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How are Privately Sponsored Canada Refugee Application Processed?

To resettle a privately sponsored refugee to Canada, the application has two parts:

  • Sponsorship
  • Refugee

The above mentioned two parts are both sent to the ROC-O, Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa, to ensure that it is completed accurately. After the application completion, the two parts are then thoroughly reviewed before the refugee can be approved for resettlement.

  • The sponsorship part is reviewed at the ROC-O, then it gets approval and is further sent to the next part.
  • The refugee part is then up for review to one of the migration offices overseas.

Your Immigration consultant in Abu Dhabi, will take care of all the documents formalities for you. The consultant will assist you with each step through the process.


The processing time is then initiated, it starts when a complete application is received at the ROC-O. The processing time ends in one of the cases,

  • The sponsorship part of the application is either withdrawn or refused.
  • ROC-O makes the final decision on the refugee part.

The processing time would change on the following factors:

  • The number of refugees that are welcomed in the given year.
  • The ability to communicate better with the refugee.
  • The number of applications to be reviewed.
  • The duration for medical exam completion and the security screening.
  • The refugee’s family profile, size and age of the family members.
  • Dependants are added to the application in the time of processing.
  • Barriers can’t be controlled or anticipated.
  • The situation in the area where the refugee wishes to resettle.


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Step 1: Review the sponsorship part of the application at ROC-O.


Sponsors have the right to choose refugees that they wish to sponsor and submit an application.

Sponsorship application review

  1. The application is queued based on the date received.
  2. It is important to ensure the application is complete. If an application is incomplete it is returned to the sponsor.
  3. Once a decision is made the sponsorship part, the sponsor and the refugee are both sent an email with explanations and decisions.
  4. Approval on the sponsorship part is important. The full application is sent to one of the migration offices.

Step 2: The refugee application is reviewed at one of the migration offices

Refugee Application Review

The refugee application is reviewed in the order received at the migration office.

Interview with the refugees 

  1. When the refugee part of the application is processed, an interview is then scheduled with the refugee.
  2. One of the migration officers interviews the refugee to check if eligibility criteria are met for the resettlement to Canada.
  • Refugee’s identity and address are then confirmed.
  • Find out the reason for protection.
  • A refugee needs resettlement can safely return home or stay where they are.
  • Find out all the special needs.
  1. In case, the eligibility criteria are met, they must pass the admissibility screening (Medical exam, criminal background check) as well. In case, the refugee fails the eligibility criteria, then there are opportunities to respond to the concerns so that a final decision can be made.


  • After the approval, the visa is issued. In case the refugee application is refused, both the refugee and sponsors are offered an explanation letter. The next time-consuming task is the arrange exit by the local authorities.
  • Notice of Approval is sent to the sponsors to ensure that the refugee would arrive soon.
  • International Organization for Migration is sent a request to book transportation, deliver orientation sessions about Canada, and get all the medical escorts arranged.

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