2.B Sponsors: From Mobilization to Engagement
B.3 Who is eligible to sponsor and what is their relationship to government?
(v) What is the financial capacity of the sponsoring group members individually and collectively and how is their financial capacity determined?
How Canada Does It
Generally, sponsors must demonstrate to the Government of Canada that they collectively possess the financial capacity to support the sponsored refugee family for their first year in Canada. Group of Five members must provide personal financial information as part of the sponsorship application. Sponsoring organizations (Community Sponsors) must show evidence of their organizational finances. All of these documents are carefully examined by the Government of Canada to determine whether sponsoring groups and their members are eligible to sponsor refugees.
Canada produces a Sponsorship Cost Table, which sets out the base minimum financial commitment sponsors need to make based on the size of the refugee family being sponsored. The Sponsorship Cost Table reflects prevailing provincial social assistance rates. These amounts may be reduced by contributing in-kind donations as outlined in the Government of Canada’s In-Kind Donations Table.
Each member of a GROUP OF FIVE must fill out a Financial Assessment form and provide either proof of income (e.g. tax assessments, pay stubs, employment letter); or proof of funds held in trust (a bank letter attesting to the account details).
COMMUNITY SPONSORS must show proof of income by providing audited financial statements; a bank letter attesting to the organization’s account details; an original letter guaranteeing a cash donation; or proof of alternate sources of funding. Community Sponsors can also show proof of funds held in trust by providing a bank letter attesting to the details of the account opened for the sponsored refugees
SPONSORSHIP AGREEMENT HOLDERS (SAHs) do not need to prove financial capacity to sponsor with every sponsorship undertaking due to their agreement with the Government of Canada. The SAH may select and authorize a CONSTITUENT GROUP or a CO-SPONSOR in the expected community of settlement to jointly enter into a sponsorship commitment with the Government of Canada, by signing the Sponsorship Undertaking form. All parties that sign the Sponsorship Undertaking form are jointly liable to fulfill the sponsorship obligations under the terms of this agreement. However, where the Constituent Group or Co-Sponsor does not assume these responsibilities, the SAH will be held solely responsible for making alternative arrangements.
The SAH will also exercise due diligence in screening volunteers and staff involved with the settlement of refugees. This may include Constituent Groups’ relatives, friends, or co-sponsors.