Government of Canada increases sponsorship opportunities for Sponsorship Agreement Holders
The Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship announced an increase in the number of refugees that Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) can sponsor, to 13,500 by 2023.
February 17, 2023 - Ottawa- Canada continues to be a global leader in refugee resettlement and integration. Since the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program was launched over 4 decades ago, Canadians and permanent residents have come together to offer protection and a safe, permanent home for tens of thousands of refugees each year. Key to the program’s success are the organizations, known as sponsorship agreement holders (SAHs), who sponsor refugees year after year.
The number of SAHs across Canada (excluding Quebec) has steadily grown over the past 5 years—from 114 in January 2019 to 138 in January 2023. That is why the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that the number of refugees that SAHs can sponsor is increasing to 13,500 in 2023. This represents a 10-fold increase from when the cap was introduced in 2012, or an increase of 12,150 spaces available to SAHs.
The PSR Program complements Canada’s other 2 resettlement programs: the Government-Assisted Refugee Program (GAR) and the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program. Together, they help Canada welcome more refugees each year than the Government of Canada could resettle alone and are one of the many ways Canada is working to achieve its goal of welcoming over 83,500 privately sponsored refugees by 2025.
Both Canada’s PSR and BVOR programs are models for other countries around the world. Through its participation in the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative (GRSI), Canada encourages and supports the adoption and expansion of community sponsorship programs tailored to local needs. The GRSI has supported the development of programs in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom and, most recently, the United States.
For more information
- Private Sponsorship of Refugees: Who does what?, an article from WelcomeOntario sur les rôles et responsabilités des différents acteurs du PPPR.
- Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) provides information and training for private sponsors about the private sponsorship of refugees.
- What is the O-Canada (Orientation-Canada) App?, the United Nations Migration Agency’s digital tool for refugees selected for resettlement to Canada.