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Understanding Canada's Private Refugee Sponsorship Program

Private Refugee Sponsorship Canada

The Private Refugee Sponsorship Program in Canada is a unique initiative that has been part of the country's refugee resettlement strategy for over 40 years. Over half of the 144,000 refugees Canada plans to welcome from 2023 to 2025 will be privately sponsored under this program.

In the Canadian context, you become a privately sponsored refugee when a group of individuals or organizations voluntarily pledge to assist you in adjusting to life in Canada. These sponsors provide a host of support measures, including financial aid, social and emotional backing, and essentials such as food and clothing. The support typically lasts for a year or until the refugee can support themselves, whichever occurs first.

What makes this program unique is the involvement of community organizations known as Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs). Over 130 of these organizations are key to the program's success, sponsoring refugees year after year. The number of SAHs across Canada has steadily grown over the past five years, from 114 in January 2019 to 138 in January 2023.

In response to the rising interest of community organizations in refugee sponsorship, Canada is increasing the number of refugees that SAHs can sponsor to 13,500 in 2023, marking a significant increase from when the cap was introduced in 2012. This growth will allow new SAHs to establish their operations and existing ones to expand, managing all aspects of the sponsorship process, from identifying refugees and submitting applications to providing ongoing support to the sponsored newcomers.

The Private Refugee Sponsorship Program, along with the Government-Assisted Refugee Program and the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program, helps Canada welcome more refugees each year than the government could resettle alone. The target is to welcome over 83,500 privately sponsored refugees by 2025.

Canada's initiative serves as a global model, inspiring other countries to develop their community sponsorship programs. Through its participation in the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative, Canada has supported the development of similar programs in several countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and most recently, the United States.

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming part of this unique initiative and making a real difference in the lives of refugees, Mesidor Canadian Immigration Services is here to guide you. As experienced Canadian immigration professionals, we can provide you with all the necessary information, support, and guidance. Contact us today to learn more about the Private Refugee Sponsorship Program and how you can get involved.

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