2.B Sponsors: From Mobilization to Engagement
B.3 Who is eligible to sponsor and what is their relationship to government?
(iii) What criteria do organizations need to meet before entering into sponsorship agreements with the government? What safeguards are in place for newly-approved organizations?
How Canada Does It
To register as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), organizations must be incorporated (a legally created organization). They must also sign a sponsorship agreement with the Government of Canada.
Generally, new SAH applicants have sponsorship experience and are expected to sponsor multiple refugee cases each year if approved. Applicant organizations must have personnel and finances available to ensure the settlement needs of the sponsored refugees are in place before their arrival. They must also fill out the Sponsor Assessment form, which provides information to determine whether the SAH applicant meets sponsorship eligibility requirements.
The Government of Canada requires SAHs to submit a new Sponsor Assessment form every two years to review their sponsorship eligibility. If new SAHs need support, they may join the Canadian Refugee SAH Association, a national membership association of SAHs in Canada which aims to enhance cohesion within the SAH community by providing a forum for sharing ideas, establishing a means of communication, and consultation among members. They may also turn to nationwide organizations like the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program or local organizations like Refugee 613 for assistance.
SAH applicants must be legally created incorporations, which are governed by provincial laws. Applicant organizations are required to provide a copy of their articles of incorporation, the name and contact information of each member of the Board of Directors as well as each person who has signing authority. Once approved, SAHs and their Constituent Groups must include a Settlement Plan with all sponsorship undertakings for the first two years from the date their first SAH agreement was approved and signed. All persons requiring signing authority under the SAH agreement are required to complete a Sponsor Assessment form to verify sponsorship eligibility. Those with signing authority sign the sponsorship agreement with the Government of Canada.