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Sponsorship & Community Organizations

Sponsors and community organizations play a vital role in the resettlement of refugees in Canada. Providing both emotional and financial support is key to helping your refugee/refugee family adjust. However, so is helping them navigate the Canadian medical system to get the health care they deserve and need. The following guide provides knowledge regarding the health coverage and services available to refugees, as well as information specifically relevant to both sponsors and community organizations.


According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, a sponsor is defined as a person(s) or organization that: “...provides financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This includes help for housing, clothing and food. Most sponsorships last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible for assistance from their sponsors for up to three years.

Refugees must qualify for entry under Canada’s laws and must pass medical and security checks before they can come to Canada.” 

To learn more about how to sponsor a refugee/refugee family, visit the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program resource.


As someone (or a group of people/organization) interested in sponsoring a refugee, it is important to understand that there are different types of sponsorship options.

Private Sponsors

A person or group of people that support (including financially) a refugee(s) for up to one year or until financial independence has been achieved.

Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs)

Groups with signed agreement with the Government of Canada to help support refugees resettling in Canada.

Blended-Visa Office Referred Program (BVOR)

A private sponsor supports refugees that have been referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Financial support is split between a private sponsor and government.

Groups of five

A group of five or more persons (18 years and over) sponsoring one or more refugees to live in their area.

Community Sponsors

A community organization that provides emotional and financial support for refugees for up to one year.

For more details on the types of sponsorship programs available, visit the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.