The sponsorship community heard in December 2021 how to access the spaces our government pledged to Afghan nationals. Unfortunately, that expedited program has completed. Now, all Afghan applicants must go through the same PSR program that all refugees use.
As of today, there is no mechanism in place to help Afghan nationals who are still inside Afghanistan or Iran. I know that is a big problem. Routes out are few and dangerous, and once you are out, there is still no assurance of a solution.
For those already outside Afghanistan and Iran, the route to sponsorship is the same as it is for every other refugee. To either:
- be identified by UNHCR or the Canadian government for direct resettlement to Canada, or
- to connect with a group of Canadians who will submit an application to sponsor you privately.
To make yourself known to the government of Canada, the first place to begin is with the questionnaire here.
If you are already outside of Afghanistan, you can try to connect with some Canadians. To do that, our best advice is to contact local churches, mosques and organizations in Canada by searching online. Many have never sponsored anyone before, so you will want to include some information about the sponsorship program as well. The 2 links we find to be most useful for new sponsors are:
Unfortunately many SAHs like ours, are powerless to help anyone without the partnership of a local church. We are in contact with our churches regularly to tell them about the needs and to resource them to help. There is no advantage to contacting the few churches specifically associated with us. There are over 30,000 churches in Canada. Perhaps by adding your voice to ours, more churches and more people will find a way to help.
If you have employable skills and can speak English or French, take a look at Canada's Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot program. This new program combines refugee resettlement and economic immigration. It's a pathway that helps skilled refugees immigrate to Canada through existing economic programs, and gives employers access to a new pool of qualified candidates to fill job openings.
We hope you find this information helpful.