Who Can Be Sponsored

What Requirements Have to be Met by a Person Overseas to Qualify For Resettlement to Canada?

When identifying an individual overseas for resettlement through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, it is important to consider whether they will meet the eligibility and admissibility requirements according to Canadian law, and whether they will be sponsored through a Group of Five or Community Sponsor, or a Sponsorship Agreement Holder.


  1. Does the refugee(s) meet the definition and requirements of one of the two refugee classes: Convention Refugee Abroad or Country of Asylum Class?
  2. Is resettlement the only durable solution available to the refugee(s)?
  3. Does the refugee(s) have the ability to resettle successfully in Canada?
  4. If sponsored through a Group of Five or Community Sponsor, does the refugee(s) have refugee status as recognized by a foreign state or the UNHCR?


  1. Medical Check
  2. Security Check
  3. Criminality Check

Deciding whom to sponsor

When deciding whom to sponsor, SAHs and their CGs need to consider three different types of refugee sponsorship:

  1. Visa Office-Referred (VOR): Refugees are already identified overseas by the UNHCR and have been referred to the Canadian government. These cases are often travel-ready as they their Permanent Residence application has already been approved; they will arrive relatively quickly.
  2. Sponsor-Referred: A group submits a case of a refugee or refugee family whom they already know and believe would qualify for sponsorship to the Canadian government. To qualify, the refugee(s) must be eligible and admissible to Canada.
  3. Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS): enables SAHs and their CGs to work with the Canadian government to resettle refugees with special needs.