Group of Five Sponsorship (G5)

The United Nations has reported that in 2016 there were a record number of refugees displaced all over the world. Today that number is soaring far above 65 million people, and is the highest number of refugees that the world has ever seen; including during the time of the holocaust.

This is devastating number of people that have been forced to leave their home country in order to escape war, persecution or natural disasters. Because of the increased number of refugees in the world today, Canada has opened its doors to these individuals— through a program called the Group of Five (G5) Sponsorship.

What is a Group of Five Sponsorship?

A Group of Five (G5) is when five or more persons (Canadian citizen or permanent residents) come together to sponsor refugee that lives outside of Canada. This is a fantastic program as it allows refugees to come to Canada and escape the issues they are facing in their current home country. As great as the program may sound unfortunately it is only limited to refugees that are recognized by United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a foreign state. What this means the principal applicant must have refugee status (Syrian and Iraqi refugees are exempt from this requirement). So prior to sponsoring the person from abroad as a refugee make sure UNHCR or the government of the country has confirmed that they meet the definition of refugee. This document given by the foreign state or UNHCR must be submitted with the refugee sponsorship application as it proves they are recognized refugee (photocopy of the document is sufficient).

At least five individuals must be eligible to sponsor and willing to contribute to the requirements of sponsorship. Each group member must complete a personal financial profile form and the group must collectively complete a settlement plan and financial assessment.

Eligibility Requirement for Group Five

The five members must be willing to contribute to the requirements of the sponsorship and each member in the group should complete personal financial form and settlement plan. Also, each G5 must meet the following criteria:

Responsibility of the Group of Five (G5)

Once the refugee arrives in Canada you and your group members are responsible for 12 months or until the refugee become self-sufficient. If the immigration officer believes the refugee may require more time for support it can be extended to a maximum of 36 months. As the sponsoring group you can refuse the request from the immigration officer but should you refuse then there is a high chance of refusal for the application.

Can we sponsor only one family member as the G5?

When you sponsor a refugee you have no choice but to sponsor the whole family unit, you cannot pick out who you want to sponsor. When you sign the undertaking form, all the immediate and dependent family members should be mentioned. So when you fill out the application for permanent residence all members should be included whether they are accompanying the principal applicant to Canada or may follow later under the provisions of the One Year Window (OYW) program.

How much Finances Should I show to Qualify as G5

To determine how much finances you need to show as the Group of Five to meet sponsorship requirements is by referring to the “Settlement Plan and Assessment Group of Five” form. This form will help you determine annual settlement cost for sponsoring a refugee or refugee family. When calculating keep in mind where the refugee will settle and how much it will cost to settle in that community.

The G5 can make a trust fund for the sponsorship but the group cannot accept payment from the refugee. Financial support is given based on the need of the refugee and they are required to contribute to their own settlement costs from money they bring to Canada or money they earn during their sponsorship period. Of course the Group of Five has to support the refugee to become self-sufficient but the refugee cannot depend forever on the G5. If employment is found by the G5 members but the refugee does not like the job he/she is not obligated to work there. Should the refugee person refuse the reasonable job offer, as the G5 you reduce your financial support. The sponsoring members cannot rely on employment income from the refugee, as the sponsors you must ensure you cover the 1 year period and cover the financial funds.

Any hidden Cost for G5 Sponsorship

As the Group of Five sponsors you may have to repay the government loan if the refugee person cannot pay for overseas medical examination and their transportation to Canada.

How is Sponsoring Group matched with Refugee Person?

Matches between sponsors and refugee(s) can be made in one of two ways:

Sponsor-Referred Stream

The Sponsor-referred stream, is applicable when the name of a refugee, or refugee family is suggested by the sponsoring group. It is important to note that if you are considering sponsoring an individual or a family of people that the individual you wish to sponsor is eligible to apply through private sponsorship. Furthermore, if you looking to sponsor an individual you should find out whether or not that individual has any family living in Canada as in most cases refugees should be living in a community with at least some of their family members to help them better adjust.

Visa Office-Referred Stream

The Visa office-referred stream, is applicable when Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), works to find private sponsors for refugees around the world. Once the sponsorship is signed they then work to bring the individual to Canada as quickly as possible, however in some cases delays may occur as often times arranging travel documents and exit permits can be quite cumbersome.

Contact Akrami & Associates

If you are Group of Five and like to sponsor a refugee to Canada but not sure if you qualify to do so or how to start then contact Akrami & Associates at 416-477-2545. These applications are not easy, especially if five sponsors are involved it can get very messy if you don’t have experience. Our immigration experts have great deal of experience in sponsorship application and we can help you too.

With Akrami & Associates there is always a way!!