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Community Sponsors

PLEASE NOTE: Community Sponsors can only sponsor persons who have already been formally/officially recognized as a refugee in the country of asylum (i.e.: where they reside now), and be able to provide documentary proof of this status, such as a document issued by the state of that country or a refugee status recognition or ‘mandate letter’ by the UNHCR. If you are unsure whether the document issued to the Principal Applicant would be acceptable, please contact the RSTP.

As of September 19, 2015, the Canadian Government has temporarily exempt Syrians and Iraqis from the requirement to provide proof of refugee status in order to be sponsored by a Community Sponsor. If you want to sponsor a Syrian or Iraqi refugee through a Community, you can currently submit these applications, even if these refugee applicants do not have a refugee status recognition document. Please note that refugees must still be living outside of their country of origin.

A Community Sponsor is an organization, association or corporation who sponsors refugees to come to Canada.

These organizations do not have to be incorporated under federal or provincial law, but they must exist as a legal entity. They must have the financial and settlement capacity to fulfill the sponsorship undertaking and must be located in the community where the refugee is expected to settle.

In addition, Community Sponsors must also provide evidence of settlement capability as well as provide emotional and social support to a refugee and his/her family and commit to supporting the sponsored refugees for the period of the sponsorship undertaking, which is usually for one year.

Community Sponsors do not have a limit on the number of sponsorship applications that they can submit per year, as long as they can demonstrate financial and settlement capacity. Please see the Community Sponsor Application forms and  tips on completing the required forms. Note that original signatures on all application forms are necessary.

The Community Sponsor may also choose to partner formally with an individual (e.g. a refugee’s family member in Canada) or another organization in carrying out settlement duties.

For more information, please visit our Video Library for a recorded webinar on Becoming a Community Sponsor.

 

FAQs – Being a Community Sponsor

1. Is there a limitation on the number of applications that one Community Sponsor organization can submit in a given year?

As long as the Community Sponsor can adequately demonstrate they have the financial and settlement capacity to successfully sponsor the refugee applications submitted, there is no limitation.

2. Who signs the Undertaking and Financial Assessment forms on behalf of the Community Sponsor?

The Executive Director, President or CEO of the Community Sponsor (depending on the organization’s structure) must provide written authorization on letterhead designating the Community Sponsor representative to sign the Undertaking on behalf of the Community Sponsor. This CS Representative would then sign the Sponsorship Undertaking form; however, the Executive Director, President or CEO must be the one to sign for the Community Sponsor on the Financial Assessment form. Should no Representative be designated, the Executive Director, President or CEO must sign both the Undertaking and Financial Assessment. If the Community Sponsor is partnering with a co-sponsor individual or organization, they must sign both the Undertaking and Financial Assessment forms.

3. Who must provide Sponsor Assessment forms for a Community Sponsor application?

The Community Sponsor Representative, as well as any co-sponsors (individuals or organization representatives) who signed the Sponsorship Undertaking, must also provide filled Sponsor Assessment Forms and a copy of proof of Permanent Residency or Canadian Citizenship.

4. If a co-sponsor of a Community Sponsor organization is a individual representing a larger sponsoring group who are not an organization, would it be sufficient for the Group Representative to sign the Sponsor Assessment and include documentation noting the wider group members to show the depth of settlement support for the sponsorship?

The co-sponsor in a CS signs the Sponsorship Undertaking and submits a signed and completed Sponsor Assessment Form. Even if this individual is representing a wider group, this co-sponsor is a legal party to the Sponsorship Undertaking and may be held liable for the entire sponsorship undertaking in the event of a default. If the Community Sponsor wishes to include information about others who have not signed the Sponsorship Undertaking but who support the effort, they may do so as supporting documentation.

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Photo by UNHCR/M.Maguire

Find out more about sponsoring refugees as a Community Sponsor in Chapter 2 of the Handbook for Sponsoring Groups