Refugee Sponsorship Training Program

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Overview of Sponsorship Responsibilities

Refugee sponsorship entails a number of moral, financial and legal responsibilities on the part of sponsors toward the sponsored refugees. Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs), along with their Constituent Groups (CGs) and co-sponsors, Groups of Five and Community Sponsors are all accountable to Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the delivery and quality of the settlement and financial support they provide to the sponsored refugees, as outlined in their respective settlement plans.

Financial Responsibilities

Sponsorship groups must provide financial support at least equal to the current Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) rates in the community where the refugee will settle. Sponsors should always refer to the most recent RAP rates and the FAQs on Post-Arrival Financial Support for the current financial standards.

Post-Arrival Assurance Activities and Documentation

All sponsors should keep evidence of financial and settlement support provided to the sponsored refugees, including documentation such as receipts for transportation, rent, food, start-up or other costs. Such documentation may be requested by IRCC as part of its post-arrival assurance activities. For examples of documents that sponsors can submit to demonstrate support, please click here.

The Obligations of SAHs

As noted in the Sponsorship Agreement, a SAH should monitor the activities of its CGs and co-sponsors to ensure that they fulfill their sponsorship responsibilities. The Sponsorship Agreement also notes that IRCC is responsible for monitoring the SAH, its CGs and co-sponsors. The Best Practices for Monitoring Resource Kit can help SAHs with monitoring their CGs and co-sponsors.

Two Areas of Responsibility

Broadly speaking, the financial and settlement responsibilities of a sponsoring group can be categorized into two areas: responsibilities that should be carried our before the arrival of refugees and responsibilities that should be implemented after the arrival of refugees.

Each of these areas requires the sponsoring group to carry out a set of actions or activities that result in positive sponsorship outcomes and experiences. Below are the main duties under these broad categories.

Pre-arrival Duties

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Post-arrival Duties

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All sponsors should partner with an IRCC-funded settlement agency for support in carrying out responsibilities. You can make an initial contact prior to the refugees’ arrival, and use the agency’s services once the newcomers arrive. Where there is no agency within a reasonable travel distance, look into the online services that some agencies provide.