ICA Is Now Able To Assist With Refugee Resettlement Into Victoria As A Sponsorship Agreement Holder
In August 2015, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) received approval from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH). This is a framework agreement with the Canadian government to support refugees to resettle in Canada through Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program. We are the second group in Greater Victoria that holds an agreement with IRCC to privately sponsor refugees as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder, along with the Anglican Diocese of BC.
Under the agreement, we will work with Constituent Groups in sponsoring refugees. As done in the past, we will continue to assist community sponsoring organizations or Groups of Five – five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who get together to sponsor a refugee or refugees. Sponsoring groups assist with financial obligations, as well as the reception, housing, and care of the refugee newcomers when they arrive to the region. Refugee cases can either be identified by the Canadian government for a blended financial sponsorship model, or family members or friends residing in Victoria can identify refugees abroad for resettlement. There is high interest among the public in sponsoring Syrian refugees; however, there are currently not any government-referred cases available for sponsorship. Syrians in Victoria who would like to sponsor family members who have fled the conflict in Syria are encouraged to contact us at ICA to explore sponsorship options.
If you are curious about working with a SAH such as ICA to help sponsor a refugee or refugee family, here are some helpful tips:
- Form a Constituent Group to determine how many people will be involved in sponsoring the refugee and ensure you have a plan on how to raise funds for resettlement assistance – funding and other support obligations are required for 1 year
- Contact ICA as one of your local SAHs and meet with our Immigrant Services Manager in order to be authorized as a Constituent Group
- Determine whom you want to sponsor – do you know a family member or friend of refugees abroad who is interested in working with your group? If not, are you interested in sponsoring someone on the list of visa office-referred cases?• Once authorized, work with us to start the application process to resettle a refugee or refugees to the Greater Victoria area
For additional information about how to get involved, please contact:
Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager
250-388-4728 ext. 146