Community sponsors: How to apply

Before you apply to be a community sponsor, you need to decide who you’d like to sponsor. There are 2 options.

Option 1: Sponsor a refugee you know

This could be a:

  • family member
  • friend
  • refugee identified by someone else

These sponsor-referred refugees must qualify under Canada’s refugee and humanitarian resettlement program.

If they qualify:

  1. Your group and the refugee fill out an application.
  2. You submit a refugee status determination document from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or foreign state that confirms the person you want to sponsor is recognized as a refugee.
  3. Officers abroad will assess the application to decide whether the person you want to sponsor qualifies.

Option 2: Sponsor a refugee who is already approved to come to Canada

If you want to sponsor but don’t know a refugee personally, you can do so through the Blended Visa Office-Referred program (BVOR). It matches sponsors with refugees in need of protection.

Refugees who come through the BVOR program are:

  • already eligible
  • have already had their application approved by us
  • just need a private sponsor before they can come to Canada

Learn how to sponsor a refugee through the BVOR program.

Apply online using the permanent residence portal

You can now apply online using the Permanent Residence Portal (opens in a new tab) .

The signing authority of the community organization needs to be designated as the “primary sponsor” in the portal.

Read the instruction guide for details on

  • how to complete all the forms for your application
  • what documents you need to include
If you’re a paid representative for a sponsor

You can start an application in the Representative Permanent Residence 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

Additional application forms you might need

Supporting documents you need to upload

  • proof of Canadian citizenship, Indian status or permanent residence status for each sponsor
  • a criminal record check for each sponsor
  • proof your group has enough money to support the refugee
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
  • Refugee Status Determination (RSD) document
  • 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
  • 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

  • answer all questions on the forms
  • have the refugee sign the application
  • upload all the supporting documents

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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