How exciting! Now that you have decided to pursue refugee sponsorship as a ministry of the church you will want to follow these next steps. The information found here will lead you through:
Once it has been determined that a group would like to pursue the sponsorship of a refugee family, one of the first things to be done will be to assemble a Core Team.
Each sponsoring group must function with a minimum of five dedicated members who will oversee the sponsorship commitments for both pre-arrival and the one year settlement support of the refugee family. The core team will discern together who is responsible for each task, and together recruit additional volunteer helpers for a larger support network.
Once you have formed your core team, chosen the sponsorship type, and have begun to assign team member roles with at least the Representative (Team Lead) and Treasurer in place, you are now ready to approach your church board.
The sponsorship does not become 'official' and legally binding until you sign and submit the required documents for the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) and the forms required by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
New in 2018, IRCC has issuedrates for each province that sponsoring groups need to configure to their specific family.
Settlement planning is one of the more time consuming tasks of a sponsorship undertaking. IRCC needs to see that every facet of resettlement has been considered and that there is a plan in place with enough flexibility that the task will be completed even if unforeseen issues arise.
Your SAH also has a vested interest in a comprehensive settlement plan. We are in the process of preparing a generic settlement plan that will be available to all our sponsorship groups. In the meantime, this settlement plan that is Calgary-specific can be used and adjusted for your community. This is a more detailed plan than the one submitted with the application package to ROC-O to be assessed as part of the sponsoring groups's portion of an undertaking. Completing this plan will enable you to be thorough on the form (IMM5413) submitted with your application.
Take the time to do the research, to make the phone calls, to do the leg-work necessary to become informed as you prepare to walk with newcomers through their first year of resettlement in a new country. Remember this is a template, and not every item will be required by every group. Consider your specific community, and then use common sense as you think through together the best means of settlement for a new family.
Once it is finished, send it to your SAH for a completeness check as part of the "Required by SAH" documents.
At this point, a Core Team will be in place, the Church Board will have given their approval, and fundraising has begun. Once your team has 25% of the required funds in place it is time to select a refugee family if that hasn't been done yet, and complete the application forms.
This is also the time to begin work on a detailed settlement plan.
Once all the forms are completed for both the sponsoring group and for the refugee(s), the sponsor must send the completed files and supporting documentation to the SAH via OneDrive, Dropbox, or their preferred file transfer method.
The SAH will then review the application for completeness and accuracy before forwarding the completed application package to. If there are any inaccuracies or elements that need to be clarified before the application is submitted, the SAH will notify the Core Team Representative by email to make any necessary changes.