Sponsorship Program

The Catholic Centre for Immigrants (CCI) has a long history of working with refugees. We played a significant role in the resettlement of the Vietnamese Boat People and Cambodian refugees in Ottawa in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 2016-2017, we helped with the resettlement of almost 2,000 Syrian refugees.

We operate two sponsorship agreements: the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Ottawa’s sponsorship agreement, which mostly serves local parishes, and a second sponsorship agreement for CCI itself, which serves groups of any affiliation. CCI also offers support for Group of 5 (G5) applications. CCI provides all sponsors with assistance with applications and, as a settlement agency, it offers connection to pre-arrival information on the settlement process and post-arrival counselling, orientation and many other services.



Our work with sponsorship groups

Every year, we work with numerous groups who want to sponsor a refugee family.

  • We provide training and information sessions to groups wanting to sponsor
  • We help groups prepare and submit documents
  • We offer support to sponsorship groups as they prepare for the arrival of sponsored refugees
  • We provide a wide variety of programs and services to refugees from the moment they arrive in Ottawa

If you would like information about sponsoring a refugee, please contact our Settlement Program at 613-232-9634.



Post-Arrival Services for sponsored refugees

CCI offers programs and services aimed at helping refugees settle and integrate into their new community. The following is a brief overview of the services offered with links to individual programs.

The Settlement Department, located on the second floor, offers a variety of services to refugees and newcomers after they have arrived in Canada. Staff can help newcomers find a place to live, learn a new language, obtain Canadian documents, prepare for employment, sponsor family members, access health care and more. Read more …

Community and Employment Connections
Community Connections, located on the fifth floor, encourages social, cultural and professional interactions between newcomers and the established community. It assists immigrants and refugees to become engaged and feel at home in Ottawa. Activities include field trips to various parts of the city, activities such as swimming classes, conversation circles where newcomers can practise their English, and access pre-employment help. Read more …

Youth Program
The Youth Program helps young newcomers between the ages of 14 and 29. Throughout the year, the program hosts a variety of activities such as art classes, cooking program, bike days, a summer soccer league and more. The program also helps young newcomers find their first Canadian job by helping them with resume writing and job search strategies. Read more …

Pastoral Program
The Pastoral Program helps to link newcomers with their faith communities. This activity is based on the recognition that in order to succeed in their new environment, newcomers often need the kind of support that a connection with a faith community can provide. Read more …

Ottawa Newcomer Clinic
The Ottawa Newcomer Health Centre is a community based initiative dedicated to providing holistic services that promote the health and social well-being of refugees and immigrants. Read more …

Are you new to sponsorship?

If you or members of your group are new to the world of sponsorship, please attend one of monthly information and training sessions. We believe it’s the best way to learn about sponsorship. To find out more about sponsorship, please contact our Sponsorship Coordinator, Roya Atmar, at 613-232-9634, ext. 305, or at roya@cciottawa.ca


Other Resources

The Private Sponsorship Toolkit is a practical resource created by the Canadian Council for Refugees. The toolkit provides information on how to prepare documents, resources for sponsors and refugees.

The Government of Canada Guide to Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program is funded by the federal government to provide information and training to sponsors and refugees.

Refugee613 regularly organizes information and training session in English, French and Arabic on the private sponsorship of refugees. It also provides clear definitions of the different types of sponsorship as well as additional links to resources. 

The YMCA Newcomer Information Centre organizes sessions on private sponsorships. Consult the schedule here.

The Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization provides Groups of Five sponsorship groups with information on options, criteria and eligibility requirements as well as advice on how to complete a sponsorship application.

United Church of Canada’s Ottawa representative provides support for constituent groups, co-sponsorship and information and advice on Groups of Five. Sponsors are asked to first read the information on sponsorship at www.rstp.ca before approaching this sponsorship agreement holder. Contact: Norma McCord.

Jewish Family Services offers more than 65 programs and services to children, youth, adults and seniors, including newcomers. JFS works with local sponsorship agreement holders to provide support for constituent groups and Groups of 5 sponsoring refugees from anywhere in the world. Sponsorship groups must demonstrate they have the ability to cover the costs of sponsorship. Contact: Andrea Gardner, 613-722-2225, ext. 321.

Ethiopian Evangelical Church in Ottawa is a national sponsorship agreement holder that focuses on the sponsorship of Ethiopian and Eritrean refugees. Contact: Pastor Dereje Gebreyesus, ledereje@primus.ca, 613-725-9777. Fantu Melesse Tewabe, fantu85@yahoo.com, 613-440-8697