The ability to refer refugees for consideration under the Joint Assistance Sponsorship program

Resolution number
  1. The Sponsorship Agreement notes as Principle #3 the ability of the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) to submit undertakings for refugees referred by the sponsor and further to this, Appendix 3 describes the roles and responsibility of this undertaking in Joint Assistance Sponsorships;
  2. The ability to refer refugees for resettlement to Canada has been of longstanding importance to sponsors and to the CCR and it has been the practice of some sponsors to refer refugees for consideration under the Joint Assistance Program;
  3. The new regulations require a sponsor to sign a CR3 undertaking at the front-end of a referral of a refugee for consideration as a CR5, thus negating the need for the visa post to give due consideration to the eligibility for the CR5 programs and obliging the sponsor to fulfil their undertaking for full support as a CR3;
  4. Citizenship and Immigration Canada commits in the Sponsorship Agreement (page 6 - j) to make "best efforts to give notice of any change in policy, regulations or legislation that is likely to affect this Sponsorship Agreement": and this notice was not made;
  5. There is no mechanism available to sponsors to make referrals under the Joint Assistance Program other than by signing the undertaking as a CR3;
  6. NGOs overseas have the ability to refer refugees to the visa post for consideration as CR5s;
  7. CIC has indicated that it is difficult to identify enough refugees for resettlement in order to meet its annual targets;
  8. Joint Assistance Sponsorship cases may have community links in the destination community who will enhance the potential for successful establishment of otherwise difficult cases;
Therefore be it resolved

That the CCR:

  1. Urge Citizenship and Immigration:
    (i)to allow private sponsors in Canada to retain their ability to identify and refer refugees for consideration for resettlement to Canada as CR5s under the Joint Assistance and Women at Risk Programs;
    (ii)not to oblige private sponsors, in making the referral, to provide a CR3 undertaking at the time of referral as is described in the Operations Memorandum "Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program: in Canada": and to revise the Operations Memorandum to reflect this, especially in Sections 8.4, 9.2.1 and 9.2.2;
  2. Request the NGO-Government Committee on the Private Sponsorship of Refugees to support this resolution;
  3. Request that CIC enter into consultation with private sponsors and other stakeholders to seek ways to address the issues of concern currently hampering the referral of named refugees under the CR5 Program.
Working Group
Overseas Protection and Resettlement