Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Sponsoring Sponsorship

Amnesty International is testing community support for the continuation of the government's trial refugee sponsorship regime.

The pilot programme won't be completed until December 2018. Whether the programme continues will depend on experience in that trial programme, and presumably on the government's expectation that there might be sufficient community support to warrant it.

Those interested can pledge their support at Amnesty's site.

I'm not sure what will be expected of sponsors here in the final form of the programme, but the point of the programme is to let the government admit more refugees by taking costs off of the government. That implies a financial and non-financial obligation for sponsors.

Here's the Canadian model:
2.6 What are the responsibilities of the sponsoring group?Sponsoring groups agree to provide the refugees with care, lodging, settlement assistance and support for the duration of the sponsorship period. Normally, this is 12 months starting from the refugee's arrival in Canada or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient, whichever comes first. In exceptional circumstances, the visa officer may determine that the refugee requires more time to become established in Canada and will ask the sponsoring group to extend the sponsorship period to a maximum of 36 months. The sponsoring group has the option of refusing the request for an extension of the sponsorship period. However, the sponsoring group risks having the case refused as a result.

Private sponsors normally support the sponsored refugees by:
  • providing the cost of food, rent and household utilities and other day-to-day living expenses;
  • providing clothing, furniture and other household goods;
  • locating interpreters;
  • selecting a family physician and dentist;
  • assisting with applying for provincial health-care coverage;
  • enrolling children in school and adults in language training;
  • introducing newcomers to people with similar personal interests;
  • providing orientation with regard to banking services, transportation, etc.; and
  • helping in the search for employment.
Sponsoring groups must reside or have representatives in the community of settlement (i.e. in the community where the sponsored refugees will live). The intent is to have a group of persons helping refugees to get established in the community and not one person acting alone.

It is not possible to sponsor only one member of a family unit. The sponsorship undertaking should name all immediate and dependent family members listed on the Application for Permanent Residence, whether they are accompanying the principal applicant to Canada or may follow later under the provisions of the One Year Window (OYW) program as described in section 2.10. The sponsoring group is obliged to provide support to all family members listed on the undertaking, regardless of the timing of their arrival in Canada. The sponsor is responsible for supporting the non-accompanying family members under the same terms as in the original settlement plan, unless the principal refugee applicant is now self-sufficient and able to provide adequately for his or her family members. De facto dependants should also be included in the sponsorship but should be named on a separate undertaking as described in section 2.11.

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