Sponsorship Agreement Holders – Sponsoring refugees

Information bulletins

Resettlement in Canada for privately sponsored refugees

This bulletin provides information about the next steps in the application process, and gives you more information about Canada. (Available in 11 languages)

Do you have questions about how to sponsor a refugee?

For general information about sponsoring a refugee, check out our Help Centre.

For information on how you can get involved and become a sponsor or for questions regarding the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) can help.

A number of organizations 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.

A note for privately sponsored refugees

Being a privately sponsored refugee means that a group of people in Canada have volunteered to help you adjust to life in Canada. Your sponsorship group has made a commitment to support you for one year after you arrive or until you become financially independent, whichever comes first. Your sponsor is responsible for providing you with this support. You do not need to pay your sponsor for the costs of helping you settle in Canada.

Determine your eligibility

To be eligible to become a sponsorship agreement holder (SAH), an organization must be incorporated (a legally created organization) and must sign a sponsorship agreement with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.

Apply to become a sponsorship agreement holder

If your organization is not already a SAH, you can apply to become one. Follow these steps to apply to become a SAH.

Apply to sponsor a refugee

Once you have been approved to become a SAH, you can apply to sponsor a refugee. When you sponsor a refugee, your organization must agree to give emotional and financial support to the refugee for the full sponsorship period - usually one year.

You can also authorize other groups in the community to sponsor refugees under your agreement. These groups are known as constituent groups.

Check processing times

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

After you apply: get next steps

Find out what you should do after you apply to be a SAH.

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