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If you’re interested in learning about what the refugee sponsorship process entails, we’ve compiled answers to some frequently asked questions.You are welcome to contact us with any additional questions or for more information about the refugee sponsorship process.

What types of refugee sponsorship are there?

  1. Full sponsorship: whereby the church provides both the finances and the settlement support for the full sponsorship year. If a refugee has not been assigned to resettlement to Canada via the visa office abroad, they need to undergo the refugee determination process abroad. Refugee applicant fills out application forms and church fills out Undertaking forms, which must be submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for processing.
  2. Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR): A cost-sharing program with the Canadian government. The government provides six months of settlement funds and the church provides for the other six. The church provides all the settlement support for the whole year. The refugee applicant’s information will be on a list provided by the Matching Centre. The applicant is ready to travel to Canada, pending a match with a Canadian sponsor.
    Learn more about the BVOR sponsorship process.
  3. Joint-Assistance Sponsorship (JAS): whereby the Government of Canada provides the settlement funds for the full sponsorship period and the church provides in-kind settlement support. Usually these refugees are high-needs cases. The refugee applicant’s information will be on a list provided by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Matching Centre. The applicant is ready to travel to Canada, pending a match with a Canadian sponsor.
  4. Family-linked: whereby the relatives in Canada provide the settlement funds for the full sponsorship year and the church provides in-kind settlement support. The refugee needs to undergo the refugee determination process abroad. Refugee applicant fills out application forms and church fills out Undertaking forms, which must be submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada for processing. 

What are sponsor responsibilities for full sponsorships?

  • Raise the total amount of money needed for a full year of settlement support 
  • Pay for rent, food, clothing, transportation, prescriptions, non-emergency dental procedures, etc. 
  • Meet at the airport and provide temporary housing 
  • Help to find affordable permanent housing 
  • Accessing health insurance, social insurance number, banking and other services. Refugees will become Permanent Residents upon landing in Canada and therefore are able to apply for health insurance and Social Insurance Numbers 
  • Register for English as Additional Language classes and provide guidance to the Canadian job market. There are local settlement agencies that can help with this, such as multicultural centres or YMCA
  • Orientation and budgeting of monthly expenses 
  • Friendship and emotional support  

What are sponsor responsibilities for BVOR sponsorships?

  • Raise half the amount of money needed for a full year of settlement support 
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office to receive first Resettlement Assistance Program cheque from government 
  • Help refugee(s) to report to IRCC each month about income 
  • Similar settlement supports as for full sponsorships 

What budget can be anticipated?

  • The budget can range from approximately $12,600 for an individual to approximately $32,500 for a family of six.

Does CLWR issue tax receipts for refugee sponsorship?

  • A contribution of funds to sponsor a family member through CLWR is not eligible for a charitable receipt as there is a personal benefit (private benevolence) to the contributor. These funds are refundable if the sponsorship cannot proceed.

I’m ready to sponsor a refugee! How do I begin?

  • Contact us. We’ll help your congregation set up a sponsorship committee and review refugee profiles.  
  • Work with CLWR to complete paperwork and communicate with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.  
  • Begin fundraising and make a settlement plan, designating tasks among committee members. 

For more information about refugee sponsorship, contact the CLWR refugee sponsorship team:

Fikre Tsehai – Development Manager, Refugee Resettlement
Email | Phone: 604.540.9760

Jennifer Ardon – Project Officer, Refugee Resettlement & Community Relations
Email | Phone: 519.725.8777

Senait Biadgilign – Program Assistant, Refugee Resettlement & Community Relations
Email | Phone: 604.540.9760