Providing timely protection for privately sponsored refugees, Government of Canada

Providing timely protection to privately sponsored refugees is a priority. Steps are being taken to reduce wait times and reduce the backlog:

  • Through our Annual Levels Plan for 2017, we have increased the number of privately sponsored refugee admissions. The new level for privately sponsored refugees is more than in recent years and this will allow us to process more applicants in the backlog.
  • We will limit the number of new applications from Sponsorship Agreement Holders in 2017
  • We will limit Groups of five/community sponsor applications for Iraqi and Syrian refugees

Our goal is to eliminate the backlog by 2019 and reduce wait times for new applications to about 12 months.

The backlog grew because we received more applications for privately sponsored refugees than we have space in our annual immigration plan, which limits the number of people Canada will allow to immigrate in any given year. There are currently more than 45,000 refugees who are waiting for their applications to be processed and some have been waiting years.

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