Private Sponsorship Program for Afghan Nationals without a Refugee Status

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Private Sponsorship Program

This past weekend, the Government of Canada decided to tweak the rules – but only for a short period. Beginning October 17, 2022, group of five and community sponsors in Canada can sponsor Afghan refugees without having to submit a refugee status determination document, otherwise known as an RSD. If you are unsure what an RSD is, it is a document issued by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a foreign state confirming that the person seeking protection is considered a refugee. This document is submitted as part of your application when sponsoring a refugee. For right now, this special consideration is going to last until October 17, 2023, or until they have accepted 3,000 applications for Afghan refugees into processing.

Even though the refugee status has been waived, Immigration officers will still be reviewing all sponsorship applications to ensure the refugees meet their requirements for security, criminality, and medical exams. There are also some things that need to be completed before applying for sponsorship. The first thing to do is make sure you’re eligible to sponsor refugees as a group of five or community sponsor. Second thing on the list is to complete training. Your sponsorship group must complete an online training session with the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP). For groups of five, 1 member of the group must complete the training and for community sponsors, they must have the group’s signing authority complete the training. The training session is meant to help you understand who can sponsor as a refugee and your responsibilities as a sponsor, and if it isn’t completed, you won’t be able to sponsor through this special program. Find out how to sign up for this online training here.

Luckily, there have been guides provided online to help you successfully complete and submit your application or if you wish to have representation, you can always contact our office where someone will be more than happy to assist you. If you do wish to complete the application on your own, you can find guides for group of five and community sponsors online provided by the Government of Canada. Remember, if the refugees are without status, you must wait until October 17 to submit the application otherwise it will not be processed under this policy.

Many Afghan nationals are currently being subjected to deportation in many countries including Tajikistan, Turkey, and Pakistan, whether they have status or not. It is a terrifying time for both refugees and their loved ones here in Canada, especially when the deportations are happening at random, and in the thousands. We are in a critical time, and have been for a long time and although this program does not eliminate all fears and hardships for Afghans, it can be seen as a beacon of hope for many. Hope that has since been lost in the past years.

Our office has spent a number of years helping many Afghan families reunite with their loved ones, it is a very personal subject for us at Rameh Law. We ensure that someone will be more than happy to help you with your sponsorship application should you require any assistance.