We partner with refugee settlement experts
OCRA and its Family Support Groups are a grassroots volunteer group that now has significant experience settling refugees and refugee families in Ottawa, Canada. We could not have done this without the guidance of the organizations that hold Sponsorship Agreements with the Government of Canada.
In 2017 we are very grateful to be working with First United Church of Ottawa and the United Church of Canada, as Constituent Group and Sponsorship Agreement Holder respectively. They act as the sponsoring organizations for OCRA, which means that they submit the sponsorship applications to the Government of Canada and provide direction to and assistance with our sponsorships and settlement activities. OCRA is responsible for raising the funds for the sponsorship and carrying out the settlement plan developed for each person or family to be sponsored.
Sponsorship applications are submitted to the Government of Canada by the United Church of Canada when sponsorship allocations provided by the Government of Canada to the United Church of Canada (as SAH). The sponsorship allocations provided by the Government of Canada to the United Church of Canada have been fully assigned for 2017, and it is hoped that new allocations will be available for applications that OCRA would like to co-sponsor in 2018-19.
For a limited time, the Government of Canada permitted community groups like OCRA to sponsor refugees from Syria and Iraq directly or as a co-sponsor outside the SAH system. However virtually all refugees who have fled from Syria and Iraq to Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey lack a formal refugee determination by the United Nations or by those countries. The Government of Canada waived the requirement for a refugee determination for refugees from Syria and Iraq in 2015-16. The Government of Canada limited this waiver in 2017, by capping the number of community group privately sponsored refugees from Syria and Iraq without a refugee determination at 1,000. The 1,000 person cap was reached in January 2017. It is unknown if the Government of Canada will reinstate the waiver so as to allow community–based private sponsorships of refugees from Syria and Iraq in the future.