2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.1 Who is Eligible to be sponsored?
(iv) Where do refugees need to be physically located in order to be eligible for sponsorship?
How Canada Does It
Canada only selects persons for resettlement from countries of asylum, meaning that to qualify for the private sponsorship of refugees program, refugees must have fled their country of origin and be residing in another country other than Canada where they have sought protection. Refugees must also meet the other eligibility criteria for private sponsorship (see 2.A.1(i)).
In exceptional cases, Canada may resettle refugees who are still residing in their countries of origin. One example is Canada’s recent resettlement of 1,200 Yazidi women from both inside and outside of Iraq.
Refugees cannot apply directly for resettlement to Canada from countries of asylum. They must be referred by:
- UNHCR; or
- a designated referral organization; or
- a Canadian private sponsoring group.
Refugees already in Canada will not qualify for private sponsorship. If refugees have been legally, economically, and socially integrated in their host country or availed themselves of the protection of the host government, or have been offered resettlement in another country, they will also not qualify for resettlement to Canada. They will also be ineligible if they are able to voluntarily return to safety and dignity to their country of origin and re-avail themselves of national protection.