“Sponsoring refugees is an amazing experience that saves lives, gives the gift of hope to people who are lost in despair and changes us forever as individuals and as a nation.” – Liz McWeeny, Member of the Order of Canada, expert with over 35 years experience in refugee resettlement
If you’re thinking about sponsoring a refugee, we can help. More than 1000 lawyers across Canada are trained and ready to offer their services free of charge to sponsorship groups, thanks in large part to the mobilizing efforts of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers, the Canadian Bar Association, and our local partners.
Here’s how to get started:
1) Know the basics. Refugee sponsorship is a commitment, and the process can take many months. That being said, it is one of the most meaningful and rewarding things you can do to help people in dire need. You can learn some of the sponsorship basics by reviewing the resources here.
2) Build your team. There are ways to sponsor a refugee by yourself, but we strongly suggest that you build a small team of dedicated individuals to undertake sponsorship together (ideally about 5 people). A team approach helps manage workload, ensures there is enough support throughout the process, and lets you share in the rewards of this journey with others.
3) Let us help! There are currently two ways we can help, depending on your location. Please read the information below carefully before proceeding.
a) If you are in Ottawa, Toronto, Windsor, Kingston, Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, Vancouver, Victoria, Halifax, or New Brunswick, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org telling us that you want to sponsor. Please include your name, the city that you live in, how many people are in your group, whether you have a particular person you want to sponsor, whether you have begun the sponsorship process, and any other information you think we should know.
b) If you anywhere else in Canada, consult our Sponsorship Support Lawyer List to find a Pro Bono Lawyer near you. This list includes lawyers across Canada who are providing their services free of charge to sponsorship groups. Once you have found a lawyer near you, send them an email including your name, city of residence, how many people are in your group, whether you have a particular person you want to sponsor, whether you have begun the sponsorship process, and any other information you think they should know. Once you’ve connected, you and the lawyer can work out a plan to meet together and begin the sponsorship process.
PLEASE NOTE: SSP Pro Bono Lawyers may not charge fees for any sponsorship support services offered through the SSP. This is a strictly pro bono (free) program. If you are working with an SSP Pro Bono Lawyer and they ask you to pay for the help they are giving you, please email email@example.com immediately.
If you are an expert in sponsorship and would like to lend your expertise to this program, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to connect.