2.B Sponsors: From Mobilization to Engagement
B.5 What are sponsors' responsibilities?
(ii) What are sponsors’ responsibilities to sponsored refugees?
How Canada Does It
Sponsors should support sponsored refugees before they arrive in the following ways:
- Assisting sponsor-referred (“named”) refugees in preparing their application for permanent residence and compiling the supporting documentation along with certified translations. The application for permanent residence is a difficult and complicated set of documents and it is highly unlikely that a refugee overseas could successfully complete it without either professional help or the help of an experienced sponsor;
- Sharing information and updates with refugee applicants throughout the application process;
- Ensuring refugees are aware of their interview and appear for the interview;
- Offering support for interview preparation; and
- Communicating with refugees to learn about their particular resettlement needs.
After refugees arrive, sponsors have a legal responsibility to provide them with care, lodging, settlement assistance, and support for the duration of the sponsorship period. Normally, this lasts twelve months starting from the refugee’s arrival in Canada or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient; whichever comes first.
Sponsors have a legal responsibility to fully implement the duties set out in their Settlement Plan, including
- Providing for the cost of food, rent, household utilities, and other day-to-day living expenses;
- Providing clothing, furniture, and other household goods;
- Locating interpreters when required;
- Assisting in selecting a family physician and dentist;
- Assisting with applying for provincial healthcare coverage;
- Enrolling children in school and ensuring adults receive services under the Settlement Program, including language training;
- Linking refugees to the broader community and facilitating community connections;
- Providing orientation to life in Canada and services such as banking, transportation, etc.; and
- Helping in the search for employment.
- The Sponsorship Cost and In-Kind Deduction Tables included in the application serve as a guide to the expected levels of financial support required.
- Sponsors are expected to provide a level of support comparable to that of the prevailing rates for social assistance in the expected community of resettlement.
- The amount of financial support required varies according to the type of sponsorship program being pursued and whether there are cost-sharing arrangements with Canada as in the Blended Visa-Office Referred (BVOR) program, 3/9 and 4/8 programs, and Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) (see 2.A.4(v)).
Before and soon after the refugees’ arrival, sponsors should clearly explain to the sponsored refugees their roles and responsibilities in relation to their resettlement. Sponsoring groups should clarify each sponsor’s individual role for the coming year as set out in the Settlement Plan. Sponsors should highlight that their goal is to assist the refugees in becoming self-sufficient and integrate into Canadian society while respecting the refugees’ right to autonomy.