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?
Groups 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 (ORAT) 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, Archdiocese of Toronto (ORAT) play in the resettlement program?
ORAT administers the agreement between the Archdiocese and Immigration Refugees and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (IRCC): acts as a bridge between the sponsors and the government. ORAT assesses cases and processes applications. ORAT can help you learn more about resettlement through an electronic newsletter and online forum, monthly seminars and workshops. ORAT does not sign or provide funding for resettlement.
5. Do you have to be Catholic to be resettled or to use the services ORAT provides?
No, the services are provided to everyone regardless of religion, race, gender or political opinion. ORAT's work is financed by the Archdiocese of Toronto and ShareLife. Being Catholic is not a requirement in order to be sponsored by a parish.
To initiate a resettlement with ORAT, the first step is to register online for
Info Session 1: Orientation (Civic Resettlement Program) via
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 settlement Work Plan outlining the settlement arrangements put in place for the refugees. This lays out the logistical arrangements of the resettlement, 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 ORAT both during the application process and throughout the resettlement 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 ORAT by a church…
ORAT can help you, but it is not actually the resettlement group: ORAT 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 ORAT is willing to help you in resettling the refugee(s), ORAT 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. ORAT 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. ORAT helps in the process but it is something that differs from parish to parish.
10. If I decide to use G5, in what way can ORAT assist me?
ORAT 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, ORAT can refer you there as well, but keep in mind that you have to cover the retainer fee. ORAT can also provide answers to questions you may have about the process.