Private Sponsorship of Refugees in 2017: Facts and resources
Recent announcements regarding the private sponsorship of refugees in 2017 mean restrictions on the number of applications that can be submitted:
Sponsorship Agreement Holders (outside of Quebec) collectively can submit applications for a total of 7,500 people in 2017. While this number is lower than last year, the good news is that there are no longer any restrictions based on geographic regions (in recent years some visa offices were subject to "sub-caps").
For Groups of 5 and Community sponsors (outside of Quebec), there is now a limit of 1,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees who can benefit from the exemption to the requirement of proof of refugee status.
Beginning 27 Jan 2017, the Quebec government will not accept any new applications to sponsor refugees, for an undetermined period.
Join us on 7 February at 2 pm (Eastern time) for an interactive online meeting for private refugee sponsors. We will present this private sponsorship of refugees toolkit, explore available resources for sponsors and networking needs, especially for Groups of 5. Click here to sign up for this online meeting.
Comments on Canadian immigration levels for 2017
The restrictions on new refugee sponsorship applications reflect the lower than expected immigration levels for 2017. While the overall immigration levels for 2017 remain higher than recent years, the CCR is disappointed that the targets for refugees do not reflect the global needs or the desire of Canadians to sponsor refugees. The target for Government-Assisted Refugees is out of step with Canada’s efforts to promote a strong international response to refugees. Private sponsorship should never take the place of government responsibility towards refugees.
At the US-Canada border: Refugee claimants need Canada’s protection
Recently, there has been an increase in people entering from the United States to make a refugee claim in Canada. There have also been distressing reports of people suffering serious frostbite as they attempt to enter Canada.
Dangerous crossings that put people’s health and safety at risk are an entirely preventable problem. They are the direct consequence of the Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada with the US, implemented in December 2004.
The Safe Third Country Agreement is based on the premise that the US is safe for refugees. However, the CCR believes that the US is not safe for all refugees. There is also concern that in future the US may adopt refugee policies that make it even less safe for refugees.
Canadians are well aware of the tragic loss of lives when refugees are forced to take desperate measures to get to safety, such as getting into a rickety boat or crossing a border in freezing temperatures. We can save lives by making it possible for refugees to make a claim without having to resort to desperate measures.