Questions & Answers

First, it is important to know that you must meet 3 main criteria to be considered a refugee:

  • You are outside your country of origin
  • You left your country of origin because of war, a well-founded fear of persecution
  • You cannot stay where you are now

Unfortunately, we cannot help you come to Canada. It is not the way the system works. Try to register with UNHCR in the country you are seeking asylum in. There may be other organizations there that can help you as well.

Do you live in Nova Scotia or PEI?        


We cannot help you. Please use this link to find a Sponsorship Agreement Holder in your area.

No but maybe I can find someone else who does…

We need to communicate directly with the person in Nova Scotia or PEI to make sure they are able and willing to be a sponsor. Again, we cannot help you sponsor refugees unless you are living in NS or PEI.

No but my family’s situation is very bad, and I can’t find a SAH who can help. Can you please just let me sponsor with you?

We are sorry. We cannot accept sponsors from outside NS or PEI and we cannot make any exceptions.


Check to see if we are accepting new requests. Sometimes we are closed to new requests because we have too many people waiting.

If we are open to accepting new requests, contact the refugee coordinator by email at She will give you a pre-screening to fill out. If you do not return it within a week, we will assume you are no longer interested in sponsorship so please check your email (including junk mail) regularly.

When we get the returned pre-screening form, we mark the date and put it in a queue.

Every year, usually in December or January, we go through these screening forms and choose which potential sponsors are going to get the spots for the coming year.  Among other things, we consider:

  • how long they have been waiting for spots
  • how many people they want to sponsor
  • the situation of the person or persons they want to sponsor
  • whether they have sponsored before
  • the country the refugee is living in
  • if they are partnering with an Anglican parish
  • if they have enough funds and support from friends/community to sponsor the refugee(s).

*At this time, we are not accepting applications for families larger than 6.

No. You do not have to have a Constituent Group (for example a church) in order to be considered for sponsorship. Having a CG is a good idea because it means there are more people to support with fundraising and settlement tasks, but it is not required. If you want to sponsor a family member on your own, that is okay, but you must provide a list of people who will be willing to help you when that family member arrives in Canada, especially in case you are unable to support them for any reason.

You need to have lived in Canada for at least 2 years to sponsor with us. You must be a permanent resident, Canadian Citizen, or Status Indian. You will be required to submit a copy of your ID to Immigration as part of the application package. We require police record checks for all members of Constituent Groups (usually churches) who will be working directly with newcomers.

Yes. We require all funds before we can submit the application to Immigration. We hold the funds in trust at the Diocese until the refugee(s) arrives. We are unable to accept partial funds anymore. We need to have 100% of the money required in place at the time we submit the application.

This depends on how many people you want to sponsor, how old they are, the family composition, and whether or not some or all of the family lives with you. Anyone 18 and over, for example, must receive their own monthly allowance even if they are living in the same household as their parents. Another example: If you want to sponsor one person who is going to live with you (and you have adequate space to provide accommodation) then we will note that in the Undertaking (formal agreement) and you will not have to put as much money into trust. See below for approximate rates as of 2024: Coming

It takes approximately 1 month depending on how busy we are at the time to complete the application. Once we submit the application, the refugees still wait about 2 years at least before they come to Canada. The wait times are different depending on what country they are in as well as specific circumstances they may be in.

Birth of a child, marriage, divorce, death, and relocation all need to be reported as soon as possible to Immigration. We will help you with this. Make sure you tell the refugee you are sponsoring to inform you as soon as possible if any one of these things happen.

As a sponsor, you are responsible for taking care of the newcomer/newcomer family for one year. This means that you make sure they have access to all the services they need to start their life in Canada. It also means finding them a place to live, providing emotional support, and helping them feel welcomed in their community. Some examples of settlement tasks include:

  • Helping to get an MSI card, Social Insurance Number, and bank account
  • Applying for government funding (Child Tax Benefit and GST Benefit)
  • Registering children in school
  • Making sure adults have access to employment and/or educational counselling
  • Showing newcomers how to use public transport
  • Accompanying to medical appointments
  • Shopping
  • Connecting to recreational activities.

When we know the refugee is coming, we will prepare a cheque for their start-up amount. Once the newcomer has a bank account and a SIN, they can deposit this cheque and use the money for things like winter clothing, school supplies, food staples, furniture, etc. A lot of these items can be donated to newcomers as well. Every month the head of the family will get a monthly allowance deposited directly into their bank account. This money comes out of the trust fund.

If the newcomer gets a job within the first year of settlement and can prove they are earning enough to cover the cost of living, we can stop the payments. If you are a family-linked sponsor, we can return the money directly to you. If you are a church group, we discuss how you want the money to be used.

We discourage newcomers from leaving Nova Scotia or PEI in their first year because all their support has already been set up here. They are allowed to leave if they choose to. If they do, they may not get the same level of support in their new community. There are a few ways to deal with a move out of province. We discuss the options with everyone involved.

The money we ask for is the minimum amount required by IRCC to support a family depending on its size and composition. We use the RAP calculator to determine the amount of money required. As cost of living, especially rent, is very high, we always tell sponsors to raise/save more money than what they have in trust with us so they can be prepared to cover the cost of rent when the refugee(s) arrives.

You can always ask the Sponsorship Coordinator. The coordinator’s job is to make sure the process goes smoothly from the time the application is started until the first 12 months in Canada are completed. When the newcomer is in their first 12-month period, the coordinator will do regular check-ins to make sure all settlement tasks are being completed, that the family is doing well, and that the sponsor is feeling confident to support the family through all the phases of settlement.

Sponsors must also go to 2 information sessions: The first is a session to talk about the basic requirements of sponsorship and to prepare for how to do an application. The second is on the settlement tasks required in the first year and on problem-solving in general. Sponsors will also be invited to free training sessions offered by Refugee Sponsorship Training Program RSTP on various topics related to sponsorship.