2.D Refugee-Sponsor Relationship
D.4 What happens at the end of the sponsorship period?
(v) Are subsequent sponsorship applications affected by past sponsorships?
How Canada Does It
The Government of Canada reviews each sponsorship application to determine the sponsors’ financial and settlement capacity to resettle refugees (see 2.B.3). Sponsoring groups who fulfill the financial and settlement requirements to sponsor will be approved, unless they have been declared in sponsorship default for a previous undertaking (see 2.D.3(ii)). While sponsorship breakdowns are very rare in Canada, if the Government of Canada determines a sponsorship group is in default of its obligations while subsequent applications are being processed, those applications will be suspended, reassessed, and possibly refused.
Groups may end their status of financial default by repaying the government any money paid to the refugees in place of the sponsors during the sponsorship period. In the case of a non-financial default where the refugees subsequently become self-sufficient or receive settlement support elsewhere, Canada has discretion to allow the sponsorship groups to submit subsequent applications.
Each application submitted must be reviewed to determine sponsorship eligibility. Sponsoring groups who fulfil the financial and settlement requirements to sponsor will be approved, unless they have been declared in sponsorship default for a previous undertaking. Sponsorship breakdown is very rare in Canada and most disputes are resolved through accessing appropriate supports and mediation where required.
In rare cases of default, if a sponsoring group has been found at fault (i.e. is declared in sponsorship default) for an unsuccessful past sponsorship with subsequent applications pending, the Government of Canada prepares a list of cases currently under the sponsor’s care:
- For cases currently under the sponsor’s support and for cases where visas have been issued, the local immigration office will assess whether the sponsor is able to fulfil his/her obligations to these cases.
- Where a visa has not been issued, the local immigration office will notify the overseas visa office of the default and advise them to suspend processing until alternate arrangements are made. Failing this, the case will be withdrawn (see D.1). The Government of Canada should revoke approval of the sponsorship undertaking and the overseas visa office should refuse to issue the visas to the refugees.
Groups of Five and Community Sponsor groups in default are not allowed to submit subsequent applications until they end their default status. If Sponsorship Agreement Holders are in default, their agreement with the government may be cancelled, suspended, or amended. To end a financial default, the sponsoring group must repay the government for the costs it has incurred supporting the refugees in place of the sponsors. In the case of a non-financial default where the refugees subsequently find other means to meet their settlement needs (e.g. finding housing), Canada has discretion to end the default and allow the sponsoring group to submit another application.