submit sponsorship applications as a community sponsor or group of five.
    1. Individual SAH representatives can participate in group of five sponsorships as a personal commitment only if it won’t impact their involvement with the SAH or its commitments and responsibilities.
  17. Renew their agreement before it expires, to continue sponsoring as a SAH.

When working with a constituent group or co-sponsor

SAHs can choose to work with a constituent group or co-sponsor on a sponsorship undertaking. In this case, they must

  1. make sure that the constituent groups and co-sponsors they work with have the resources and knowledge needed to meet their responsibilities
  2. help organize and give advice, information and support to the constituent groups and co-sponsors they work with
  3. monitor the constituent groups and co-sponsors to make sure they’re meeting their commitment and responsibilities

If the constituent group or co-sponsor a SAH is working with isn’t meeting their responsibilities, the SAH is still responsible for those sponsorship undertakings. It must find another way to support those refugees and meet its agreement responsibilities.

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