Barriers to refugee sponsorship remain: survey of sponsors

Delays, inequities, and limits are major concerns


Ottawa, ON: April 10, 2017 — Refugees and refugee sponsors in Canada face significant policy challenges, according to a new report by Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ).

The survey of Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) reveals that barriers to refugee sponsorship in Canada remain, including long wait times for processing, limits on how many refugees each group can sponsor, and the federal government’s unequal policy on travel loans.

A Half Welcome: Delays, Limits, and Inequities in Canadian Refugee Sponsorship, released today, draws on the responses of SAH representatives across Canada. The report calls for more governmental efforts to protect refugees from harm by processing applications in a timely manner and removing inequities in the system.


“The solidarity shown to refugees by so many Canadian sponsors can be frustrated by unnecessary governmental blockages. This CPJ report offers real solutions from communities of people who are doing this generous work on the ground, everyday. Their voice deserves to be heard.”
—Joe Gunn, executive director, Citizens for Public Justice

“Many Sponsorship Agreement Holders call for attention to the long waits currently impacting many refugees, despite the government’s positive efforts to resettle so many Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016. SAHs consider this to be inequity in private sponsorship, and urge the government to ensure more balance in this regard.”
—Bolu Coker, Citizens for Public Justice, author of the report

“For the better part of the last 40 years, the private sponsorship of refugees program has engaged people throughout Canada in welcoming refugees. This report from CPJ makes important recommendations for the future of the program, by learning from, and building on the best practices of the past.”
—Gloria Nafziger, Refugee Coordinator, Amnesty International Canada

“This report is a concise brief of the concerns of those who sponsor refugees across most of Canada. If implemented, the recommendations would enhance Canada’s excellent efforts in sponsoring refugees.”
Patti Fitzmaurice, Catholic Centre for Social Justice for the Archdiocese of Winnipeg


For more information, contact Brad Wassink at ac.jpc@darb or 613-232-0275 x. 225.

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