Private Sponsorship of Refugees
Refugees and newcomers need your help finding a safe home in our community.
If you are already part of a sponsorship group, please review the video training series.
If you would like to sponsor a refugee, here are ways you can help:
If You Know A Refugee Needing Sponsorship
If you would like to help a single refugee or a refugee family, ICA has an annual process to accept requests for sponsorship. This process is known as the Expressions of Interest.
Expressions of Interest
Our Expression of Interest process for sponsorships in 2023 is now closed.
If you want to be invited to receive an Expression of Interest form for sponsorship in 2024, please email us any time between March and September 2023. The Expression of Interest forms for 2024 sponsorships will be sent out in fall 2023.
Sabine Lehr, Private Sponsorship of Refugees Manager
Phone: 250.388.4728 Ext. 2146
If You Want To Sponsor
If you would like to sponsor a single refugee or a refugee family, but you don’t know anyone yet, you can be matched through the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
The UN Refugee Agency identifies refugees for resettlement to Canada. These refugees are then matched to sponsor groups. This program is called the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program.
ICA can match sponsors to a refugee or refugee family through the BVOR program.
To learn more about the BVOR program, visit
History of Refugee Resettlement
ICA has a history of resettlement assistance in Victoria BC, beginning with the resettlement of Fujian Chinese in the 1990s and the Kosovar Resettlement Assistance Project in 2001. More recently, ICA worked with the Project Tibet Society that brought 50 Tibetan refugees to Victoria under a larger national resettlement program of 1,000 refugees across Canada.
In addition to supporting newly arrived Syrian refugees in 2015 and 2016, ICA is passionate about assisting and providing services to immigrants and refugees from a variety of backgrounds.
In February 2016, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA) was approved by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to provide services to Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) under the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). ICA began to deliver this program on February 29, 2016. During the first two weeks of March, over 150 Syrian refugees arrived to the Capital Regional District (CRD). We anticipate more individuals and families will be resettled in the region over the coming year, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees closer to 300. Many families have found permanent housing, but housing needs remain high and we encourage any communities members with housing leads to contact us.
In addition to supporting Government-Assisted Refugees, we have also been helping to coordinate the private sponsorship of refugees in our role as a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH). In private sponsorship, groups of citizens come together to form a Constituent Group and support a refugee family. ICA and other Sponsorship Agreement Holders provide ongoing support for these groups.