Understanding Canada’s Private Sponsorship Program: Its origins, features, and consequences

Journal title MONDI MIGRANTI
Author/s Ervis Martani
Publishing Year 2024 Issue 2024/1
Language English Pages 16 P. 17-32 File size 186 KB
DOI 10.3280/MM2024-001002
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

This article highlights features of Canada’s private sponsorship program and ex-plains its consequences and performance. It explores which actors were involved in the private sponsorship, how domestic circumstances stimulated the application of the program, and it discusses its intended and unintended consequences. The author examines the profile of the Syrian refugees and discusses how personal characteristics may affect integration trajectories. Private sponsorship is consid-ered more effective than government-assisted sponsorship as it ensures a smooth-er, faster, and long-term integration of refugees. However, the author argues that personal profiles could play a critical role in integration process, and therefore, measuring the program’s performance by only comparing it with a government-assisted program could be challenging.

Keywords: private sponsorship; refugee; integration; Syrians; Canada.

  1. Agrawal S. (2019). Canadian Refugee Sponsorship Programs: Experience of Syrian Refugees in Alberta, Canada. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 20: 941-962.
  2. Alberta Association of Immigrant Serving Agencies – AAISA (2017). Alberta Syrian Refugee Resettlement Experience Study. Calgary.
  3. Alio M. and Omidvar R. (2018). Crowdsourcing Refugee Resettlement. Stanford Social Innovation Review. Winter 2018.
  4. Bégin J.F. (2016). Réfugiés syriens: la Ville contribuera à la formation des parrains. La Presse, June 1, 2016.
  5. Beiser M. (2003). Sponsorship and Resettlement Success. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 4: 203-215.
  6. Cameron G. (2020). Reluctant Partnership: A Political History of Private Sponsorship in Canada (1947-1980). In: Cameron G. and Labman S., eds., Strangers to Neighbours Refugee. Sponsorship in Context. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  7. Cameron G. and Labman S. (2020). Introduction: Private Refugee Sponsorship: An Evolving Framework for Refugee Resettlement. In: Cameron G. and Labman S., eds., Strangers to Neighbours Refugee. Sponsorship in Context. McGill-Queen’s University Press
  8. Canadian Council for Refugees – CCR (2009). Brief history of Canada’s responses to refugees. https://shorturl.at/BINY5.
  9. Carrière A. (2016). History and legacy of refugee resettlement in Ottawa. Ottawa: Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership.
  10. Carter T., Friesen A., Polevychok C. and Osborne J. (2008). The Resettlement Experiences of Privately Sponsored Refugees. Winnipeg: University of Winnipeg.
  11. Clarke J.N. and Marlow T. (2020). The cracks in our admired private refugee sponsorship program. Policy Options, January 30, 2020.
  12. Couldrey M. and Herson M., eds. (2017). Resettlement. Forced Migration Review, 54.
  13. Cox P. (2021). Breaking the language barrier. Victoria: University of Victoria.
  14. Dauphin A. and Veronis L. (2020). Expériences de réinstallation des réfugiés syriens à Gatineau au Québec. Revue européenne des migrations internationales, 36/2-3: 185-209.
  15. Denton T. (2013). Unintended consequences of Canada's private sponsorship of refugees’ program. 2013 International Metropolis Conference, September 9-13, Tampere.
  16. Derksen M. and Teixeira C. (2023). Refugees and religious institutions in a mid-size Canadian city. Population, Space, and Place, 29, 5: 1-14;
  17. Dhital D. (2015). The Economic Outcomes of Government Assisted Refugees, Privately Sponsored Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Canada. Ottawa: University of Ottawa.
  18. El-Chidiac S. (2018). The success of the privately sponsored refugee system. Policy Options, July 20, 2018.
  19. Epp M. (2017). Refugees in Canada. A brief history. Ottawa: Canadian Historical Association.
  20. Gagné A., Al-Hashimi N., Little M., Lowen M., Sidhu A. (2018). Educator perspectives on the social and academic integration of Syrian refugees in Canada. Journal of Family Diversity in Education, 3/1: 48-76.
  21. Garnier A., Jubilut L. and Sandvik K. (2018) Introduction. Refugee Resettlement as Humanitarian Governance: Power Dynamics. In: Garnier A., Jubilut L., Sandvik K., eds., Refugee Resettlement as Humanitarian Governance: Power Dynamics (pp. 1-27). New York: Berghahn Books.
  22. Gingrich L.G. and Enns T. (2019). A Reflexive View of Refugee Integration and Inclusion. Refuge, 35, 2.
  23. Godin K., Janzen R. and Ochocka J. (2017). Understanding the experiences of Syrian refugee youth. Center for Community Based Research.
  24. Government of Canada (2020). Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program; https://shorturl.at/mwHY9
  25. Government of Canada (2019). By the numbers – 40 years of Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program; https://shorturl.at/oqvEH
  26. Government of Canada (2018). Country Chapter. UNHCR resettlement handbook; https://shorturl.at/dGX19
  27. Haugen S., Lenard P.T. and Regan Wills E. (2020). Creating Canadians through Private Sponsorship. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 53: 560- 576; DOI: 10.1017/S000842392000024
  28. Houle R. (2019). Results from the 2016 Census: Syrian refugees who resettled in Canada in 2015 and 2016. Statistics Canada; https:// shorturl.at/befq0.
  29. Harris K. (2019). Immigration minister says Canada is playing a 'truly transformational' role in private sponsorship of refugees”. CBC, December 17, 2019; https://shorturl.at/emqF8
  30. Hyndman J., Reynolds J., Yousuf B., Purkey A., Demoz D. and Sherrell K. (2021). Sustaining the Private Sponsorship of Resettled Refugees in Canada. Frontiers in Human Dynamics, 3: 1-13;
  31. Hyndman J., Payne W. and Jimenez S. (2016). The State of Private Refugee Sponsorship in Canada: Trends, Issues, and Impacts. RRN/CRS Policy Brief, December 2, 2016. Toronto: York University.
  32. Hynie M., McGrath S., Bridekirk J., Oda A., Ives N., Hyndman J., Arya N., Shakya Y., Hanley J. and McKenzie K. (2019). What Role Does Type of Sponsorship Play in Early Integration Outcomes? Syrian Refugees Resettled in Six Canadian Cities. Refuge, 35, 2: 36-52.
  33. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada – IRCC (2021). Syrian Refugees – Monthly IRCC Updates. https://shorturl.at/GOP27.
  34. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada – IRCC (2020). Resettled refugees – monthly IRCC updates; https://shorturl.at/blFJL
  35. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada – IRCC (2018). Operation Syrian refugees: an overview of Canada’s resettlement initiatives and early outcomes; https://shorturl.at/ktH48
  36. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada – IRCC (2016a). Evaluation of the Resettlement Programs, July 2016; https://shorturl.at/drGIO
  37. Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada – IRCC (2016b). Rapid Impact Evaluation of the Syrian Refugee Initiative. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, December 2016; https://shorturl.at/pqO34
  38. Janzen W. (2021). Reflecting on the Role of the Mennonite Central Committee in Advocating for Refugees. In: Melnyk G. and Parker, C., eds., Finding refuge in Canada. Edmonton: AU Press.
  39. Jedwab J. (2018). GARs vs PSRs: Explaining Differences in Outcomes for Recent Refugees to Canada. Canadian Diversity, 15, 2: 38-46; https://www.jstor.org/stable/48648763
  40. Kaida L., Stick M., Hou F. (2022). Short-, medium- and long-term employment-related outcomes of resettled refugees. In: Martani E. and Helly D., eds., Asylum and resettlement in Canada. Historical development, successes, challenges and lessons. Genova: Genova University Press.
  41. Keung N. (2023). Why some groups are quitting Canada’s popular refugee sponsorship program. Toronto Star, January 17, 2023; https://shorturl.at/zRS46
  42. Labman S. and Cameron G. (2021). What Joe Biden can learn from Canada’s private refugee sponsorship program. The Conversation. May 16, 2021.
  43. Labman S. and Pearlman M. (2018). Blending, Bargaining, and Burden-Sharing: Canada’s Resettlement Programs. Int. Migration & Integration, 19: 439-449.
  44. Labman S. (2019). Crossing Law’s Border: Canada’s Refugee Resettlement Program. Vancouver: UBC Press.
  45. Labman S. (2016). Private Sponsorship: Complementary or Conflicting Interests? Refugee, 32, 2: 67-80.
  46. Lanphier M. (2003). Sponsorship: Organizational, sponsor, and refugee perspectives. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 4, 2: 237-256.
  47. Lenard P.T. (2020). How Should We Think about Private Sponsorship of Refugees? In: Cameron G. and Labman S., eds., Strangers to Neighbours Refugee. Sponsorship in Context. McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  48. Lenard P.-T. (2016). Resettling refugees: is private sponsorship a just way forward?. Journal of Global Ethics, 12, 3: 300-310.
  49. Lord C. (2023). Housing affordability at worst levels in 41 years, Bank of Canada index shows. Global news, December 13, 2023.
  50. Macklin A., Barber K., Goldring L. and Hyndman J. (2018). A Preliminary Investigation into Private Refugee Sponsors. Canadian Ethnic Studies, 50, 2: 35-57.
  51. Madokoro L. (2016). Elusive Refuge. Chinese migrants in the cold war. Harvard: Harvard University Press.
  52. Madokoro L. (2009). Good Material: Canada and the Prague Spring Refugees. Refugee, 26, 1: 161-171; https://www.jstor.org/stable/48648357
  53. Martani E. and Helly D. (2021). Asylum policies and resettlement. Insights and lessons from Canada’s experience. Mondi Migranti, 3, 2021: 219-240;
  54. McLean J., Friesen C. and Hyndman J. (2006). The first 365 days: Acehnese refugees in Vancouver, British Columbia. RIIM Working Paper No. 06-07, Metropolis British Columbia.
  55. Morris S., Lenard P.T. and Haugen S. (2021). Refugee Sponsorship and Family Reunification. Journal of Refugee Studies, 34, 1: 130-148.
  56. Neuwirth G. and Clark L. (1981). Indochinese Refugees in Canada: Sponsorship and Adjustment. The International Migration Review, 15, 1/2: 3131-140.
  57. O’Mahony J., Kassam S., Clark N. and Asbjoern T. (2023). Use of participatory action research to support Syrian refugee mothers in the resettlement period in Canada: A longitudinal study. PLoS ONE, 18, 2: 1-29.
  58. Perzyna M. and Agrawal S. (2022). Making the Match: Understanding the Destining Process of Government-Assisted Refugees in Canada. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, online.
  59. Rose D. and Charette A. (2017). Finding housing for the Syrian refugee newcomers in Canadian cities. Montreal: INRS.
  60. Refugee Sponsorship Training Program – RSTP (2019). Responsibilities of Sponsors & Availability of IRCC funded Services for PSRs and BVORs; https://shorturl.at/nFLM8
  61. Soehl T. and Van Haren I. (2023). The effect of social capital on migrant labor market success: evidence from refugee sponsorship in Canada. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 46, 15: 3224-3248; DOI: 10.1080/01419870.2023.218510
  62. Ugland T. (2018). Canada can, can we? Sponsoring integration of refugees, the Canadian way. Stockholm: FORES.
  63. Vineberg R. (2018). Canada’s refugee strategy: how it can be improved. SPP Briefing Paper 11/4. Calgary: University of Calgary.
  64. Wilkinson L. and Garcea J. (2017). The economic integration of refugees in Canada: A mixed record? MPI.

Ervis Martani, Understanding Canada’s Private Sponsorship Program: Its origins, features, and consequences in "MONDI MIGRANTI" 1/2024, pp 17-32, DOI: 10.3280/MM2024-001002