Apply – Sponsorship Agreement Holders

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Note: Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. Find more about refugee sponsorship in Quebec.

Apply to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder

1. Get the application package

If your organization would like to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), you can request an application by writing to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

2. Submit your application

Submit a completed application form and all the required documentation (articles of incorporation, audited financial statements, etc.) to:

Refugee Resettlement Program Delivery Unit
Integration Program Management Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
180 Kent Street, 6th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

Note: The above is an administrative address and is not open to the public. If you have questions about the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, please refer to the Help Centre or contact the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program.

Note: Quebec has its own process for sponsoring refugees. Sponsors who live in the province of Quebec should contact the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion.

Before you start the application process, you should learn about the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. Read through the application package and the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program for information you will need when applying. Read the Guide carefully as it contains valuable information, including eligibility criteria regarding who can be sponsored.

Note: If you want to sponsor a person abroad who you think is a refugee, that person must fill out an application.

There are three steps to sponsoring a refugee if you are a SAH:

1. Get the application package

Tips for completing your application:

  • Before you start, read the Instruction Guide, also known as the Refugee Sponsorship Application Guide (IMM 5413). It contains the information you need to know about your application before sending it to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as well as instructions on how to fill out the forms and the required supporting documents.
  • Gather all of the necessary documents. They are listed in the document checklist.
  • Photocopy the blank forms and use one as a working copy. Keep the working copy for your records.
  • Fill in the forms carefully and completely. Many of the forms can be completed on your computer and saved. Print the forms after you fill them out. If you are filling out the forms by hand, print clearly—in black ink. Sign and date your forms.
  • Keep a copy of all forms submitted for your records.
  • Complete all of the forms.

    Download and print the application package.

    The package contains:

    • Undertaking/Application to Sponsor (IMM 5373)
    • Sponsor Assessment (IMM 5492) – This form must be filled out by a representative of the SAH (unless it is already on file with IRCC from a previous sponsorship), the constituent group representative, if applicable, and a representative of any co sponsors, if applicable.
    • Settlement plan (IMM 5440) - This form must be completed and signed if the SAHs and their Constituent Groups signed an agreement with the Minister less than two years ago.
    • Document Checklist (IMM 5437).

      Optional:

    • Request for a Refugee Profile (IMM 5438) - You must complete this form if you want to request a refugee profile. See the section below for more information
    • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) - You must complete this form if you want to use a representative or an agent to help you apply. Using a representative is a personal choice.
  • Have the refugees you are applying to sponsor complete the Application for Convention Refugees Abroad and Humanitarian-Protected Persons Abroad, unless you are submitting a request for a refugee profile. If you are applying to sponsor a refugee through the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program, you do not need to complete this form.

2. Decide if you want to request a refugee profile

In some cases, a SAH or constituent group may want to sponsor a specific refugee or refugee family, such as a friend, a member of a family in the community or a refugee referred by an overseas contact. This is known as a “sponsor-referred refugee.”

Sponsor-referred refugees must qualify under Canada’s refugee and humanitarian resettlement program. Visa officers abroad will assess the application to determine whether the applicant qualifies. This assessment may include an interview with the applicant.

In other cases, the SAH may request a “visa office-referred refugee.” These refugees are eligible and have already been selected by a visa officer abroad, but require a private sponsor before they can come to Canada.

You can sponsor a visa office-referred refugee through either of the following two programs.

Blended Visa Office-Referred Program

If you select a refugee through the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program, the Government of Canada will provide up to six months of income support to help you sponsor a refugee recognized by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The Blended VOR Program is only available to SAHs.

For a list of populations SAHs can select from, please contact the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program.

To choose a Blended VOR refugee to sponsor, the SAH can review refugee profiles on a secure website. SAHs should review the profiles carefully to ensure their sponsoring group and community will be able to meet the needs of the refugee(s).

If a profile indicates the refugee has existing family or friends in Canada, it is recommended that only sponsoring groups in that community sponsor the case. Some other things to look for in a profile include:

  • Is the refugee(s) from an ethnocultural background that is already established in your community?
  • Is there reasonably priced housing to accommodate the family size?
  • Does your community have the necessary support services such as medical facilities, trauma counseling, language training, etc.?
  • Are there employment opportunities in your community?

When a sponsor is interested in a profile, they can contact IRCC’s Matching Centre for additional information on the case. They should copy the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program on the e-mail and include the following information:

  • sponsoring group name
  • contact information (including contact name and telephone number)
  • profile number(s) of interest

If a group then decides to sponsor a Blended VOR refugee, they should let IRCC’s Matching Centre and the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program know. The Matching Centre will give the sponsor the necessary information to fill out the Undertaking/Application to Sponsor (IMM 5373).

In the event that cases are not sponsored after being posted on the website, they will be referred back to the visa office for further processing.

Other Visa Office-Referred Program

Sponsoring groups are still able to sponsor Visa Office-Referred (VOR) refugees from populations other than those identified under the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program; however, the Government of Canada does not provide income support to assist with these sponsorships.

To request a refugee profile for a regular VOR refugee, the sponsoring group can submit a Request for a Refugee Profile (IMM 5438) by e-mail to IRCC’s Matching Centre.

In the event that no VOR cases are available to match the Request for a Refugee Profile (IMM 5438), the Matching Centre will notify the requesting SAH that there may be a waiting period until a case is available or will discuss the option of sponsoring a case through the Blended VOR Program, if possible.

Sponsoring groups should be aware that IRCC is focusing its efforts on the Blended VOR Program. As such, it will be more difficult to find a suitable VOR case outside of that program particularly if the profile request is very specific. Requests for VOR cases that fall outside populations where Canada is resettling Government-assisted refugees will not be able to be matched.

If the visa office does locate a potential match, they will submit the case to IRCC’s Matching Centre which will create a VOR profile and send it to the potential sponsor.

SAHs should review the profile carefully to ensure their sponsoring group and community will be able to meet the needs of the refugee(s). If a profile indicates existing family or friends in Canada, it is recommended that only sponsoring groups in that community sponsor the case. Some other things to look for in a profile include:

  • Is the refugee(s) from an ethnocultural background that is already established in your community?
  • Is there reasonably priced housing to accommodate the family size?
  • Does your community have the necessary support services such as medical facilities, trauma counseling, language training, etc.?
  • Are there employment opportunities in your community?

If a group decides to sponsor a regular VOR refugee, they should let IRCC’s Matching Centre and the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program know. The Matching Centre will give the SAH the necessary information to fill out the Undertaking/Application to Sponsor (IMM 5373).

If the sponsoring group decides not to sponsor the refugee, the case will be referred back to the visa office for further processing.

More information for both options is available in the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

In order to request a refugee profile, fill out the form Request for a Refugee Profile IMM 5438.

3. Submit your application

Use the document checklist to ensure that you have included everything you need. Make sure that you sign and date your forms. If you have a refugee profile from IRCC’s Matching Centre, please include a copy with your application. On the Undertaking to Sponsor form, check the box on page 3, section E.

Enclose all of the required documents in an envelope and mail them to:

Centralized Processing Office - Winnipeg (CPO-W)
269 Main Street, Suite 400 New
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 1B2

Make sure you provide your complete return mailing address.

Your application will not be processed and will be returned to the person or group that submitted it if it is incomplete.

Remember, it is your responsibility to keep your application up-to-date.

Once your application has been mailed, you are advised to send an email to the Centralized Processing Office – Winnipeg to inform them that the application has been sent.

 
 
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