Resettlement in Canada for refugees under the blended visa-office referred (BVOR) program
This bulletin provides information about the next steps in the application process, and gives you more information about Canada. Available in 7 languages.
Saving family No.417: the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program in action
A mother and her three children, had no idea a group of strangers in Peterborough, Ontario had chosen to sponsor her family through the BVOR program.
As of September 25, 2015, all private sponsors (Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH), Groups of Five (G5) and Community Sponsors (CS)) are able to sponsor a Syrian refugee under the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program.
Before you apply, you should read the application material that relates to the type of sponsor you are (i.e., SAH, G5 or CS) to ensure that you qualify to be a sponsor and to understand your responsibilities as a sponsor. You should also read the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program for information you will need when applying.
Note: The process for sponsoring refugees in Quebec is different. Sponsors who live in Quebec should contact the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion.
Identifying a Syrian refugee to sponsor
Step 1: Canada’s overseas mission conducts an initial review of the files for Syrian refugees provided by the United Nations Refugee Agency to identify potential cases for sponsorship under the BVOR program.
Step 2: Case information is provided to the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) in Canada to be shared with potential sponsors.
If you are a Sponsorship Agreement Holder
Step 3: If you are a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, the RSTP will provide you with information about the refugee and his/her family so that you can determine whether to proceed with a sponsorship. For cases in which an interview has not yet occurred, the RSTP will subsequently provide additional information about the refugee, after the interview has been conducted. If no SAH expresses an interest in considering a case within 14 calendar days, the case will be returned to the mission to be processed under the Government-Assisted Refugees Program.
Step 4: If a SAH is interested in a Syrian refugee case, they would notify the RSTP and the case would be reserved/placed on hold for them. Cases for which a sponsor has expressed an interest are prioritized so that the overseas interview with the refugee(s) occurs as soon as possible.
Step 5: The SAH has 30 calendar days to submit a sponsorship application to the Centralized Processing Office in Winnipeg.
If you are a Group of Five or Community Sponsor
Step 3: If you are interested in sponsoring a Syrian refugee as a Group of five or as a Community Sponsor, you will need to submit a Request for a Refugee Profile (IMM 5438) by e-mail to the RSTP at BVOR@rstp.ca.
Step 4: The RSTP will provide you, as a potential sponsor, with information on Syrian refugee cases that may be available for sponsorship.
Step 5: Potential G5 or Community Sponsors have 14 calendar days to advise RSTP if they are interested in sponsoring a case. Cases for which a sponsor has potentially been identified are prioritized so that the overseas interview with the refugee(s) occurs as soon as possible.
If applicable, following the interview by a visa officer, the RSTP provides additional information to the potential sponsoring group to help them decide if they wish to proceed and help them finalize the application. The sponsoring group has 24 hours to confirm to the RSTP that they wish to proceed with the sponsorship.
If the decision is to proceed, the sponsor must submit the sponsorship application by the cut-off date (i.e., within the 30-day deadline which began when the sponsor first indicated interest in sponsoring the case). Sponsors do not need to complete the Generic Application Form for Canada (IMM 0008) and accompanying schedules since this information is already on file with the mission overseas for these cases.
If the sponsorship is not confirmed, the refugee’s case will be processed as a government-assisted refugee.
Top questions about Blended Visa Office-Referred Program
- How does the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program work?
- How is the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program different from the regular Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program?
- Can refugees be referred to the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program by sponsoring groups?
- See all questions about this topic
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