Refugee Application Processing Times - Privately Sponsored

Last updated: 2 September 2020

Privately-sponsored refugee application processing times are based on the latest information available from Canadian immigration authorities.

The Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program helps thousands of refugees every year. Individuals or groups in Canada may sponsor international refugees who are eligible to come to Canada. Sponsors provide financial and emotional support for the refugees for the duration of the sponsorship.

This includes help for housing, clothing and food. Most sponsorship periods last for one year, but some refugees may be eligible for assistance from their sponsors for up to three years.

Processing Times Tool

The Government of Canada recently changed how immigration processing times are published. Use our Canada Immigration Processing Times Tool to get the latest information.


Refugees must qualify for entry under Canada’s laws, This includes passing medical and security screening checks before they can come to Canada.

Privately sponsored refugees include:

  • Group of five
  • Community sponsors
  • Sponsorship agreement holders and their constituent groups

In most cases, the processing time for privately sponsored refugees varies as it is based on how long it took Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process most complete applications in the past 12 months.