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Refugee Resettlement

​​If you want more information about the Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto, including practical information and forms, please go to www.archtoronto.org/refugee​

Thanks to civic sponsors, in the past 35 years, hundreds of thousands of refugees from around the world have been able to find a safe haven in Canada. Individuals with communities can initiate to bring refugees to Canada – through a group of five, a community organization or a sponsorship agreement holder. The Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto provides advice, support and assistance if you want to initiate a sponsorship/ resettlement. Additionally, the office works with parishes, religious orders and Catholic institutions in the archdiocese, enabling them to participate in this rewarding program.Photo of newcomers welcomed to Canada through the Office of Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto 

Support available from the Office for Refugees:

  • Provides information sessions for the general public regarding refugee resettlement as well as other Canadian immigration options.

  • Is the liaison between parishes, the Archdiocese and Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in refugee resettlement.​

  • Assesses resettlement applications and settlement plans.

  • Monitors all procedures before and after submission of a resettlement application and the integration process.​

  •  Invites you to enroll in the resettlement email distribution to receive information about refugee related issues regularly.​

  • More information: www.archtoronto.org/refugee​​

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who may be resettled in this program?

Based on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act: You can initiate resettlement for those who are in refugee-like situations outside of their own country AND outside of Canada, and their life would be at risk upon return to their homeland, AND who have no other durable solution. 


2. Can I sponsor people who are still in their home country?

No, you should not even start any process if the people are still in their own country of origin. Keep in mind that they might be banned from the program if they relocate only for resettlement purposes.


3. Who can sponsor/resettle a refugee?

Group of Five (G5) – at least five Canadian citizens or permanent residents can initiate refugee sponsorship, if they fulfill the criteria.

Community Sponsorship (CS) – incorporated or unincorporated organization, association, or business, based in the community where the refugees are expected to settle, if they fulfill the criteria.

Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) – there are nearly 100 different faith related and ethnic organizations that have Sponsorship Agreements with the Government of Canada (IRCC). The Office for Refugees represents the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto – with their Resettlement Groups (RGs): parishes, convents, and religious institutions or any other ethnic or faith groups if they fulfill the criteria.


4. What role does the Office for Refugees play in the resettlement program?

The office administers the agreement between the Archdiocese and Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Immigration Canada (IRCC): acts as a bridge between the sponsors and the government. The Office for Refugees assesses cases and processes applications. The office can help you learn more about resettlement through an electronic newsletter and online forum, monthly seminars and workshops. The Office for Refugees does not sign or provide funding for resettlement.


5. Do you have to be Catholic to be resettled or to use the services the Office for Refugees provides?

No, the services are provided to everyone regardless of religion, race, gender or political opinion. The office's work is financed by the Archdiocese of Toronto and ShareLife. Being Catholic is not a requirement in order be sponsored by a parish.

To initiate a resettlement with the Office for Refugees, the first step is to register online for Info Session 1: Orientation (Civic Resettlement Program) via www.officeforrefugees.eventbrite.com

What do I do after the session? After the orientation session please send all your answers for the questions provided during the session to the email specified on the pink sheet.​


6. If I initiate a resettlement for a refugee, what are my responsibilities as a cosponsor?

Providing basic financial support – shelter, clothing, food, etc… – and care for the resettled refugee from the welcome at the airport until the end of the sponsorship period, usually for one year.

Sponsors need to complete a detailed Work Plan outlining the settlement arrangements put in place for the refugees. This lays out the logistical arrangements of the settlement, detailing who and how they will help the refugee locate suitable housing, learn the official language, get a job, open a bank account, etc…

Sponsors work in tandem with the Office for Refugees both during the application process and throughout the settlement period. This high-level of communication ensures the best possible situation for the arriving refugee. 


7. I would like to be a cosponsor and was referred to the Office for Refugees by a church…

The Office for Refugees can help you, but it is not actually the resettlement group: the Office for Refugees only facilitates the resettlement done by you as a (co)sponsor and by Catholic institutions, parishes or religious orders. If a church that has referred you to the office is willing to help you in resettling the refugee(s), the Office for Refugees can process your application and can help you on how to do it.


8. Where can I find a list of Catholic parishes or other churches or groups that could act as a sponsor? What if I am not Catholic?

It is your responsibility to look for a parish that is willing to participate in the resettlement of your relative/friend. You can use the "find a parish" tool on the archtoronto.org website. You don't have to be a Catholic or be affiliated with the church to get their help. Several non-Catholics are sponsored by Catholic churches. It is a good idea, but not the only option to approach the nearest parish to your home and talk to the parish priest. The Office for Refugees can advise you on how to approach a church. 


9. I was told that I have to deposit money, but I do not need anything from the church and I can host the refugees when they come to Canada.

You do need to deposit money for covering the liability established by IRCC for the resettlement process. Please be aware that it is illegal to cover the financial liability by funds from the refugees.

If the funds for resettlement have not been used within the year, then the remaining funds go back to the depositor after the resettlement process ended. The exact amount might vary as the parish determines it. It is used in case there is an emergency or sponsorship default. You need to clarify this with the parish. The office helps in the process but it is something that differs from parish to parish. 


10. If I decide to as well use G5, in what way can the Office for Refugees assist me?

The office can refer you to counsellors at different settlement or community agencies to help you in preparing your application, usually free of charge. If you require a reliable lawyer or immigration consultant, the office can refer you there as well, but keep in mind that you have to cover the retainer fee. The office can also provide answers to questions you may have about the process. ​

​Processing time varies across the world.Check application processi​ng times​.​