Private refugee sponsorship can be done through a group of five, community, or sponsorship agreement holders (SAH). To sponsor a refugee under the group of five or community sponsorship program, it is a requirement for the refugee to have valid refugee status in their country of residence — meaning that UNHCR or the foreign government has accepted their refugee claim. As part of the application, a refugee status determination (RSD) document must be submitted to prove that the applicant is a recognized refugee.
However, to facilitate the private sponsorship of Afghan refugees to Canada, IRCC has introduced a special measure waiving the requirement to have valid refugee status in a country other than Afghanistan. This special measure will apply to cases submitted on or after October 17th, 2022, and it will remain in effect until October 17th, 2023 or until IRCC reaches the limit of 3,000 applications — whichever comes first.
Although this requirement has been waived for a limited time, extensive documentation still needs to be submitted as part of these applications, and other factors will be considered to determine the refugee’s eligibility. For example, the refugee must be outside Afghanistan and meet the definition of a Convention refugee or Country of Asylum refugee.
Before applying to sponsor an Afghan refugee through a group of five or a community sponsorship program, ensure you meet the sponsorship requirements by the IRCC, and that the refugee also meets the requirements.
If you would like to learn more about the private sponsorship program, you may find more information by clicking here.