Many organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, provide services to assist both refugees and their sponsors. The list below has been assembled from a number of different sources, and information is updated frequently.
Before arriving in Canada :
This section offers information and resources on administrative procedures to follow in order to apply for a sponsorship program, the criteria to respect, the paperwork to fill out, etc.
Canadian government :
- Citizenship and Immigration Canada website (Information, forms, resources, etc. about refugees in Canada)
- Information, forms, resources, etc. specific to refugee sponsorship
- Guidebook for sponsor groups
Quebec government :
- Quebec Immigration website (Information, forms and resources about group sponsoring)
- Group sponsoring guidebook (PDF in French only) :
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) Information, forms and administrative resources to prepare for and apply for a sponsorship program
- Their handbook for sponsors of Syrian refugees
Lifeline Syria – Toronto based organization, but offering a lot of relevant information and resources for the sponsoring and integration of refugees
- Their handbook for sponsor groups
- Register of Quebec immigration consultants
After arriving in Canada :
- Canadian government programs to help refugees settle in
- Handbook for sponsor groups
City of Montreal (Information and relevant documents for welcoming refugees)
- Greater Montreal Information and referral center Hotline : 514-527-6951
- Lifeline Syria – Toronto based organization, but offering a lot of relevant information and resources for the sponsoring and integration of refugees
- Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) -Handbook for sponsors of Syrian refugees
Help with administrative procedures, integration, and support :
- Scalabrini Centre
- Centre social d'aide aux immigrants (CSAI)
- Information sessions on the first steps to take towards settling in in Quebec (offered in French only in Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Quebec and Gatineau.)
Donations : Clothes, toys, furniture, food, etc. and integration tools & resources :
- Canadian alliance for Syrian aid
- Hotline : 1-855-797-2272 FREE / 514-400-3309
Useful links – Resources and services directory
- Immigrant services list according to region
- Action Réfugiés Montréal : Refugee sponsoring and reference center for services offered by other organizations
- TCRI : Ressources pour l’immigration et l’intégration (in French)
- List of community organizations working towards welcoming and facilitating the integration of Syrian refugees
- List of all the organizations members of the Canadian council for refugees
- Organizations offering free services to help Syrian refugees – resources and services search tool (in French)
Other services :
- Rivo Résilience : offers free counselling to refugees and asylum seekers to help them overcome the consequences of violence suffered abroad.
- Register of Quebec immigration consultants
Community organizations – Help with integration :
Orientation, courses and training, French classes, job search support, etc.
Alliance pour l’accueil et l’intégration des immigrants et immigrantes (ALAC)
5165, chemin Queen-Mary, #350
Montréal (Québec) H3W 1X7
Clef pour l’intégration au travail des immigrants (CITIM)
1595, rue Saint-Hubert, #300
Montréal (Québec) H2L 3Z1
La Maisonnée inc.
6865, avenue Christophe-Colomb
Montréal (Québec) H2S 2H3
7355, boulevard Saint-Michel, #102
Montréal (Québec) H2A 2Z9
Carrefour d’Intercultures de Laval
1536, boulevard Curé-Labelle, #226
Laval (Québec) H7V 2W3
Carrefour Le Moutier
99, Place Charles-Le Moyne, #105
Longueuil (Québec) J4K 4Y9
Community organizations – Help with integration *with on-site nursery*:
Accueil aux immigrants de l’est de Montréal (AIEM)
5960, rue Jean-Talon, #209
Montréal (Québec) H1S 1M2
Carrefour d’aide aux nouveaux arrivants (CANA)
10780, rue Laverdure
Montréal (Québec) H3L 2L9
Centre d’accueil et de référence sociale et économique pour immigrants de Saint-Laurent (CARI Saint-Laurent)
744, Decarie Blvd, #202
Montréal (Québec) H4L 3L5
Du Collège metro
Centre d’appui aux communautés immigrantes de Bordeaux-Cartierville (CACI)
4770, rue De Salaberry
Montréal (Québec) H4J 1H6
PROMotion-Intégration-Société nouvelle (PROMIS)
3333, chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine
Montréal (Québec) H3T 1C8
Centre Bon Courage de Place Benoit
155 Place Benoit, #02
Saint-Laurent (Québec) H4N 2H4
Other helpful links :
- Interesting analysis on Syrian refugees by Oxfam « Solidarité avec le peuple syrien »
- Refugees 613 – Ottawa based organization
Family allowances :
- Canada child tax benefit :1-800-387-1194
- Child assistance benefit : 514-864-3873
- Office municipal pour l’habitation : 514-872-6442
Quebec has a very generous and flexible refugee sponsorship program. Since its head office is located in Quebec, CJPME leverages Quebec programs when sponsoring refugees. Please review the below sections to get an idea of how Quebec’s programs work. Where appropriate, we provide links to the Quebec and Federal government Websites
While Quebec has its own sponsorship programs, they are subject to certain basic constraints imposed by the Canadian government. Below are the criteria by which Canada determines that an individual is a refugee:
- A person who is outside his or her country of citizenship or habitual residence;
- A person who has been, and continues to be, seriously and personally affected by civil war or armed conflict or who has suffered massive violations of human rights;
- A person for whom there is no possibility of finding an adequate solution to his or her situation within a reasonable period of time; and
- A person who will be privately sponsored or who has adequate financial resources to support himself or herself and any dependents.
Quebec offers three different sponsorship options, each of which is described in more detail further below :
- Sponsorship as a group of 2-5 individuals
- Hybrid Sponsorship as a group of 2-5 individuals in conjunction with a non-profit organization
- Sponsorship by a non-profit organization
- The sponsored refugees are taken in and financially supported by a group of 2 to 5 sponsors (Quebec residents).
- These sponsors commit to financially support the refugees in their care for a period of one year.
- A hybrid formula with 2 to 5 individual sponsors (Quebec residents) in addition to an non-profit «sponsor organization» (e.g. CJPME)
- Like option #1 above, this formula is likewise a commitment to financially support the sponsored refugees for a one year period.
- A non-profit organization (e.g. CJPME) sponsors on its own. The organization in question commits to putting up the funds, and taking all the responsibilities of sponsorship.
The sponsors (whatever the sponsorship model) promise the government to provide for the financial needs of the refugee(s) for a minimum period of one year, and sometimes up to 3 years.
From a financial perspective, the sponsor must ensure that the refugee’s needs for a 12 month period following the refugee’s (and his family’s) arrival in Quebec are met. This would include:
- The cost of installation and settlement in Quebec for the refugee and the family members accompanying him/her,
- The costs of housing, furnishing, moving, as well as the budget for food and clothing.
- Refugees enjoy coverage under Canada's public medical insurance, but the sponsors are responsible for any care and services not covered by Canada's public insurance.
- The costs for any of the steps taken towards preparation, integration, job search, etc. not covered by any governmental program.
The sponsor also commits, toward the sponsored refugee(s) to:
- Facilitate their settling in
- Help them in their learning of French
- Support them in their job-serching process
- Contribute to their integration to life in Quebec
Note: The refugee cannot benefit from welfare for the duration of the sponsorship. If he/she does so, the sponsor will have to reimburse the government.
What are the responsibilities of the government in terms of refugee sponsorship?
The government will provide all of the following services to refugees once in Canada:
- All medical care, same as what is offered to residents of Quebec
- All the services associated with children, e.g. daycare, etc.
- Access to education through the public school system
- Access to university studies on the same scale as that offered to Quebec residents.