A First Look

Perhaps you have never considered sponsoring a refugee to resettle in your community; or perhaps you have wanted to bring a displaced family to Canada for a long time now. Whatever your experience, this is the place to take a first look at Canada's Private Sponsorship of Refugees program to see if this is something you and your church could undertake on behalf of another; to put hands and feet to God's call to care for strangers, and to loose the cords of injustice.

canada logoAs Canadians, we have had the privilege as citizens and permanent residents since 1979 to sponsor a family or an individual who has been forced to flee their home to start a new life in Canada.

Refugee sponsorship is a time, financial and relational investment in which sponsors work together as a team to help displaced persons resettle into a local Canadian community. Listening to the stories of those who have sponsored a family in the past confirms the fact that the blessing of sponsorship goes both ways. Lives are expanded, communities are enriched, the perspective of Canadians is broadened as we engage with a new culture, language and history while making new friends.

Granted, it will be a fairly large nutshell, but in terms of what happens first and who does what, this article will provide you with a run-down of the process from initial inquiries to resettlement.

Getting Started

nutshell

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada currently offers three different opportunities for Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) or their Constituency Groups (CGs) to sponsor refugees. A person can only be considered a refugee if they are outside of their country of origin — having fled their homeland — to escape persecution, war or severe human rights abuses and are unable to return home.

BVOR Program

The BVOR Program is designed to resettle refugees identified by the UNHCR and submitted to Canadian visa offices abroad. It is only the families or individuals who have been living in limbo for many years, who are often at risk, and for whom resettlement is the only viable durable solution that are referred under this program.