Refugee Sponsorship Training Program

Font resize

Sponsorship Agreement Holders

A Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) is an incorporated organization that has signed an agreement with the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to resettle refugees from abroad through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program.

What does a SAH look like?

A SAH can be a local, regional or national organization. SAHs can also differ in size, composition and geographical mandate.

SAHs assume overall responsibility and liability for the management of sponsorships under their agreement. SAHs can authorize other groups in the community to sponsor refugees under their agreements. These groups are referred to as Constituent Groups (CGs).

There are more than 125 SAHs across Canada (outside of Quebec). They represent most refugee sponsors in Canada and submit the majority of refugee sponsorship applications each year.

How do you apply and qualify?

To become a SAH, an incorporated organization must submit an application with supporting documents to IRCC. The applicant is required to provide a detailed explanation as to why they wish to become a SAH and outline why they would qualify as a SAH. IRCC will assess the application and make a determination.

To become a SAH, an organization MUST:

  • Be incorporated / registered
  • Have the financial capacity
  • Understand and uphold the objectives of the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program
  • Have a strong volunteer base
  • Pass a security review

Your responsibilities as a SAH

By signing the agreement, a SAH is legally responsible for the following:

  • providing basic financial support and care for the sponsored refugee for the duration of the sponsorship period, or until the sponsored person becomes self-sufficient (whichever comes first)
  • pre-screening to determine whether a sponsorship application may meet sponsorship eligibility and admissibility criteria
  • being responsible for the selection and authorization of CGs
  • ensuring it has sufficient resources and expertise to carry out its responsibilities
  • remaining jointly or individually liable when the SAH and CG has signed a sponsorship undertaken
  • providing organizational assistance, advice, information and support to its constituent group(s)
  • monitoring its Constituent Group(s)
  • advising IRCC of any changes in the signing authority of the organization
  • submitting an annual report to IRCC