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Refugee Sponsorship: Group of Five (G5)

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Refugee Sponsorship: Group of Five (G5)

There are two main categories of refugee sponsorship programs in Canada: government-assisted and Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR).

The Private Sponsorship of Refugees program allows a group of Canadian citizens or permanent residents to join hands to resettle refugees from other countries.

Private refugee sponsorship programs are further subdivided into three categories:

  • Groups of five
  • Community sponsor (CS)
  • Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH)

Before discussing the G5 program, let’s briefly have a look at the CS and the SAH program.

Community Sponsors (CSs) are organizations, corporations, or associations that support refugees to resettle in Canada. CSs don’t necessarily have to be Incorporated under provincial or federal law. However, they must exist as a legal entity and have the necessary financial muscle to fulfill their sponsorship mandate. These organizations are required to be located in communities where the Refugee being sponsored is expected to settle.

Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) are incorporated bodies that have collaborated with the IRCC (Immigration and Refugees Citizenship Canada) to sponsor refugees to Canada. They sign an agreement with the immigration Minister to sponsor a given number of refugees yearly for resettlement to Canada via the PSR program.

What’s a Group of Five (G5) refugee sponsorship program?

G5 is an arrangement where 5 Canadian PRs or citizens have joined hands to sponsor at least one refugee from abroad to resettle in Canada.

Groups of five mainly sponsor applicants who fit into the UNHCRs definition of a refugee. They also sponsor people with valid refugee status in another country.

Responsibilities of a group of five

A sponsoring G5 fulfills many varied responsibilities. The provision of settlement assistance and financial support such as, but not limited to:

  • Housing facilities including finding a permanent home
  • Finding interpreters for refugees who may not understand English or French (Official languages in Canada)
  • Assistance in finding education facilities, healthcare, and transportation
  • Assistance with dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, if any, or any crisis as a newcomer in Canada
  • Completing a comprehensive settlement plan specifying the living arrangement put in place and the details of the persons involved in the sponsorship program

When submitting a Refugee sponsorship undertaking, a G5 will also submit documents showing their:

  • financial resources
  • the ability to undertake the sponsorship
  • the commitment to the program
  • the sponsorship periods (which is usually at least a year)

Eligibility criteria for G5 membership

To qualify to sponsor a refugee to Canada under the group of five programs, you must be:

  • at least 18
  • a permanent resident in Canada or a Canadian citizen
  • a community member in the area where the Refugee will reside
  • willing to commit to supporting the program financially and with helping the Refugee settle in Canada for the duration of the agreed period

Members of the G5 must show that they have the financial capacity to meet the settlement plan’s requirements for the entire period of the undertaking. A group of five has three options to demonstrate their financial capability:

  • The group of five has financial resources held in trust in a bank or any other reputable financial institution
  • At least three¬† G5 members contributing resources to the program with their personal income
  • A combination of both

Sometimes the G5 chooses to partner with other persons (for example, family members of refugees who have already acquired Canadian PR or citizenship) in Canada. The partner, who could also be an organization, will be a “co-sponsor” and must sign all necessary forms.

A person applying for a G5 refugee sponsorship must fulfill the eligibility and the admissibility criteria before accessing Canada.

Generally, a foreigner applying for a G5 sponsorship must be recognized by the country of asylum as a Refugee. They should have documentary proof that they are refugees in another country. Besides, they should meet the UNHCR’s definition of a refugee. According to UNHCR, a refugee is a person who has fled war, conflict, violence, or persecution and has crossed an international border to seek protection in another nation.

A Canadian visa officer will make a final decision on your refugee application through an interview. In case you receive a positive interview decision, the Canadian authorities will determine your admissibility to the country. The determination of admissibility involves processes such as Security screening, Medical screening, and criminality screening.

The common grounds for inadmissibility include:

  • The Refugee applicant posing as a national security threat to Canada
  • History of organized or serious crimes
  • Evidence that the applicant once violated International or human rights
  • The applicant is a public health threat.
  • Cases of misrepresentation

Get in touch with the reputable Rameh Law Firm to discuss your case now.