Constituent Groups

A group of individuals or other private groups may arrange to work with ‘sponsorship agreement holders’ such as the United Church of Canada to sponsor an LGBT refugee. Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) are organizations that have entered into an arrangement with the Government of Canada to support private sponsors, called ‘Constituent Groups’, to help support refugees from abroad resettle in Canada. SAHs can sponsor refugees or work with groups in the community to sponsor refugees. The United Church of Canada is a respectful organization and does not discriminate or limit its services based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

The Constituent Group must agree to provide financial support at least equal to the level of income assistance to support the refugee on arrival.

The Constituent Group must also agree to support the refugee(s) it is sponsoring emotionally and practically for the full duration of the sponsorship—usually one year.

The Government of Canada has severely limited the number of sponsorships that ‘sponsorship agreement holders’ are allowed to initiate for the next few years.  However sexual and gender minority sponsorships do not count against the quotas imposed on sponsorship agreement holders.


The Federal Government has allocated $100,000 to assist with the sponsorship of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers who are outside of Canada.

This is a blended program that means that both the government and the community organization provide financial support. In addition the local community provides practical and emotional support.

The Government funds will provide financial support to each sponsored refugee for the first three months after their arrival in Canada. The other nine months of financial support is provided by the community organization that has submitted the sponsorship agreement.

This is a national project and Rainbow Refugee has the responsibility of working with other groups across Canada engage in sponsoring LGBT asylum seekers. If the group who organizes to be part of this program is not a SAH, then the group must partner with one.  Refugees sponsored under this program do not count against the cap imposed on SAHs.

This program is only available for constituent groups of a SAH.  Find out more here

Learn more from the Citizenship and Immigration site on SAHs

Contact us if you are want to start a new group, become a member of a forming group, or want to support these efforts.