Sponsorship Program

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Ministry of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion (MIDI) has recently updated its website with information clarifying the status of the sponsorship suspension which was announced in January of this year. To read the suspension notice, click here.

We have summarized the highlights of this update in the content that follows. You can find a complete list of Frequently Asked Questions on the MIDI website.

General Information & Processing Applications

From January 27, 2017, until the anticipated end of the suspension on December 31, 2017, Quebec is not accepting any new sponsorship applications. Quebec will continue to process applications and welcome refugees whose applications were submitted before the suspension. The suspension does not affect government-assisted refugees.

Processing Time

The current processing time for MIDI’s sponsorship program is approximately five months. Currently there are 19,000 refugees whose files are being processed. MIDI estimates that these individuals’ arrivals will extend to 2021.

There is a backlog with the federal government due to increased applications, longer processing times in Canadian visa offices abroad, medical examinations and security investigations. MIDI notes that they are unable to intervene with applications while they are processed by the federal government.

Reform of Sponsorship Program

MIDI states on its updated page that due to consultations with stakeholders and refugees and an increase in applications in the last couple of years, there is a need to review and update the sponsorship program. MIDI notes that the suspension in accepting new applications will avoid future delays and allow organizations to focus on welcoming new arrivals during the course of this year.

MIDI has published the following Helpline for refugees and sponsors who have questions: 1 (844) 307-2433 (AIDE).

Action Réfugiés Montréal’s Sponsorship Program

ARM has an agreement with the government to sponsor a limited number of refugees every year. The process can only be started by a permanent resident or Canadian citizen.

The Canadian refugee system has two main parts: one for people making claims for refugee protection from within Canada, and one for people seeking protection from outside Canada.

If you are looking for information about how to ask for refugee status either at a Canadian border, or from inside Canada, please go to the Refugee Claimants page.

If you are seeking protection from outside Canada, there are two ways that a refugee can be resettled to Canada

1. Government Assisted Refugee

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), along with other referral organizations, can recommend refugees to be resettled in Canada. In this case the government covers the cost of the resettlement.

2. Private Refugee Sponsorship

Individuals or groups can submit an application for a specific refugee family to the government of Canada. In this case, the individual(s) in Canada are responsible for covering the cost of the resettlement.

ARM is only able to help with the private refugee sponsorship option. ARM cannot be a sponsor, we can only help someone who is a permanent resident or citizen of Canada be a sponsor.

If you know someone in Canada who can be your sponsor ask them to go to our section called Sponsor a Refugee.

To be eligible for the sponsorship program, as a refugee you must show that you meet either one of these definitions:

Convention refugee

A refugee who left their home country because of a problem related to one of five reasons; race, religion, ethnicity, political opinion, or membership of a particular social group. The refugee cannot have access to a status in the country where they are living now, and also has to show that they cannot return home.

For more information, see the full definition of the Canadian government.

Country of Asylum

A refugee who has been seriously and personally affected by a civil war or armed conflict. The refugee has to be living outside of their home country. The refugee cannot have access to a status in the country where they are living now, and also has to show that they cannot return home.

For more information, please see the full definition of the Canadian government.

Once the application is completed and is sent to the government, there is a long wait time before you will know if you can come to Canada. This wait time can be between 8 months and 70 months. The wait time depends on the country where you are living now. To find out the wait time in your case you can check with the Government of Canada

Please note that sponsorship is a long-term resettlement plan. This program cannot help in emergency situations.

We presented some aspects of our work to students from the Eastern Kentucky University. The professor told us : " Action Réfugiés provided exactly the kind of on the ground perspective and insight, not to mention straight talk, that I was hoping for for the students." ... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook

JOURNÉE MONDIALE DES RÉFUGIÉS 2017 - Ensemble nous bâtissons le Québec

Cette année, Action Réfugiés Montréal (ARM), ALPA (Accueil et Liaison pour Arrivants), Carrefour d’Aide aux Nouveaux Arrivants (CANA), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), RIVO et SINGA Québec organisent une marche symbolique sur la rue Sainte-Catherine le samedi 17 juin à l'occasion de la Journée mondiale des réfugiés (JMR). Lors de cette marche, nous célébrerons le courage et la résilience de celles et ceux qui ont dû fuir leur pays.

Le point de départ de la marche se trouve aux Résidences du YMCA au 4039 rue Tupper, station de métro Atwater.

Notez que les marcheurs sont attendus à midi et que le départ officiel se fera à 13h. La marche se terminera devant l'église St-Jax Montréal, au 1439 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, où sont situés les bureaux d'Action Réfugiés Montréal. Sur place, plusieurs organismes dévoués à la cause des réfugiés animeront des kiosques d'information et des activités interactives. Des réfugiés prendront aussi la parole à cette occasion.

Cette année nous prévoyons une fête, de la musique, des couleurs, des animations artistiques et plusieurs autres surprises! Venez célébrer avec nous!

Si vous souhaitez être bénévole pour cet événement, veuillez contacter Emilia à l'adresse [email protected]



This year, Action Réfugiés Montreal (ARM), ALPA (Accueil et Liaison pour Arrivants), Carrefour d’aide aux nouveaux arrivants, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), RIVO and Singa Québec are organizing a symbolic walk on Saint Catherine Street in Montreal Saturday June 17th to celebrate World Refugee Day. During this walk, we will highlight the courage and resilience of those who had to flee their country.

This walk will start at the YMCA Residence on 4039 Tupper Street, near the Atwater metro station. Note that the participants are invited to assemble at 11h30 and the walk will officially start at 1pm. The walk will end in front of the church St-Jax Montreal, 1439 St-Catherine West, where the Action Réfugiés Montreal office is located.

Many organisations devoted to the refugee cause will hold information kiosks and interactive activities. We will also hear from some refugees during the event.

This year we are looking forward to a bigger party, music, dance, lots of colours, and many other surprises! Come celebrate with us!

If you wish to be a volonteer for this event, please contact Emilia at [email protected]
... See MoreSee Less

Journée Mondiale des Réfugiés 2017

June 17, 2017, 12:00pm - June 17, 2017, 5:00pm

JOURNÉE MONDIALE DES RÉFUGIÉS 2017 - Ensemble nous bâtissons le Québec Cette année, Action Réfugiés Montréal (ARM), ALPA (Accueil et Liaison pour Arrivants), Carrefour d’Aide aux Nouveaux...

View on Facebook

Notre Assemblée générale annuelle: ce jeudi soir! Joignez-vous à nous!
Our Annual General Meeting is happening Thursday evening. Please join us!
... See MoreSee Less

View on Facebook