Frequently Asked Questions

About Sponsorship
What is the sponsorship process with Lifeline Syria?

Lifeline Syria will recruit, train and assist sponsor groups to welcome and support 1,000 Syrian refugees coming to Canada as permanent immigrants to resettle in the GTA. We will work with the Syrian community in the GTA to link refugee families with potential sponsorship groups and we will work with governments at all levels to ensure that these sponsorships are approved quickly. Most often, we will work with organizations who now hold contracts with the federal government (Sponsorship Agreement Holders-SAHs) and link them to local groups interested in sponsoring refugees.

How can refugees can be resettled in Canada?

There are three ‘streams’ through which refugees can come to Canada. Lifeline Syria works in the privately sponsored refugees (PSR) stream.

  • Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs)
    • These are Convention refugees whose initial settlement (for up to one year) is entirely supported by the Government of Canada or by the province of Quebec.
    • They are referred to Canada for resettlement by a referral organization like the UNHCR. A refugee can not apply to be a GAR though Lifeline Syria.
  • Privately sponsored refugees (PSRs)
    • These are refugees who meet either the Convention refugee or the Country of Asylum definitions.
    • They are referred for resettlement by a private sponsor in Canada who agrees to provide financial and other support for the refugee for one year.
  • Blended Visa Office-Referred refugees (BVORs)
    • These are Convention refugees referred by the UNHCR who are matched with a private sponsor in Canada.  A refugee can not apply to be a BVOR though Lifeline Syria.
    • The Government of Canada provides up to six months of income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP), while private sponsors provide another six months of financial support and up to a year of social and emotional support.
Does religion play a role in refugee sponsorship?

No. Lifeline Syria works with anyone who is a Syrian refugee under the Canadian requirements; religion does not affect whether or not a case is submitted.

Are processing fees part of the program?

There are no application or processing fees under the private sponsorship program.  However, there is a requirement to provide funds for the refugees to support them during the sponsorship.  Refugees can not pay for their sponsorship.  After arriving in Canada, refugees are also encouraged, but not required, to contribute to their own settlement costs from funds they bring to Canada or earn during their sponsorship period.

What are the responsibilities of a sponsorship group?

Sponsorship groups must make provision for reception, care, lodging and settlement assistance and support for the sponsored refugees for the duration of the sponsorship period which is 12 months from the date of arrival of the refugee or until the refugee becomes self-supporting and no longer requires settlement assistance, whichever is less.

The group will complete a settlement plan outlining the settlement arrangements put in place for the sponsored refugees, such as the monthly support being provided, finding suitable housing for them, and helping them to learn an official language, get a job or go to school, and connect to services in the community.

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