Apply – Sponsorship Agreement Holders

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

Step one - Apply to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder

1. Get the application package

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

2. Submit your application

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

Resettlement Services Unit
International Network
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
180 Kent Street, 6th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

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

3. If you are approved as a SAH

If you are approved as a SAH, apply to sponsor a refugee.

Before you apply, learn about the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. Read the application package and the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program for information you will need when you apply. Read the guide carefully. It explains who you can sponsor.

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 once you are a SAH:

1. Decide if you want to request a refugee profile

In some cases, you may want to sponsor a specific refugee or refugee family, such as a:

  • friend,
  • member of a family in your community, or
  • refugee identified 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. Both you and the refugee must fill out an application. After you apply, visa officers abroad will assess the application to decide whether the person you want to sponsor qualifies. This may include an interview.

In other cases, you may ask for a “visa office-referred refugee.” These refugees are eligible and have already been chosen by a visa officer abroad. They just need a private sponsor before they can come to Canada.

You can sponsor a visa office-referred refugee through either the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program, or the visa office-referred (VOR) program.

Blended Visa Office-Referred Program

To choose a BVOR refugee to sponsor, you can review refugee profiles on a secure website. Review the profiles carefully to make sure your sponsoring group and community will be able to meet the needs of the refugee(s).

For a list of populations you can choose from, contact the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program.

If you choose a refugee through the BVOR program, the Government of Canada will share the costs of the sponsorship with you. We will provide up to six months of income support to help you sponsor a refugee recognized by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Only SAHs can apply for the BVOR Program.

If a profile shows the refugee has family or friends in Canada, it is best that only sponsoring groups in that community sponsor the case. Other things to look for in a profile are:

  • Are other members of the refugee(s) ethnocultural background already living in your community?
  • Is there fairly priced housing that will fit with the family size?
  • Does your community have the support services needed such as:
    • medical facilities,
    • trauma counseling,
    • language training, etc.
  • Are there jobs in your community?

When you find a refugee profile, contact IRCC’s Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O) for more information on the case. Copy the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program on the email and include:

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

After you review the profile, your group can then decide if you want to sponsor the refugee. If you do, let IRCC’s ROC-O and the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program know. The ROC-O will give you the information you need to fill out the Undertaking/Application to Sponsor (IMM 5373)(PDF, 1.16 MB).

Any cases not sponsored after being posted on the website will be referred back to the visa office for resettlement as a government-assisted refugee.

Other Visa Office-Referred Program

If you choose to sponsor a refugee that is not a BVOR, you will have to take on the full costs of the sponsorship. The Government of Canada will not provide any income support.

To ask for a profile for a refugee referred by a visa office, e-mail a Request for a Refugee Profile (IMM 5438) (PDF, 572.45 KB) to IRCC’s Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O).

If there are no cases available to match your Request for a Refugee Profile (IMM 5438), the ROC-O will tell you that there may be a waiting period until a case is available. They will discuss the option of sponsoring a case through the BVOR Program.

Note that we are currently focusing our efforts on the BVOR Program. We may not be able to find a VOR case outside of that program. Also, VOR match requests must be in cities where Canada is resettling government-assisted refugees.

If the visa office finds a potential match, they will submit the case to IRCC’s ROC-O. The ROC-O will create a VOR profile and send it to you.

You should review the profile carefully to make sure your sponsoring group and community will be able to meet the needs of the refugee(s). If a profile shows that there are 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 are:

  • Are other members of the refugee(s) ethnocultural background already living in your community?
  • Is there reasonably priced housing that will fit with the family size?
  • Does your community have the support services needed such as:
    • medical facilities,
    • trauma counseling,
    • language training, etc.
  • Are there jobs in your community?

If your group decides to sponsor a regular VOR refugee, let IRCC’s ROC-O and the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program know. The ROC-O will give you the information you need to fill out the Undertaking/Application to Sponsor (IMM 5373)(PDF, 1.16 MB).

If your 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.

2. Get the application package

The package includes the application guide and all of the forms you need to fill out.

Download and print the application package.

Tips for completing your application:

  • Before you start, read the Refugee Sponsorship Application Guide (IMM 5413). It has the information you need to know about your application before you send it to us. It also has instructions on how to fill out the forms.
  • Gather all of the documents you need. 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 all of the forms carefully and completely. You can complete and save many of the forms on your computer. 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 for your records of all the forms you submit.
  • Complete all of the forms:
    • 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 only if you want to ask for a refugee profile. See the section above for more information
      • Use of a Representative (IMM 5476) (PDF, 648.31 KB) - 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.
  • The refugees you are applying to sponsor must complete the Application for Convention Refugees Abroad and Humanitarian-Protected Persons Abroad. If you are applying to sponsor a refugee through the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program, you do not need to complete this form. You also do not need to complete this form if you are asking for a refugee profile.

3. Submit your application

Use the document checklist (PDF, 655.92 KB) to make sure that you have included everything you need. Sign and date your forms. If you have a refugee profile from ROC-O, include a copy with your application. On the Undertaking to Sponsor form, check the box on page 3, section E.

Mail all of the required documents to:

Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O) New
365 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1L1

We've changed our address

Starting April 1, 2017, all Privately Sponsored Refugee (PSR) applications should be mailed to the address listed above.

Make sure you give us your complete return mailing address.

If your application is not complete, we will not process it. We will return it to you.

It is up to you to keep your application up-to-date.

Once you mail your application ,you should email the Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O) to tell them that you sent the application.

Date Modified: