A part of Canada’s identity

Private sponsorship of refugees is a made-in Canada innovation and has been used for more than forty years to engage private citizens and community organizations in offering refugees from around the world a safe new life. Many private sponsors find this a personally rewarding experience and an opportunity to learn while supporting people in desperate need. 

Private sponsors must meet certain criteria and provide assurances that they will take responsibility for an individual refugee or family over the first year after they relocate to Canada. In some cases, sponsors pledge funds and show that they have the financial capacity to provide for the newcomers (although depending on the circumstances, the newcomers may become employed and self-sufficient). 

How to become a private sponsor

There are several ways to engage in sponsorship and there are special time-limited programs that the government has introduced to facilitate the process. In addition to working with Lifeline Challenge, interested private sponsors can work with a Sponsorship Agreement Holder or SAH. SAH’s are religious, ethnic, community or service organizations that have signed agreements with the Government of Canada to help support refugees from abroad when they come to Canada, and are already approved to sponsor refugees. To find a SAH in your region, you can visit the Government of Canada’s website.

Private sponsor requirements

As a private sponsor, you will work with a group of sponsors who must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years of age and have a police record check. They must complete forms about themselves.

If not partnered with another group or a Lifeline Challenge donor, the financial commitment varies – it is typically $20,000 for a single adult and $40,000 per year for a family of four. The sponsors must complete a settlement plan and budget that demonstrates that they have thought through the requirements. Lifeline Afghanistan can assist with this process.

At least two of the members of the sponsorship group must also provide financial information that shows they have the capacity to support the refugees or a bank account with the required funds. In some cases that Lifeline Challenge is seeking to support, the funds will be provided by our donor.

For more information and to sign up as a private sponsor, please contact lifelineafghanistan@torontomu.ca .

Group & community sponsorship

If you have a group or community interested in helping an Afghan refugee resettle in your neighbourhood, city or community are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and at least 18 years of age, please find the below links to information about becoming a private sponsor.

Who you can sponsor: You can sponsor an Afghan refugee who is outside their country of origin and meets the definition of a Convention refugee or Country of Asylum refugee. Through a new special program, the refugee you sponsor does not need to have an RSD from the UNHCR or a foreign state. This means you don’t need to include a refugee status determination document with your sponsorship application. All sponsorship applications will still be reviewed to meet requirements for security, criminality and medical exams.

Before you apply: To be eligible, each member of the group must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, be at least 18 years old, live in the same community where the refugee is expected to settle, and agree to give settlement support for the length of the sponsorship (usually 1 year).

Your group must provide a settlement plan and prove the group has the money to sponsor a refugee for 1 year. In the cases Lifeline Challenge is seeking to support for, the funds will be provided by our donor.

Lifeline Challenge case workers can help to complete your application. You must complete all forms and provide all supporting documents for your sponsorship group and the person you’re sponsoring (the principal applicant) and their family members.

Lifeline Challenge will provide support to your community group to help with translation, housing, training and job seeking.

It’s easy to get involved

Opportunities for individuals and organizations to support newcomers to Canada range from individual or corporate mentorship, job placements to private sponsorship and donations. Or sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest information on Lifeline Challenge programs and activities, and see how you can make a difference in the lives of newcomers to Canada.

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