2.D Refugee-Sponsor Relationship
D.1 What happens if the sponsoring group wants to withdraw its application before the refugees arrive?
(i) What is a “sponsorship withdrawal" prior to the refugees’ arrival?
How Canada Does It
If, after submitting a sponsorship application but before the refugees’ arrival, sponsoring groups are no longer able or willing to provide financial and settlement support to the refugees, they must notify the Government of Canada. This is known as “sponsorship withdrawal.” When sponsorships involve collaboration between a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) and a Constituent Group (CG), withdrawals can only be initiated by the SAH. Groups of Five and Community Sponsors (see 2.B.3) must contact the Government of Canada to request withdrawing the sponsorship application before the refugees arrive. Sponsorship withdrawals are generally uncommon.
In the Canadian context, sponsorship withdrawal is “a cancellation by a sponsor of an undertaking before the issuance of a visa. It is the last option when all attempts to fulfill the conditions of the sponsorship have failed or when situations have changed.” A sponsoring group cannot withdraw a sponsorship application after the refugee’s visa to Canada has been issued. If sponsorship breakdown occurs after the visa has been issued, sponsorship dispute and breakdown protocols are triggered (see 2.D.2). Sponsorship withdrawal is an uncommon experience in Canada.
If sponsoring groups are no longer able or willing to provide financial and settlement support before the refugees’ arrival, then they must notify the Government of Canada of their request to withdraw.
When sponsorships involve collaboration between a SAH and a CG, withdrawals can only be initiated by the SAH. If a CG attempts a withdrawal, the Government of Canada must notify the SAH, so that the SAH can make alternative arrangements for the sponsorship (i.e. assign the refugees to a different CG, recruit new sponsors, etc.). SAHs are ultimately responsible for their CG’s sponsorship undertaking (see 2.B.5) since the sponsorship agreement is between the Government of Canada and the SAH.