How to privately sponsor refugees from abroad?

The Canadian government allows private groups to sponsor refugees from abroad, and take personal responsibility for their living expenses and settlement services for at least 1 year. This program is also called the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program.

Some private groups can sponsor eligible refugees they know or are from extended families that live outside of their home countries.

Refugees can be privately sponsored for resettlement in Canada in one of the following four ways:

  1. Through Sponsorship Agreement Holders (S.A.H)
  2. Through Group of Five or G5
  3. Through Community Sponsors
  4. Through Blended Visa Office-Referred (B.V.O.R) Program

1.     Sponsorship Agreement Holders (S.A.H):

These organizations have signed sponsorship agreements with the IRCC to sponsor a specific number of refugees every year. These organizations can directly sponsor refugees from abroad or work with other organizations in the community to resettle refugees in Canada.

Sponsorship Agreement Holders (S.A.H) can sponsor any refugees whether they have a refugee status determination certificate or not. A complete list of all S.A.H in Canada is available on the following link: http://bit.ly/3BMEO9s

2.     Group of Five Sponsorship, also known as G5 Sponsorship Application:

This is a group of five Canadians or permanent residents who want to sponsor refugees from abroad. G5 can only sponsor those refugees who are already recognized as refugees by either the UNHCR or the government of that country and have received the Refugee Status Determination Certificate. In rare cases, the IRCC can cancel the refugee status determination certificate requirements and allow G5 to sponsor asylum seekers who are registered with the U.N.H.C.R or the government of the country where they live without any refugee status document.

3.     Community Sponsors

Community sponsors can be organizations, associations, corporations, mosques, churches, or just any group of community members who want to sponsor refugees to Canada. These organizations do not necessarily need to be incorporated under federal/provincial law. Community sponsors can only sponsor those refugees who are already recognized as refugees by either UNHCR or the government of that country and have received the Refugee Status Determination Certificate. In rare cases, the IRCC can cancel the requirements of the refugee status determination certificate and allow community sponsors to sponsor persons who are registered with the U.N.H.C.R or the government of the country where they live without having this status document.

4.     Blended Visa Office-Referred (B.V.O.R) Program

Under this program, any of the previously mentioned sponsors (S.A.H, G5 and community sponsors) can sponsor refugees from abroad. However, under this program, they can only sponsor those people who are screened and profiled by U.N.H.C.R and are ready for sponsorship. To sponsor refugees under this program you will be matched by the visa officer with refugees. If you were happy with the match, then you have only 7 days to submit your sponsorship application for their resettlement in Canada.

How to write a Refugee Story or Narrative of Events?

Though the government of Canada has slightly different requirements for submitting a refugee story or narrative of events for different refugee applications, generally speaking following format will satisfy 99% of the government requirements in most cases.

Please provide the following information in your narrative of events or story that you need to submit in your application:

1: Background Information

Please provide brief background information regarding yourself, your family, place of birth, environment, upbringing, etc.

Example: My name is XYZ, and I am a citizen of XYZ and no other country. I was born in an XYZ family, etc.

2: Please describe in as much detail as possible the specific events which led you to flee your home country. Include your response to the following questions:

Explain in detail:

What happened to you and your family.

When harm or mistreatment or threats occurred.

Who do you think caused the harm or mistreatment or threats?

What do you think was the reason for the harm or mistreatment or threats that occurred?

Whether persons in situations similar to yours experienced such harm, mistreatment, or threats.

(Indicate dates, names, and places, wherever possible.)

3: Describe in chronological order when exactly you left your home and what route you took. Explain in detail; transportation, airline, flight number, dates, who paid/helped you, stops/layovers, passports used, dates of entries/exits, etc.

4: Did you ask any authorities such as the police, or any other organization, in your country to protect or assist you?

Yes or No

If “NO” explain in detail, why not.

If “YES” explain in detail: Whom you approached for help; What steps, you took; and What happened as a result.

(Indicate dates, names, and places, wherever possible.)

5: Did you move to another part of your country to seek safety?

Yes or No

If “NO” explain in detail, why not:

If “YES” explain in detail: Why you left the place that you moved to; and why you could not live there, or some other place in another part of your country, today.

6: Why did you leave at that time and not sooner, or at a later time?

7: Since arriving in your current country of residence, have you returned to your country of origin? Explain in detail.

8: Current condition of your living. Do you have basic human rights? Give details about your residence, clothing, food, work, education etc.

9: Are you able to return to your home country? If not, why? Explain in detail.

10: Are you able to permanently settle in some other countries? If not, why? Explain in detail.

11: Give any other details that you think are important for your claim for refugee protection.

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