OPTIONS - When my parents decided to immigrate to Canada in the 1980s, they were sponsored by family members who they knew would be waiting for them at the airport. When you ask them today what the greatest factor was in their decision to immigrate to Canada, they say that it was knowing they’d have a support network waiting for them. The daunting journey was made much easier for them because they knew they had a support system that was prepared to help them find a job and show them the nearest church, grocery store and park. If they had a problem, they had a community of people only a phone call away who could help them navigate the new country they found themselves in. This was the basis upon which they built their new life, which turned into a successful immigrant story.

My family’s story is also the story of millions of newcomers who are lucky enough to immigrate to Canada knowing they have people waiting on the other side to make the transition smoother. Some of these immigrants happen to be refugees, who find themselves in an unthinkable position: displaced by war and civil unrest, forced out of their homes and left to pick up the pieces while living in a refugee camp or on the streets of a country that happens to border theirs, until they are accepted for immigration.

The majority of refugees enter Canada as either government-assisted refugees (GARs) or privately sponsored refugees (PSRs). GARs are refugees who are chosen by institutions such as the UN Refugee Agency and then referred to the government of Canada for resettlement, and they are entirely supported by the government for up to one year. PSRs are refugees sponsored by a private group that promises to financially and emotionally support a refugee for the first year that they live in Canada.

Private sponsors are a part of civil society, associations that “are formed voluntarily by members of society to protect or extend their interests or values.” Civil society organizations can include clubs, unions and associations, families, firms and, of course, private sponsorship groups. Private sponsorship groups are made up of concerned citizens who have voluntarily come together based on a shared desire to help refugees succeed.

There are many success stories of refugees who arrived in Canada through the PSR program, and who have thrived due to that sponsorship. One Syrian man, Alhakam Alsheikh, was privately sponsored and settled in Newfoundland in March 2017. He quickly found work as a technician in a local computer company using the job-search resource provided by the Association for New Canadians in St. John’s, a nonprofit, community-based organization. A year later, the owner decided to retire. Alsheikh raised the money to buy the company and is now running the business.

Many will remember the story of a Syrian refugee sponsored by a group in Guelph, Ontario, who happened to live next door to a bride in distress. Just four days after his arrival in Canada, he sprang into action when a wedding party at a neighbouring house needed help. The zipper on the bride’s dress had broken, and the Syrian, a tailor, was able to sew the dress back together moments before the ceremony, with the help of Google Translate.

Canadian private sponsorship is so highly regarded that in recent years, countries like Argentina, Australia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have experimented with sponsorship programs based on the Canadian model. The United States also started a program in the late 1980s that was short-lived and has yet to be revived.

The stronger civil society is, the greater the positive outcomes are for society and for individual refugees. Canada has a good system for private sponsorship of refugees in place already. Strengthening private sponsorship is worth having a conversation about, because the advantages of civil society to refugees are numerous and undeniable. Voluntary action by individuals and groups within civil society ought to be encouraged, and strengthening the refugee system should be only the beginning.

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Posted: 07/20/2018 - 14:56

Sponsorship Training Program’s workshop in Mississauga

In this workshop, attendees would learn:

  • What a perfect settlement plan looks like
  • How to calculate costs and reflect the budget in the form
  • About new elements in the settlement plan

Please bring your laptop to the session. We will demonstrate how to fill out the form and you can finish yours by the end of the session.

Date: Thursday, July 19, 2018
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Location: Catholic Crosscultural Services, 3660 Hurontario Street, 7th floor, Mississauga

To register please click here

Posted: 07/11/2018 - 10:57

This RSTP webinar would cover topics such as:

  • recap of sponsors’ settlement and financial responsibilities under the PSR program
  • the importance of connecting newcomers with a settlement agency
  • managing expectations
  • power imbalance; and, ethical considerations

Date: Monday, July 23, 2018
Time: 1:00 p.m.

To register please click here

Posted: 07/11/2018 - 10:40

This RSTP webinar would cover topics such as:

  • when should sponsors start preparing for Month 13
  • what to consider when preparing newcomers for Month 13
  • services available for sponsored newcomers in Month 13
  • evaluating the sponsorship; and, the post-sponsorship relationship.

Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

To register please click here

Posted: 07/11/2018 - 10:18

RSTP is organizing a workshop mainly for Groups of Five members who are interested to receive guidance on how to complete the new form of Sponsorship Undertaking and Settlement Plan IMM 5670.

The session will cover:

  • Key changes to requirements/process
  • Financial Considerations
  • Hands on completing the new Sponsorship Undertaking And Settlement Plan form

Sign-in will start at 5:45pm and the workshop will begin at 6:00pm. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Sponsorship Undertaking And Settlement Plan form is dynamic and it will be beneficial if you could bring your laptop where you could practice/complete your form as we present.

Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Catholic Crosscultural Services, 55 Town Centre Court, Suite 401 Toronto

To register please click here

Posted: 07/10/2018 - 16:06

This RSTP webinar would cover topics such as:

  • the importance of keeping IRCC up-to-date with any changes in circumstances
  • who to contact and when
  • how to add dependents post-submission.

Date: Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

To register please click here

Posted: 07/10/2018 - 15:54

This RSTP webinar would cover topics such as:

  • an overview of the application process
  • recent updates and changes to processing
  • who can be included on one application package
  • what supporting documents need to be included in the application package
  • completing the forms for Groups of Five
  • completing the forms for Community Sponsors
  • proof of funds requirements; and completing the refugees’ forms. 

Date: Wednesday, July 16, 2018
Time: 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

To register please click here

Posted: 07/10/2018 - 15:48

The interview with the Canadian visa offices (VO) abroad is the stepping stone towards granting permanent residence status for your sponsored refugees and bringing them to safety in Canada.

This webinar will provide some guidance on how to prepare your sponsored refugees for this interview, it will mainly tackle: 

  • The rights of refugees during the interview
  • What to expect during the interview
  • Basic principles to stick to
  • Possible reasons for rejection

Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

To register please click here

Posted: 07/10/2018 - 15:33
  • Do you know that in more than 70 countries LGBTQ 2 persons are persecuted due to their sexual orientation and gender identity?
  • Are you also aware that LGBTQ2 refugees are one of the most vulnerable refugees?

Canada has been a lead in protecting and resettling LGBTQ2 refugees. At this moment, there are 14 LGBTQ2 refugees identified for resettlement to Canada but waiting to be matched with private sponsors.

Join us to learn more about these vulnerable refugees and discuss on ways to sponsor them.

Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

To register please click here

Posted: 07/10/2018 - 15:29

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program invites you to join our free workshop on Navigating the new Settlement Plan form for Groups of Five.

Learn about:

  • How perfect settlement plan form looks like
  • How to calculate costs and reflect the budget in the form
  • New elements added to the settlement plan form

 We recommend that you bring your laptop so you can work on the settlement plan for the refugees you would like to sponsor as we are going to illustrate the steps on screen and will used real cases, you might have the draft settlement plan done by the end of the session.   

Date: July 19th, 2018
Time:  1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
Location: CCS 3660 Hurontario St. 7th Floor, Mississauga

To register please click here

Posted: 06/27/2018 - 14:49