In January 2021, an online info-session on Group of Five applications was hosted by the Canadian Council for Refugees and by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program. These are an edited version of notes from that meeting.

Are newcomers eligible in their first year to get student loans / grants for education programs at colleges and universities?

Newcomers are eligible to have access to student loans/grants for education programs at colleges and universities. However, this will also depend on the specific requirements for the chosen grant/loan. Newcomers and sponsors will need to be aware that the repayment of these loans are the sole responsibility of the newcomer. It is not a requirement from the sponsor.

How to sponsor refugees in Group 5 category from different countries that don't have UNHCR office ? India, Saudi Arabia, Colombia and many other countries .

Refugee Status Determination (RSD) can be done by the government of the country of asylum, or the UNHCR office in that country. Usually, refugee applicants overseas would be counselled by the local UNHCR office or the local authorities of the county of asylum on how to apply for asylum in that country and what the process is for refugee status determination.

Read this explanation of RSD on the UNHCR website: '

RSTP has several documents on the RSTP website that talk about the RSD process and RSD documents:

1 – RSD Fact Sheet -

2 – Summary of registration and RSD by country of asylum - (This document was last updated in 2018, so it is possible that the procedures in some countries have changed. We will be working on updating this document)

If a refugee is not able to acquire a Refugee Status Determination document but meets the other eligibility requirements, they may be sponsored by a Sponsorship Agreement Holder. More information can be found here:

Family reunification: if the refugees are overseas and the children are here in Canada, how can you bring them together faster?

When submitting the application, sponsors can include a cover letter requesting for the application to be fast tracked and include compelling reasons for this to be accepted. However, this may not be guaranteed. If eligible, children in Canada can also look into family sponsorship (parents sponsorship program) as an alternative.

In regards with opening a bank account by two account holders (sponsors), can a family member of the refugees such as parents who live outside Canada provide the fund for the account?

Refugees themselves cannot contribute financially to their own sponsorship. However, family members of the refugees, not included in the sponsorship, can also contribute financially to the bank account. When doing so, sponsors must make sure to keep a paper trail of every transfer and deposit of these funds as they will include this as proof of funds when submitting the application. Including a cover letter and any documentations showing where the family members contributions came from (either personal income or savings – tax documents, bank statements, employment letter) is recommended as it will help strengthen the application.

If you have any specific questions about your sponsorship application, please connect with an RSTP Trainer in your province:

G5 trust fund applications are being rejected while clear bank documents are attached. Some officers approve without any problem while others ask for additional documentation which causes unnecessary delay. There needs to be clarity and uniformity in trust fund cases.

When submitting a PSR application, sponsors must be able to provide enough convincing documentations showing the origin of the funds provided. The goal is to prove to ROC-O that funds will not only be available upon arrival of the refugee but that it is also not coming from the refugee themselves. A bank letter and bank account statements must be submitted alongside with proof of deposits/transfers of the funds being deposited in the account.

If the funds come from the sponsors themselves, each contributing sponsor must complete a Financial Profile form IMM5373 and submit proof of income documents (such as the notice of assessment). Sponsors must pass the financial assessment which can be found in the guide in order for their contribution to be approved. If the funds come from members outside the sponsorship group, documentations such as proof of e-transfer/donation, copy of cheque, employment letter from donor should also be included.

More information on G5 Proof of funds can be found here:

We would also recommend reaching out to your local RSTP trainer for case specific support. You can find your local RSTP Trainer here:

I sponsored a family of five in Malaysia and almost 2 years have been passed. Any idea when the processing is going to start?

Reach out to your local RSTP trainer for case specific support. You can find your local RSTP Trainer here:

Please talk about the role of the signing authority for community sponsors in details. Thank you.

For dealings with IRCC, the person authorized to act on behalf of the community sponsor is referred to as the Signing Authority. The signing authority has the authority to submit a sponsorship application on the organization’s behalf. They can also legally bind the organization to the terms of the private sponsorship; and must submit a completed Sponsor Assessment Form (IMM 5492) as part of each new sponsorship application.