Refugee Sponsorship Training Program

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Groups of Five

PLEASE NOTE: Groups of Five 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. For further information regarding refugee status determination in different countries visit the Summary of refugee registration and refugee status determination by Country of Asylum.

If you are unsure whether the document issued to the Principal Applicant would be acceptable, please contact the RSTP.

A ‘Group of Five’ is a type of refugee sponsoring group. Like Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) and Community Sponsors, Groups of Five can engage in refugee resettlement to Canada – however the criteria for group eligibility and refugee applicant eligibility differs.

As a Group of Five, five Canadian citizens or permanent residents get together to sponsor a refugee and his/her dependents to Canada. More people can join the group to provide settlement support, however only five group members sign the required application forms. By engaging in refugee sponsorship and signing the forms, the group commits to support the sponsored refugee(s) financially, emotionally and with settlement support for the duration of the sponsorship period, which is usually 12 months from the date of arrival or until the sponsored refugees have become self-sufficient (which ever comes first).

Members of the group must be 18 years of age or older and reside in the community where the refugee is expected to settle.

They must also prove that they have the necessary financial and human resources, expertise and commitment required to fulfill the terms of the sponsorship.

A Group of Five can choose to partner formally with an individual (e.g. a family member of the refugee who lives in Canada) and/or an organization in carrying out the settlement duties. This partner would be called a “co-sponsor” and would also need to sign all the required forms.

Refugee applicants must meet the eligibility and admissibility criteria for private refugee sponsorship to Canada. To be sponsored by a Group of Five, the Principal Applicant must be recognized formally as a refugee in the country of asylum (where they currently reside), and be able to provide documentary proof of this status (such as a document issued by the state of that country or document such as refugee status recognition or ‘mandate letter’ by the UNHCR).

Find out more about sponsoring refugees in the Group of Five Tutorial below.

If you require clarification about group membership, eligibility or any aspect of the application forms, contact the RSTP.

1. Group Eligibility

Find out if you can be a member of a Group of Five and/or whether y...
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2. Forming a Group

There is no prescribed method for forming a Group of Five. Quick fa...
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3. Financial Requirements

How much money will I need for the sponsorship? How will my finance...
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4. Who can be sponsored?

PLEASE NOTE: Groups of Five can only sponsor persons who have alrea...
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5. Your Responsibilities

As a member of a refugee sponsor group, what am I responsible for? ...
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6. Application Forms

What forms are needed? How do we complete them? PREVIOUSNEXT...
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7. Settlement Plan

The Settlement Plan provides proof that your group has carefully pl...
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8. Sponsorship Process

What happens once the application package has been submitted? When ...
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9. FAQs

I understand there were recent changes to Group of Five refugee spo...
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