Refugee Sponsorship Training Program

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Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) Program

What is the BVOR Program?

The BVOR Program is designed to resettle refugees identified by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and submitted to Canadian visa offices abroad. It is referred to as a “blended” program because it is a cost-sharing arrangement whereby Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and private sponsors contribute financially to support the refugees. Private Sponsors are also responsible for providing settlement support for the whole length of sponsorship.

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 8-12) plus the startup costs.

What are the sponsor’s settlement responsibilities?

  • Reception at the airport (refugees are not be taken to the Reception Centre);
  • Housing & basic necessities (this is covered for 6 months through RAP income support, but sponsors cover start-up costs);
  • Settlement assistance (including language classes, enrollment in school, finding health care provider, job search, etc.),  and
  • Emotional & moral support.

Who can Sponsor? 

 To sponsor refugees under this program, you must be a:

  • Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) or Constituent Group (a group that can sponsor refugees under a SAH agreement)
  • Groups of Five
  • Community Sponsor

Populations sponsored in the BVOR Program includes but not limited to:

  • Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Eritrean, Ethiopian, Congolese, Burundian, Somali, Burmese, Colombian and Chinese

The Criteria used for selecting cases: 

  • Refugees are referred by UNHCR.
  • Refugees have already been assessed and have met the Canadian government’s resettlement criteria, making them travel ready. They just need to be matched with a sponsor before they can travel to Canada.
  • Family configurations generally include smaller family sizes or larger families with younger children under 18.
  • BVOR refugees generally have low settlement and health needs.

Can I refer a refugee or refugee family to the BVOR program for sponsorship?

BVOR refugees are referred by UNHCR to Canadian visa offices and not by private groups or organizations. If you know of a particular refugee or refugee family that you would like to privately sponsor, please contact a sponsoring group or contact the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program for guidance.

Why get involved? 

  • A unique opportunity to sponsor refugees in need of resettlement, while also enabling the Canadian government to resettle more refugees.
  • Less paperwork: BVOR refugees have already been assessed and have met the Canadian government’s resettlement criteria, making them travel ready.
  • Faster processing times: BVOR refugees will be able to travel within a few months after sponsorship applications are approved (Currently 1-4 months).
  • Costs less: refugees will receive six months of financial support from the Government of Canada and sponsors will only pay for 6 months and start up costs.

 For more information on the BVOR Program and how you can get involved, please click this link or contact our Refugee Resettlement Project Worker.