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Canada immigration minister Sean Fraser

Canada Announces 10x Increase In New Refugees Under SAHs

Last Updated On 17 February 2023, 7:22 PM EST (Toronto Time)

Today, immigration minister of Canada, the hon’ble Sean Fraser announces 10 times increase in number of refugees that SAHs (Sponsorship Agreement Holders) can sponsor.

Now SAHs will have annual quota of sponsoring 13,500 refugees in 2023. Previously, the annual quota was only 1,350.

Increase in cap is targeted at enabling new SAHs to get their operations up and running, while also assisting established enterprises to expand.

As per Immigration Levels Plan 2023-2025, Canada will resettle over 144,000 refugees, including over 83,500 privately sponsored migrants during the next 3 years.

On December 13, 2022 IRCC Minister also announced that Canada will be welcoming 2000 New Skilled Refugees under Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot (EMPP).

There are around 138 organizations designated as SAHs who sponsor refugees to Canada. Furthermore, there are 51 more organizations that applied to become SAHs and are under review.

What are Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs)?

SAHs are organizations that enter into agreement with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to sponsor a specific number of refugees for resettlement to Canada each year.

Sponsors give money and settlement assistance to refugee families for the duration of the sponsorship, which is normally 12 months.

Financial assistance provides monthly payments for basic essentials (such as housing, food, and public transportation, as well as furniture and clothes) as well as social and emotional support.

SAHs can sponsor a refugee they already know and can be their

  • friends
  • members of a family in your community
  • refugees identified by an overseas contact

Click here for full list of Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH).

Moreover, SAHs can also select refugees under 2 visa office-referred programs:

An organization must meet certain criteria in order to become SAH as mentioned below:

  • have been in incorporated (a legal organization) for at least two years
  • be geographically based in Canada
  • be interested in and capable of sponsoring more than five refugees or refugee families per year
  • have the means and support network to be a successful SAH

Furthermore, the principal contact for the SAH, the president (or equivalent), and any representatives who will be submitting sponsorship applications must be an 18-year-old Canadian citizen, Permanent Resident, or Registered Indian.

Moreover, this principal contact must be living in or have at least two representatives in the same community as the refugee will live in.

Applications to become SAH was opened between May 30 to August 31, 2022. However, new SAH applications for 2023 haven’t opened yet.

Sponsorship Agreement Holders Canada

Click here for more details on Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) and their process of refugee selection.


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