WRITING THE APPLICATION
THE SPONSOR DOCUMENTS
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations. You’re well over the hump of the halfway point, past the tough stage of writing the life story and the core application and putting together the supporting documents and the Proof of Funds section. Much of the work from this point forward is mostly clerical. So yes: if you’ve ever taken a weird, nerdy pleasure from using Photoshop or office equipment like printers and scanners, you’ve come to the right place!
That said, an application can be rejected for missing a single simple document. So stay alert!
Sponsor documents - the settlement plan
One of the biggest things that Canadian immigration wants to know when assessing an application, is the legitimacy and capability of the settlement team. The point is to make sure that the refugees will be properly cared for when they arrive in Canada, and for the first year after that. The sponsor documents required to establish this are:
The settlement plan or undertaking: these take different forms depending on the type of sponsorship it is, whether SAH - which separates the Undertaking from the Settlement Plan - or if it's Community Sponsor or Group of Five.
Note that in recent months, Group of Five applications are getting approved faster than CS submissions. Even though the G5 route requires more upfront paperwork, it may be the better way to go.
The settlement plan and undertaking really involve a lot of careful thought. You're probably smart to look at a successful settlement plan / undertaking that someone else has written, and use that as your inspiration.
For the financials section of the settlement plan, use this handy RSTP costs table to get the basic numbers right.
The rest of the settlement plan is there to help you prove that you have your s*** together when it comes to helping the newcomer get settled. That includes stating who on your team is taking on which settlement responsibilities, and which local organizations you will use if needed.
Section D, Question 3 (on the G5 settlement plan): As sponsors, you must plan and make arrangements for any additional needs of the refugee(s)....
This question is important! One very important - and often overlooked - thing you should add here: briefly list the members of your settlement team, what they do in life ('retired teacher') and how they are uniquely suited for taking on settlement duties ('strong experience in accounting and the banking sector').
Also how you know the refugee, and how you involved the refugee in the settlement planning. "Person X has indicated they prefer to live in this neighbourhood, since it is close to a cultural centre for his community / soccer pitch / settlement services.
The immigration officer reading your file wants to know that you have a real connection to the person you're sponsoring - and have the capacity to settle them.
Bonus tip: You are more than welcome to use settlement and career services to help the person you're sponsoring. You are not expected to do it all yourself!
Sponsor documents - for the individual co-sponsors
As part of the sponsor package, there are the documents that the individual team members need to fill out. These are the standard docs:
The sponsor assessment: A simple form listing your name and a checklist establishing that you aren't a murderer. Make sure you type this out (rather than using handwriting), sign it and scan it.
Passport or PR card: Yes, you can sponsor someone with just a PR card - no passport needed - as long as you're not in the first year of your own sponsorship to Canada. Aim for a clear scan on a white background.
Police check: These are fairly easy to order and pay for. In Toronto they look like this- and note that you just need 'level one'. Starting in the COVID-19 era, they began mailing these out instead of asking you to pick them up at the local police station.
Bonus tip: If you're filling out a Use of Representative form to submit the application on behalf of someone else's sponsor team, also include a copy of your passport or PR card. This is a requirement as of March 2021!
If you're going with a Group of Five sponsorship, you'll need one of these identifying documents - sponsor assessment, ID, police check - for each member of the settlement team. With a CS application, just the head of the organization and two co-sponsors need to submit the documents.
With an SAH, it can vary, depending on what the organization prefers. There's a range!
Take a rest before moving on to our next post. Thankfully, the last one.