October 19, 2022
IRCC Announces a Special Program to Sponsor Afghan Refugees
In early October 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced a special program for Group of Five and community sponsors in Canada wanting to sponsor Afghan refugees, waiving the requirement to submit the Refugee Status Determination (RSD) document.
For background, The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a foreign state issues RSD documents to those eligible for protection.
Prior to the announcement, the Group of Five and community sponsors usually had to submit an RSD document in order to sponsor a refugee, regardless of their country of origin. Starting 17 October 2022, the RSD document requirement for Afghan refugees has been removed. The program will run until 17 October 2023 or until IRCC has accepted applications for 3,000 Afghan refugees into processing.
To be accepted into this special program both the Group of Five or community sponsor, the refugee must meet the eligibility requirements set out by IRCC. All refugees will have to meet the requirements for security, criminality, and medical examinations. Additional requirements include being outside of Afghanistan and meeting the definition of a Convention Refugee or Country of Asylum Refugee.