Getting Started

child runNow that you understand a little of what is involved and are familiar with the types of sponsorship available, we are glad you want to explore further.

In this next area, we anticipate and address the next questions you may have including sponsor group responsibilities, costs, more detailed PSR program descriptions, and understanding the process.

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions.

familyThe Associated Gospel Churches is a SAH which means that any of our AGC churches can become what IRCC refers to as a Constituent Group (CG) and submit an application to sponsor a refugee through the PSR, BVOR or JAS programs. 

The AGC Refugee Sponsorship Initiative Co-directors will gladly answer your questions, address your concerns and work with you in your efforts to pursue refugee sponsorship. We will ensure sponsoring groups have the information and resources needed to "welcome the stranger" and become hands and feet of compassion in our world's refugee crisis today.

An AGC church may also elect to work with a co-sponsor - such as family members of a refugee, or another organization - to deliver the financial & settlement support required to carry through a successful sponsorship to its conclusion. 



The Guide for Sponsorship Agreement Holders to privately sponsor refugees (IMM5413) is IRCC's guide to refugee sponsorship. This guide, available on-line or as a hard copy, provides information related to who can be sponsored and much more.

According to the 1951 Convention, a convention refugee is defined as any person who

Starting a Refugee SponsorshipStage 1 – SAH process

Getting Started:

As you consider whether you and others in your church could sponsor a refugee person or family, interested persons will:

  • learn about the distinct types of sponsorships
  • speak to the church leadership about their interest in refugee sponsorship
  • form a team with a minimum of 5 people
  • begin fundraising as needed

There are two other sources of excellent information and material that are available to anyone interested in learning more about the Private Sponsorship of Refugees.

sponsorship responsibilitiesWhen a church signs a sponsorship agreement, it becomes jointly and severally or solidarily bound with the other signatories (the AGC as the SAH and the co-sponsor if applicable) to perform the responsibilities that are detailed in the sponsorship agreement. The church becomes the official "Constituent Group (CG)" that will fulfill settlement obligations primarily through the members of their Core Team who are free to invite other volunteers to help with resettlement.

The CG, Core Team and co-sponsor (if applicable) are referred to as the "sponsors."

The responsibilities of the sponsors include:

  1. Providing basic financial support (e.g., for housing and food) and care for the sponsored newcomer1 during the sponsorship period, or until the sponsored newcomer no longer requires assistance, whichever comes first;
  2. Ensuring it has sufficient resources and expertise to carry out its responsibilities;
  3. Remaining jointly or solely liable with any co-sponsors that have signed a sponsorship undertaking.

What settlement assistance is required from Sponsors?

In January of 2019, sponsorship costs were updated to be calculated based on the specific community of settlement as well as family compostion. We all know that the cost of living is different for people living in Halifax compared to those living in Vancouver. These tables are only accurate for Toronto, but may be used as an estimate for other communities. To know the actual costs for your community, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sponsorship Costs (2021)

The sponsoring group must show that they have sufficient financial resources at least equal to social assistance rates in the settlement community to support the sponsored refugees for the duration of the sponsorship period. For instance, if a group in the Toronto area plans to sponsor one person, the sponsorship costs will be not less than $16,500.

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