2.D Refugee-Sponsor Relationship
D.3 What happens if a dispute between sponsors and refugees cannot be resolved?
(i) What is a “sponsorship breakdown” and under what circumstances does it occur?
How Canada Does It
After privately sponsored refugees arrive in Canada, a sponsorship breakdown occurs when the sponsoring group no longer meets its responsibilities to provide care, lodging, settlement assistance, and financial support to the sponsored refugees. Sponsorship breakdowns may be caused by both sponsors and refugees, depending on the circumstances. If the sponsoring group is responsible for the breakdown, the Government of Canada may find it in sponsorship default.
Sponsorship dispute and breakdown protocols are triggered at any point after a refugee has been issued a visa to be resettled to Canada, but most often occur, if at all, after a refugee has arrived in Canada.
A NO-FAULT SPONSORSHIP BREAKDOWN is declared when the sponsoring group breaches its legal responsibilities for reasons beyond its control. Examples include:
- Unknown information on the refugees materializes, e.g. a physical or mental health condition, resulting in an excessive demand on settlement assistance provided by the sponsoring group;
- A refugee’s circumstances change, e.g. a marital separation, resulting in an excessive demand on the sponsoring group’s financial assistance;
- The refugees freely relocate to another part of the country.
A SPONSORSHIP DEFAULT occurs when the sponsoring group is responsible for the breakdown. Examples include:
- The sponsoring group has run out of funds to cover the refugees’ financial needs;
- The sponsoring group loses members, no longer has the capacity to provide care and settlement assistance, and cannot find a new sponsor group;
- Due to disagreements or conflicts, the sponsoring group chooses to no longer provide settlement assistance or financial support to the sponsored refugees;
- The sponsored refugees have to relocate because they have been exploited or abused by the sponsoring group, and have no means to sustain their basic needs.