Each year, millions of people around the world are forced to flee their homelands to escape persecution, war or severe human rights abuses. Often these people are never able to return home.
Groups and individuals can sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada.
Sponsors are responsible for providing financial settlement assistance (except for Joint Assistance Sponsorship cases) for refugees once they arrive in Canada. Sponsors must also provide emotional and significant settlement assistance for the duration of the sponsorship period.
Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible to receive assistance from their sponsors for a longer period of time.
Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program
There are several ways that individual Canadians, permanent residents and organizations can get involved in helping refugees build a new life in Canada.
Sponsorship agreement holders and their constituent groups
A number of organizations across the country have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees from abroad when they resettle in Canada. These organizations are known as sponsorship agreement holders. They can sponsor refugees themselves or work with others in the community to sponsor refugees.
Most sponsorship agreement holders are religious, ethnic, community or service organizations.
Groups of five
A group of five is made up of five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents over the age of 18 who want to sponsor one or more refugees abroad to come to Canada and settle in their community.
The group must agree to support the refugee(s) it is sponsoring emotionally and financially for the full duration of the sponsorship-usually one year.
Some community organizations can sponsor refugees to come to Canada.
The organization must agree to support the refugee(s) it is sponsoring emotionally and financially for the full duration of the sponsorship. Community sponsorships usually last one year.
Joint Assistance Sponsorship
The Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) program enables organizations to work in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to resettle refugees with special needs.
These organizations are called sponsorship agreement holders and their constituent groups. A sponsorship agreement holder is an incorporated organization that has signed a sponsorship agreement with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.
Refugees under the JAS program receive income support from the Government of Canada. They are also matched with a private sponsorship group.
CIC provides financial assistance to cover the cost of food, shelter, clothing and essential household goods. Private sponsors provide help to refugees adjusting to life in Canada, significant settlement assistance and emotional support