Groups of Five – Sponsoring refugees

The temporary public policy for Groups of Five and Community Sponsors interested in sponsoring a Syrian or Iraqi refugee in 2017 is closed. Learn more.

Information for privately sponsored refugees

Learn more about Canada and the next steps in the application process. (Available in 11 languages)

A Group of Five (G5) is five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have arranged to sponsor a refugee living abroad to come to Canada.

G5s may only sponsor applicants who are recognized as refugees by either the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a foreign state. The principal applicant MUST already have refugee status. Having refugee status means that an authorized body has found that an individual meets its refugee definition. This authorized body can either be the UNHCR or the government of the country (i.e., foreign state) where the refugee is now living.

You must include the document proving recognized refugee status with the refugee sponsorship application you submit.

For more information, see the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

Determine your eligibility

Find out if you are eligible to sponsor a refugee as a Group of Five.


Find out more about the steps to apply to sponsor a refugee as a Group of Five.

Check processing times

Find out how long it will take us to process your application.

After you apply: get next steps

Find out what you should do after you apply to sponsor a refugee.

Are you in Quebec?

Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. For sponsors in Quebec, visit refugee sponsorship in Quebec.

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