Sponsoring and Assisting Refugees

Information for Canadians interested in sponsoring or assisting refugees to resettle in Canada

The Syrian refugee crisis has opened the hearts of Canadians across the country. In the last few months, my offices have been flooded with calls from folks would like to do their part to help out.

Click here for answers to frequently asked questions about private refugee sponsorship in Canada.

Canada's private refugee sponsorship programs help thousands of refugees every year. You or your group can sponsor refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada. As a sponsor, you provide financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This includes help for housing, clothing and food. Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible for assistance from their sponsors for up to three years.

Refugees must qualify for entry under Canada’s laws and must pass medical and security checks before they can come to Canada.

For answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about private refugee sponsorship, please click here or download the full guide in PDF format here.

If you have questions about the government's refugee resettlment plan or would like to get involved, check out the government's new website here.

Sponsoring Refugees

These are the main types of private refugee sponsorship in Canada.

  • Sponsorship Agreement Holders
    A number of groups across the country have signed agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees from abroad when they resettle in Canada. They are known as sponsorship agreement holders.
  • Blended Visa Office-Referred Program
    The Blended Visa Office-Referred (VOR) Program matches refugees identified for resettlement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) with private sponsors in Canada.
  • Groups of five
    group of five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents over the age of 18 can sponsor one or more refugees to come to Canada and settle in their area.
  • Community sponsors
    Some community groups can sponsor refugees to come to Canada.
  • Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program
    Organizations can work as partners with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to resettle refugees with special needs.

Assisting Local Refugees

The Immigrant Servicies Society of BC is coordinating the resettlement effort in our community.

You can visit their website for helpful information about how you can volunteer, offer housing, provide employment opportunities, and donate financially or materially.

You can also call the ISS of BC's local office at 778-383-1438