What are the differences between the types of sponsorship categories?

Government-assisted refugees (GARs) are those supported directly by the Government of Canada for the duration of their sponsorship. Canada  funds organizations as part of the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) to provide immediate and essential support services to refugees on their arrival in Canada to help them settle and integrate into life in Canada.

Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program refugees are referred directly by the UNHCR. The Government of Canada and the Private Sponsors share the financial support and private sponsors provide up to a year of social and emotional support. Refugees are also covered under the Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program for the duration of the sponsorship, in addition to provincial health coverage.

With Privately Sponsored Refugees, sponsors provide financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship. This includes help for housing, clothing and food.

In the Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) program, the Government of Canada sometimes partners with organizations to resettle refugees with special needs who may need more support than other refugees in order to settle into Canada. These special needs may arise due to:

  • trauma from violence or torture,
  • medical disabilities,
  • the effects of systemic discrimination, or
  • a large number of family members.