Sponsoring Options

In Canada, there are three ways that refugees can be privately sponsored:

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1. Sponsorship Agreement Holder

A Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) is an incorporated organizations that has signed an agreement with the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada (CIC) to resettle refugees from abroad through the Private Sponsorship of Refugee program. However, the actual sponsorship is done through one or more Constituent Groups (CGs) of the SAH.
A Constituent Group (CG) is responsible to its SAH for the resettlement of one refugee family for a period of one year after the arrival of the newcomers.  This is the most popular alternative.

There are currently two SAHs in Victoria: The Anglican Diocese of BC and the Inter-Cultural Association. In addition, some church sponsored CGs use their parent organization elsewhere in Canada as their SAH.

Useful links:

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2. Group of Five (G-5)

A Group of Five consists of five Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents who are 18 years of age or older who apply to CIC to sponsor a refugee or refugee family. All five group members must reside in the same community that the refugee will be settling in.

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3. Community Sponsor

A Community Sponsor could be any organization, association or corporation. The organization, association or corporation has not already been pre-approved by CIC, and it does not have to be incorporated. Community Sponsors can also work with co-sponsors.

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Which Option is For Me?

Most private sponsorship is conducted through SAHs by constituent groups because:

  • The SAH usually offers excellent support to its CGs
  • There is usually a CG community where GCs support each other
  • Financial contributions to the CGs are usually tax deductible
  • There is less paperwork involved when applying under a SAH
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