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Sponsor a refugee through a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH)

Sponsor a Refugee through a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH)

Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) are religious, ethnic, community, or humanitarian organizations. Sponsorship agreement holders (SAH) sign agreements with the government of Canada to help support refugees when they come to the country.

Before sponsoring a refugee, you decide who you want to sponsor. When you sponsor a refugee as a SAH, you’re participating in the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program. Sponsorship Agreement Holders support refugees they sponsor either on their own or by working with other groups or individuals, called "constituent groups" (CGs) or "co-sponsors".

For one to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), your organization must:

  • have been incorporated (a legal organization) for at least 2 years

  • be physically located in Canada

  • be interested in, and capable of, sponsoring more than 5 refugees or refugee families per year

  • have the resources and support network to be an effective SAH

If you want to submit sponsorship applications, the organization's main contact, president (or equivalent), and any representative must be 18 years of age or older and a Canadian citizen, Registered Indian or permanent resident of Canada. They must also live in or have at least 2 representatives in the same community the refugee will live in and be eligible under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.

Keep in mind that, not all organizations have the capacity and support network to be an effective Sponsorship Agreement Holder.


So, before you apply, your organization should:

  • have the financial resources to support and settle several refugees a year

  • have experience sponsoring refugees or providing refugee settlement services

  • be able to train and support your constituent groups (CGs), co-sponsors, and volunteers

  • have a plan to verify the support your CGs, co-sponsors, or volunteers are responsible for providing

  • have a backup plan to fully support refugees if any of your CGs, co-sponsors, or volunteers fail to meet their commitments

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