CLWR’s Refugee Resettlement Program receives thousands of overseas requests from refugees each year. While we deeply empathise with every person’s plight, CLWR does not assist directly with overseas requests for private sponsorship. This is because refugee sponsorship is a process that is initiated within Canada with Canadian sponsors, who have committed to supporting a refugee for one year, with both financial and settlement support. CLWR is not a sponsor, but a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH), which works with Canadian Lutheran sponsorship groups.
Refugee Sponsorship is not an immigration category; it is first and foremost for refugee protection. The person/s being sponsored must fall under the Refugee Convention definition established by the United Nations. A refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."
In addition, to be considered for resettlement to Canada, refugees must not have other durable solutions: repatriation to their country of origin or integration into their country of asylum.
If you are a person who fits the above definition, you are eligible to be resettled through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program (click here for more information on the PSR program).
Canada's PSR program is an amazing and unique program dedicated to helping displaced people from around the world. However, we are given a limited number of allocations to sponsor each year and are unable to assist those without a Canadian sponsor.
Sponsorship through CLWR must be initiated by a Lutheran church/co-sponsor/community group which is willing and able to sponsor you. As a SAH, we do not typically accept overseas requests. These requests impede our work on active sponsorship applications, and we respectfully ask that you channel these requests through a sponsoring person, church or community group.
While we are a Lutheran organization and prioritize sponsorship through Lutheran churches and community groups, we support and sponsor people from every faith/religion, race, nationality, social/political opinion and sexual orientation/gender identity.