Important Announcement: Temporary Measures To Support Group of Five Sponsorship

As you know, Lifeline Afghanistan was created to replicate our success with the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge, which mobilized 2,000 people, raised $5 million and sponsored more than 400 Syrian refugees. But special policies, such as prima facie designation of Syrians outside the country as refugees regardless of documentation from UNHCR, and additional spaces through sponsorship agreement holders (SAHs) which had facilitated the process in 2015, were not available. Coupled with limited operational capacity on the ground and challenges associated with COVID and the war in Ukraine, there were limited avenues for private sponsorship outside of SAHs or for refugees with UNHCR designation, most of whom had been out of the country for years. While 20,000 Afghans have made it to Canada in the last year, there are limited pathways to welcome more through the resources and social capital provided by private sponsors. Many groups and individuals have been advocating for change, including the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan: Situation in Afghanistan.

We were delighted to see some movement, which was announced last week.

As an exceptional measure, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced a temporary public policy that will enable more Canadian citizens and permanent residents to get involved in sponsoring Afghan refugees. This new measure, which comes into effect on October 17, 2022, enables groups of five and community sponsors to submit applications for up to 3,000 Afghan refugees without having to submit, as is typically required, a refugee status determination (RSD) from the United Nations Refugee Agency or a foreign state. IRCC will accept sponsorship applications for this program until October 17, 2023 or upon receiving applications for 3,000 Afghan refugees. Afghan refugees who are outside Afghanistan may be sponsored through this program. Refugees must continue to meet other program requirements, including those related to security, criminality and medical admissibility.

Sponsors must complete online training from the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) and provide a certificate of completion. This training will help sponsors understand who is eligible for sponsorship, and their responsibilities in supporting refugee newcomers.

Please consult the special program to sponsor Afghan refugees without refugee status from the UNHCR or a foreign state to learn how to access this pathway.

While the pathway applies only to 3,000 refugees and is time-limited, it opens a door. Lifeline Afghanistan has been working to support pathways for Afghans and will continue to mobilize sponsors, volunteers and donors through this new initiative.

Please contact lifelineafghanistan@ryerson.ca for more information.



Canada announces a new pathway for family members of Afghan interpreters to come to Canada. Pleased Canadian Immigration and Citizenship is taking action. Looking forward to an immediate focus on providing even more ways for Afghans to resettle in Canada.


Canada previously announced it will welcome 20,000 refugees including Afghan minorities, women’s rights activists, LGBTQ2+ individuals, and journalists along with their families through the Afghan resettlement program. As part of its electoral platform, the Liberal Party of Canada promised to welcome an additional 20,000 Afghans, bringing the total to 40,000 refugees by the end of 2023.

As of September 27, 2021,  Federal Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau in his address to the United Nations General Assembly that Canada is committed to welcoming 40,000 Afghan refugees.


In addition to visiting the https://www.lifelineafghanistan.ca/resources/ for information about the types of sponsorship, you can find additional information about the types of sponsorship available for refugees from Afghanistan and elsewhere here: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/refugees/help-outside-canada/private-sponsorship-program.html.

For the best and most up-to-date information for Afghans seeking to come to Canada or people in Canada looking to support Canada’s response, please visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/refugees/afghanistan/wizard.html


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