Refugee Sponsorship in Canada

Sponsoring refugees to come to Canada is a life-saving intervention for the most vulnerable of them.

UNHCR identifies refugees who are in need of resettlement because of their unique situation. These are refugees who will never be able to return home and have needs that cannot be met where they currently live in exile. As members of a minority group or survivors of physical or sexual violence, their prospects of survival are slim, despite having been granted asylum in countries after first fleeing conflicts or persecution.

Through Canada’s support, these refugees are given an opportunity to rebuild their live by being resettled here.

As Canadians, you can participate in this incredible journey that will give a chance to refugees selected by UNHCR and approved by the Canadian Government to settle in Canada.

At age 13, Thuy Nguyen arrived as a refugee to Canada under private sponsorship. More than 30 years later she has paid the favour forward, sponsoring a Syrian family.

Read some of the profiles of refugees waiting to be matched with Canadian sponsors today

Name: Amy

Age: 42

Family: 11-year-old child

Birth country: Eritrea

Current country of asylum: Egypt

Occupation: Cleaner

History: Survivor of sexual violence, in need of specialized counselling not currently available to her

Name: Amir and Iman

Age: 43 and 40

Family: Five children under the age of 15

Birth country: Syria

Current country of asylum: Jordan

Occupation: Small business owner and hotel industry worker

History: Both speak some English, cannot make income in Jordan stretch to supporting their children. Their children attend school infrequently.

Name: Bakur

Age: 32

Family: None

Birth country: Syria

Current country of asylum: Lebanon

Occupation: Was a surgeon in Syria, now picks up construction work in Lebanon

History: Unable to return to Syria as war is ongoing, unable to live freely as a gay man in current country

How You Can Help

The Canadian Government has offered 1,500 spaces in 2018 under a unique program for Canadians to get together and sponsor refugees be resettled in Canada. Some 127 families are currently waiting to be resettled to Canada under the program—but we need Canadians to sponsor their arrival.

The Blended-Visa Office Referred program (BVOR Program) can save lives. Want to know where to start? The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program is here to help you.

Find out More

How BVOR Resettlement Works


UNHCR identifies refugees in urgent need of resettlement



A group of Canadian citizens supports their integration into Canada

Interested in learning more about refugee sponsorship in Canada?

Resettlement to a third country like Canada is a life-saving intervention for vulnerable refugees. By sponsoring a refugee family, you are directly making a real and immediate difference in people’s lives.



Who are the Canadians sponsoring refugees to come here?

Canadians from all walks of life are joining together to welcome refugees to Canada and support their integration into local communities.

Across the country, families, church groups, sports clubs, schools and community groups are pooling their resources to provide a refugee family with the chance to restart their lives in safety.

“We, as Canadians, are the fortunate ones to have them here with us. We are better for it.” Winston Bromley, Peterborough, Ontario

By sponsoring refugee families, Canadians are building up their local community and forging lifelong bonds with new friends. Communities are getting creative about how to raise the amount necessary to sponsor a family’s first few months in Canada.

“Our first fundraiser [to raise money for sponsorship] was a spaghetti dinner. We made spaghetti for 200 people at the school, and we sold out in 20 minutes. I thought people were joking; ‘Really? We sold out already?’ But we did.” Raquel de Querioz, Whitehorse, Yukon

Read more about the inspiring communities welcoming refugees across Canada.

thousand refugees were submitted by UNHCR for resettlement in 2017

million refugees are in need of urgent resettlement

countries around the world accept UNHCR resettlement submissions


of people referred by UNHCR for resettlement in 2017 were survivors of violence or torture

You can make a difference