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Groups of Five

Sponsor a refugee

A Group of Five (G5) is five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who have arranged to sponsor a refugee living abroad to come to Canada.

G5s may only sponsor applicants who are recognized as refugees by either the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a foreign state. The principal applicant MUST already have refugee status. Having refugee status means that an authorized body has found that an individual meets its refugee definition. This authorized body can either be the UNHCR or the government of the country (i.e., foreign state) where the refugee is now living.

You must include the document proving recognized refugee status with the refugee sponsorship application you submit.

For more information, see the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

Determine your eligibility

To be eligible, each member of the group must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • be at least 18 years old
  • live in the same community where the refugee is expected to settle
  • agree to give settlement support for the length of the sponsorship (usually one year).

Your group must provide a settlement plan. You must prove that your group has the money to sponsor a refugee for one year. The amount of money needed will depend on how many refugees you sponsor. You can find out more about costs in the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program has created a tool to help you find out if you are eligible to take part in the Groups of Five program.