Canada Special Program for Afghan Refugees without Refugee Status Card

According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Afghans refugees who live out of their home country and meet the definition of a Convention Refugee* or Country of Asylum Refugee* can apply for a particular immigration program. This program is mainly for Afghans without Refugee Status Determination (RSD) from the UNHCR or a foreign state. 

IRCC accepts sponsorship from Groups of Five Canadian Citizens or Permanent Residents 18 years old or above and Community Sponsors such as organizations, associations, and corporations that commit to supporting a refugee for the length of sponsorship, usually at least one year. Also, a community sponsor can partner with an individual or other organization to sponsor a refugee. 

This program for Afghan refugees starts on 17 October 2022 and continues till 17 October 2023. 

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*’ Convention Refugee is a person outside their home country or country where they usually live and afraid returning to that country because of a well-founded fear of persecution for religious, racial, nationality, membership in particular groups, or political opinion.’

*’ Country of Asylum Refugee is a person outside their home country or the country where they usually live and is seriously affected by civil war, armed conflict, or a massive violation of human rights.’

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Registration Starts: 17 October 2022

Registration Ends: 17 October 2023

Organization: Government of Canada 

Location: Canada 

Target Group: Afghan Refugees without RSD

Gender: Male/Female

Funding Type: Self-funded 

Degree Required: N/A

Sponsorship Time: 1-year minimum    

Application Fee: N/A

Number of Positions: N/A  

Eligible Countries: Afghanistan  

Duration: Permanent 

Language Required: English

Fields: Immigration   


By applying to this particular immigration program, Afghan refugees can live, study and work in Canada and apply for permanent residence. 

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants who apply as a refugee without RSD need to meet eligibility criteria as follows: 

  • Meet the definition of Convention Refugee and a Country of Asylum Refugee
  • Sponsored by a group of five people or a community sponsor like organizations, associations, or corporations
  • The sponsors should afford all costs and expenses of the refugee for at least one year in Canada.
  • Should not have committed any security or criminal cases and passed the medical exams and check-ups.
  • Should meet all extra eligibility requirements as needed  

Who Can Sponsor?

A group of five Canadian citizens or permanent residents at least 18 years old OR community sponsors such as organizations, associations, or corporations can sponsor a refugee. A community sponsor must be in a society where the refugees settle. Sponsors should commit to supporting the refugee for the length of sponsorship (usually one year). Read more details about the costs in the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.

What must sponsors do?

Before sponsors apply to bring a refugee to Canada through this particular program, there are a couple of things they must do:

  • Make sure that they are eligible for sponsorship. Complete the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP). This training helps them understand their responsibilities and who they can sponsor as refugees. 
  • Complete their application to sponsor a refugee by filling out the forms and providing all required documents. Get the application package here
  • Submit their application for this program starting on 17 October 2022. 
  • Sponsors can submit their application and all required documents via the email or mailing address listed in their sponsorship group’s instruction guide. Remember to use proper subject lines: Use this email subject line for a group of five: G5 Afghan PSR_[principal applicant’s FAMILY NAME, first name] and use this email subject line for community sponsors: CS Afghan PSR_[principal applicant’s FAMILY NAME, first name]

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How to Apply

Sponsors must submit their application forms and all required supporting documents via email or the mailing address in their sponsorship group’s instruction guide.

Guide for Group of Five Sponsors

Guide for Community Sponsors

After Submission

After sponsors submit their applications and all required supporting documents, the assigned team will:

  • Review their application
  • Process their application
  • Decide on applications
  • Verify applicants’ information in case of refusal or inadmissibility, etc. 

The sponsor must follow these instructions after submission:

  • Keep their information up to date.
  • Inform the review team if their address or telephone number changes after they apply OR the refugee, they are sponsoring moves. 

  For more information and details, please go to the website.  

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