Unlike the US, private groups and organizations in Canada can directly sponsor a refugee residing overseas to resettle in Canada. (please see box) For many asylum seekers sponsorship in Canada means living a life of dignity, without fear of persecution, and for some, it can even mean the opportunity for life itself.
Since fall 1995, Iranian Refugees' Alliance has actively sought a viable way to provide this opportunity for Iranian asylum seekers in Turkey whose cases have been closed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and are at imminent risk of deportation. Consultation with several church groups holding Master Agreements for sponsorship (see box) has revealed that finding sponsors is indeed very difficult.
Due to resource constraints, sponsoring organizations are already overwhelmed by the vast number of urgent demands for sponsorships and are limited in the number of refugees they can sponsor .
Nevertheless, experience has shown that the support from refugees' ethnic or national community have facilitated sponsorships to a great extent. As part of its mission to assist at-risk Iranian refugees, Iranian Refugees' Alliance is glad to be the first Iranian group making itself liable for sharing the financial and social obligations for sponsorships.
Fortunately, our commitment for partnership have so far resulted in sponsorship of 16 at-risk Iranian families in Turkey by the Anglican Church of Canada. We hope that by meeting the following objectives, we will meet our commitment for these 16 families and be able to find sponsors for more at-risk refugees in Turkey during the following three months:
Detailed information about our partnership and ways you can help are available.
Some Facts about Private Sponsorship of Refugees in Canada
|Private sponsorship of a refugee in Canada is a one year commitment whereby a group (citizens or permanent residents) agree to provide the support necessary to enable a refugee to adjust and resettle in Canada. Direct sponsorship entitles the sponsoring group to have an overseas Visa Officer interview a named refugee to determine whether or not s/he meets Canada's requirements for resettlement.|
There are two ways to sponsor refugees:
|Financial guarantees are required and should be taken very seriously by sponsoring groups. Refugees come to Canada as Permanent Residents and are, therefore, eligible to seek employment and attend language classes. However, during the one year period after arrival in Canada, they are not permitted to receive social assistance from the government.|
|Sponshorship does not guarantee admission for resettlement. Refugee applicants must convince the overseas Canadian Visa Officer interviewing them that they meet Canada's refugee eligibility criteria (based on Canada's interpretation of the UN Convention definition) as well as immigration admissibility criteria (being able to successfully establish in Canada). Persons considered by the Visa Officer to meet the above requirements will be allowed to Canada after having successfully completed a medical examination, and provided that a security check does not reveal anything to warrant refusal.|
|Compiled from information provided by The Working Group on Refugee Resettlement and Inter-Church Committee Committee for Refugees Sponsorship Group.|
for more information about Citizenship & Immigration in Canada click here: Private Sponsorship of Refugees
Frequently Asked Questions