Update from the Director of ORAT

As we try our best to work with Immigration Canada, as of now we still do not know how or when will we be able to start to resettle new cases. The permission we got from the Canadian government for this year was just about 25% of the last year so we finished to submit cases for all the available spots already last month – April 2017. Now we are working on advocacy and lobbying for new spots. Even our Archbishop made serious steps to try to get more opportunity to help additional refugees – we are anxious to see if the government is listening.
With government representatives we started to work together on the Yazidi and other victims of Daesh program. Soon we will get details on how to help those people, even if they are not refugees only internally displaced.

If you want to resettle a refugee you might need to use Group of 5 or Community Sponsorship. Usually settlement agencies might be able to help in the process, but also we can refer you to some lawyers to get help. In order to qualify, those refugees need the document showing that they have been recognised already as a refugee by UNHCR or from the government of the country where they are now.

Please keep in mind that we do not stop working on trying to find a way how to help more refugees in need.
We will inform you here on Facebook on June 1 about any update we have. 


Dr. Martin Mark. Director, ORAT

(May 4, 2017)

Important notice for people who are planning to initiate sponsorships through the Office for Refugees of the Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT)

Please note that ORAT has used up its annual quota for 2017, which was allocated by the Ministry of Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Therefore we are no longer able to submit applications to the government this year.

If you wish to sponsor a refugee, we encourage you to consider alternative options that may be available, for example, Group of 5 Sponsorship, Community Sponsorship, or other non-refugee immigration avenues. More information about these methods is available on www.rstp.ca.

To stay up to date, and to know when ORAT will be accepting applications again, please visit our website or link to the Facebook page.

If you have a general inquiry or you need any clarification, email us at:  oratrefugeeoffice@archtoronto.org 

(May 2, 2017)

The work of ORAT in 2016

World Day of Migrants and Refugees

2016 Open House

On Tuesday, June 21st the Office for Refugees, Archdiocese of Toronto held its open house and official opening of the new office location. The office was blessed by Cardinal Thomas Collins earlier in the day and in the evening Bishop Kirkpatrick gave wonderful remarks about the work of the Office for Refugees. All staff enjoyed celebrating the hard work that many dedicated volunteers and Resettlement Groups have contributed.

Office for Refugees staff with Cardinal Collins

Bishop Kirkpatrick at Open HouseDr. Martin Marks speaks at Open House

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.

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.


The Office assists the faithful and enables them to provide assistance for uprooted people by helping parishes, religious orders, Catholic institutions and others to find durable solutions for refugees in need. Additionally the Office for Refugees provides similar services to Christian communities in cooperation with the Archdiocese of Toronto.
The office is a venue of communication, cooperation and collaboration for refugee serving organizations in the Archdiocese to improve the level of services provided by Catholic organizations.

The office works with partners nationally and internationally to ameliorate the situation of uprooted people.


The office operates in accordance with the Ten Building Blocks of Catholic Social Teachings and with the generally respected values, philosophy and principles of the Catholic Church.


The office facilitates the Sponsorship Agreement of the Archdiocese of Toronto; animates and coordinates the Catholic network on refugee assistance; liaises with other civic sponsors, dioceses and archdioceses, and international organizations such as ICMC (International Catholic Migration Commission), UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and other refugee serving members of the international community on issues such as resettlement, protection and social justice.

The office's mandate covers the entire geographic area of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto and where members of resettlement groups reside beyond these geographical boundaries.

The Office for Refugees is also mandated to link and network with organizations nationally and internationally for greater cooperation.

Services Offered

Information Sessions: The Office for Refugees provides general immigration and refugee information sessions open to the public on a regular basis. The goal of these sessions is not only to ensure that people understand the Civic Resettlement of Refugees (CRR) Program, but that they are also empowered with the knowledge on all the ways a person can legally enter into Canada.

Parish Information Events: The Office for Refugees is available to provide support with information nights to parish councils, committees or just simply, interested parishioners, on general refugee issues, on civic sponsorship opportunities, etc. Please inquire with the Resettlement Educator if you are interested in hosting information sharing event or the monthly seminar.

Training: The Office provides training to those interested in learning more about settlement and integration on an ongoing basis. Additionally, the Office for Refugees publishes a newsletter to give updates regularly.

Referrals: Although the office's main focus is the civic sponsorship work, the Office can assist parishes, religious orders, chaplaincies, Catholic institutions and related groups in finding professional service providers with regard to refugee and immigrations issues or advocacy needs.

The Office for Refugees is funded by:

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