May 21, 2024

Refugee Resettlement Assistance: Canada’s New Temporary Public Policy for Sponsorship Agreement Holder

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

On 23 April 2024, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada announced a new temporary public policy to assist refugee applicants affected by the cancellation of a Sponsorship Agreement Holder’s (SAH) Sponsorship Agreement. When an SAH sponsorship agreement is cancelled, it can have profound implications for refugee applicants awaiting resettlement. These individuals may suddenly find themselves without a valid sponsorship, putting their resettlement prospects in jeopardy.

This temporary public policy acknowledges the challenges faced by refugee applicants, many of whom have longstanding ties to Canada and have endured prolonged waiting periods throughout their application process.

The temporary public policy will allow for an exemption of the requirement for refugee applicants to submit a Refugee Status Determination (RSD) document with their sponsorship application. This exemption will streamline the sponsorship process, making it more accessible for Groups of Five (G5) and Community Sponsor (CS) groups to extend their support to impacted individuals.

To be eligible for the exemption, the following conditions must be met:

  • the applicant was sponsored by an organization whose Sponsorship Agreement has been cancelled;
  • the principal applicant has received a Procedural Fairness Letter requesting that the applicant find a new sponsor;
  • the period provided in the Procedural Fairness Letter to find a new sponsor has not elapsed; and
  • the Procedural Fairness Letter has been issued within the effective period of the temporary policy.

Foreign nationals and their accompanying family members must still meet standard regulatory and legislative requirements, including those related to criminal, security, and health grounds.

The temporary public policy came into effect on 7 May 2024 and will expire twenty-four (24) months thereafter.

By providing a pathway for refugee applicants impacted by sponsorship cancellations to secure new sponsors, this temporary policy seeks to uphold the country’s humanitarian values and support those in need of protection and resettlement.