BVOR - Blended Visa-Office Referred Program

Funds are now available for Canadians to sponsor hundreds of refugees in 2019


Special initiative brings together sponsors & funders to resettle UNHCR referred refugees to Canada

Community sponsorship mobilizes and empowers ordinary individuals to play a leading role in welcoming refugees and helping them settle in their communities. Sponsors commit to providing settlement support for the duration of the sponsorship period. These supports include finding housing, providing furniture, clothing, and other basic necessities, orienting newly arrived refugees to the transportation system, connecting them with community services, offering friendship and moral support, and much more. In Canada, the sponsorship lasts a year, but typically the friendships and deep bonds that are formed endure far beyond the initial sponsorship period. 

Thanks to generous donations from the Shapiro Foundation and G. Barrie Landry, from May 2 -August 31, 2019, qualifying Canadian groups can apply to have the sponsor-side settlement costs through the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) program fully covered by the fund (excluding start-up costs). In addition, in 2019, Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) who qualify can also apply for funds to help with administrative tasks associated with BVOR sponsorship in 2019. 

Read the 2019 press release here.

Read the 2019 BVOR Ambassador's Guide here.

Read about workplace sponsorship and campus-based sponsorship.


In 2018, philanthropic leaders committed a combined total of nearly $3.5 million to the BVOR Fund. Thanks to this support, 685 refugees were settled in 49 Canadian communities by more than 150 sponsoring groups.

“This has been one of the most piercingly human experiences of my life, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be contributing in a small way to making the world a better place. Make no mistake: this is a big undertaking, and a significant time and emotional commitment. But it is worth every moment of personal investment, and I would recommend experiencing the unique privilege of refugee sponsorship to every Canadian.” – Sponsor, 2018 BVOR Fund

You can read more about this fund in our 2018 press release and the results of the survey of BVOR Fund 2018 sponsors.

You can participate in the BVOR Fund 2019 by sponsoring refugees or donating to cover sponsor-side costs.   

Sponsor refugees 

If you are an individual or group interested in sponsorship, contact or (613) 562-5800 ext. 1136.  

Read inspiring stories of 2018 sponsors here.


Individuals who cannot sponsor but are interested in supporting the mobilization of BVOR sponsors, can donate within Canada or from the US at amounts starting at $10. Click here. 

The cost of sponsoring a family of four for 12 months under the BVOR program is approximately $18,100. 


Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program

The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program matches refugees identified for resettlement by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with private sponsors in Canada.

  • The UNHCR identifies the refugees.
  • The Government of Canada gives up to six months of income support.
  • Private sponsors give another six months of financial support. They also give up to a year of social and emotional support.