What is the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership (RRAP)?
In 2011, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) launched a pilot program, called the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Pilot. Between 2011 and April 2019, more than 80 LGBTQIA+ refugees were resettled in Canada through the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Pilot.
In June 2019, IRCC announced that Canada was introducing the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership (RRAP), established in cooperation with the Rainbow Refugee Society. The aim of this new blended sponsorship program is to support more Canadians hoping to privately sponsor LGBTQIA+ refugees fleeing violence and persecution.
Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership
Under the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership (RRAP), the government of Canada will provide start-up costs and 3 months of support to LGBTQIA+ refugees who are privately sponsored by Canadians. The monthly income support for the remaining nine months of the sponsorship is provided by the sponsoring group. Because the costs are shared between the government of Canada and the private sponsors, it is called a blended sponsorship program.
Rainbow Refugee Society, in collaboration with Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH), is responsible for submitting all applications under this partnership. The number of refugees sponsored through this program will not be deduced from SAH cap allocation.
Between 2020 and 2024, Canada
- increased the number of spaces for this program from 15 to 50 refugees per year
- added 150 spots dedicated to Afghan LGBTQIA+ refugees
Afghan LGBTQIA+ Refugees
In response to the Afghanistan crisis, Canada
- launched a special humanitarian resettlement program for vulnerable Afghans, including LGBTQIA+ refugees, in 2021.
- expanded the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership to provide 150 more spaces for Afghan LGBTQIA+ refugees between 2022 and 2024.
By May 2023, over 235 LGBTQIA+ refugees had arrived through this partnership.
For more information
- Rainbow Refugee Society - The community group IRCC partnered with to establish the Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership
- LGBTQI+ refugees - This webpage from IRCC provides information about how Canada’s refugee system works related to LGBTQIA+ refugees.
- Can I apply for refugee status as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer or questioning (LGBTQIA+) person? - An article from Settlement.Org that includes information about applying for refugee status in Canada if you identify as an LGBTQIA+ person.
- Lesbian and Gay Immigration Taskforce (LEGIT) - Information for same-sex individuals and couples who are sponsoring a partner, immigrating to Canada, or claiming refugee status due to their sexuality.
- EGALE - A Canadian LGBTQIA+ human rights organization that advances equality, diversity, education and justice.
- Positive Spaces Initiative - The initiative aims to share resources and build organizational capacity across the sector to serve LGBTQIA+ immigrants, refugees, and newcomers more effectively.
- AGIR Montréal - An organization supporting and empowering LGBTQIA+ migrants and refugees across the greater Montréal area.
- From Borders to Belonging - A coalition group bringing together organizations and Individuals who Champion LGBTQIA+ Refugee Rights, Protection, and Settlement.
- Government of Canada increases sponsorship opportunities for Sponsorship Agreement Holders - The announcement of an increase in the number of refugees that Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) can sponsor from 2023.