How to sponsor a refugee to Canada – the BVOR (Blended Visa Office-Referred) program
These are the kinds of refugees in the BVOR program who need sponsors:
A single mother with two daughters, currently living in Ethiopia. She has limited education, language and work experience. Both of her daughters have English language knowledge which will help the family to establish fairly quickly. The family has no medical needs and no relatives in Canada. They cannot return to their country of origin due to safety and security concerns. The family will benefit from sponsor assistance in the community of settlement.
A Congolese woman-at-risk with one child, has experience selling items. She is seeking a better life and would appreciate the assistance of a sponsor during her resettlement in Canada. She has relatives in SK and would like to resettle close to them. Her 26-year-old nephew is a linked case. They should resettle together.
A Syrian man, his wife and four young children are looking for sponsors. They have limited education and English language ability. He has experience as a barber in his home country and currently works as a porter. He is a survivor of violence and trauma and cannot return to his country of origin due to safety and security concerns.
The BVOR program is designed to resettle refugees identified by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) who have been referred to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
The BVOR program is a “blended” program because it is a cost-sharing arrangement whereby IRCC and private sponsors contribute financially to support the refugees. Private sponsors are also responsible for providing settlement support to the refugees for the whole length of sponsorship period (typically 12 months).
How does the “blended” model work?
Refugees resettled under the BVOR program receive income support from the Government of Canada through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) for 6 months after their arrival (during months 2-7). Private sponsors offer another 6 months of financial support (during month 1 and months 8-12) and cover the initial startup costs.
Refugee populations in the BVOR program include (but are not limited to):
- Syrians, Iraqis, Iranians
- Congolese, Ethiopians, Eritreans
- Somalis, Colombians, Sudanese
Particular vulnerabilities or reasons for resettlement:
- Women and girls at risk
- Survivors of violence and torture
- Lack of foreseeable alternative durable solutions
To learn more about the countries that refugees are coming from, visit RSTP’s website.
Can I refer a refugee or refugee family to the BVOR program for sponsorship?
Refugees in the BVOR program are referred by UNHCR to IRCC. Refugees cannot be identified or referred by private groups or organizations for sponsorship through the BVOR program.
However, refugees identified by private groups or organizations can be sponsored for resettlement through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program.
Who can sponsor under the BVOR program?
To sponsor refugees under this program, you must be:
- A Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) or a Constituent Group (a group that can sponsor refugees under a SAH agreement);
- A Group of Five; or
- A Community Sponsor.