Privately Sponsored Refugees

Canada is unique internationally in that it has a method for privately sponsoring refugees. Historically, this method of private sponsorship was used extensively during the late 1970s and early 1980s when tens of thousands of Vietnamese refugees came to Canada. Currently, this method is being used to bring substantial numbers of Syrian and Iraqi refugees to Canada.

There are two common methods for privately sponsoring refugees. The first method is sponsorship through what is known as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder. A Sponsorship Agreement Holder (or SAH) is an organization that has a relationship with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada) to privately sponsor refugees. You can check here for a list of Sponsorship Agreement Holders.

The second method of private refugee sponsorship is known as Group of Five sponsorship. G5s are groups of 5 eligible Canadians (or permanent residents) who enter into agreements with Citizenship and Immigration Canada to sponsor one or more refugees.