frequently asked questions


Here you can find answers to many Frequently Asked Questions. Please click on each question to expand and reveal the answer.

common questions


First, you are not the “sponsor”. Hospitality House is the sponsor through the Anglican Diocese of Rupert’s Land. You are the “guarantor” of our sponsorship of the people you are proposing, responsible for supporting and settling them upon arrival. Second, while we like to be fair and take no more than five cases proposed by anyone (so that others may also propose refugees for our sponsorship), we recognize the composition of families overseas and the ages of their members may mean it will take more than five sponsorships to include all the family – and we don’t want to break up families that are refugees together. And third, “how many” is best answered by you. How many can you afford to support at the same time? What if they all arrive on the same plane? You have contracted with us to provide all necessary support. Their expenses are your responsibility. We will hold you to this obligation.

I’m phoning from Edmonton, will you sponsor for me?

Whether you are phoning from Edmonton, or Ottawa, or Calgary, or anywhere else outside of Manitoba, we cannot sponsor for you. We can only sponsor for “family-links” who live in Manitoba, and preferably in Winnipeg. First, this is an expectation of Canada Immigration. Second, it is a requirement of the Winnipeg Private Refugee Sponsorship Assurance Program under which all our family-linked cases are registered. Third, it is the only way we can practically follow up on the success of resettlement once the refugee arrives. If you live outside Manitoba you must look for a sponsoring answer in your area.

I have completed applications, when can I bring them in? Can I just drop them off?

No, we’re sorry but you can’t just drop off applications. Every application takes time, perhaps as much as an hour or more, and we need to go over each with you in careful detail to ensure accuracy. You will therefore need to make an appointment. Please don’t just “drop in” to the office. If we take 500 applications in a year, that therefore could mean 500 hours – and we have other work to do too. We are unlikely to be able to do more than 10-to-15 applications a week, and we have many, many people wishing to make appointments for sponsoring. Your appointment may be weeks or even months from the time you make it. Please understand the pressures on our small office.

I put some applications in last year, how are they progressing?

We don’t know. Once we file an application with Canada Immigration, it enters their system. We have no “window” on a file’s progress. Files destined for the Canadian office in Nairobi will not likely have anything happen to them for three or four years, other than an acknowledgement that they are there. Other embassies have shorter wait times, but all are burdened with challenging case loads. No one tells us what’s happening, and our questions are not encouraged because answering them takes time away from the critical work of processing applications – and slows down the whole process. Please reserve your questions for critical matters.

This is Mohamed’s sister, I phoned you three weeks ago about his case, what’s happening?

Please understand that we are dealing with hundreds of files and thousands of names. Many are similar. We get hundreds of phone calls and emails every week. It is very difficult to remember any particular name or file without looking it up. To do that it is most helpful if you have the file number that has been assigned by Canada Immigration to the case, once it is registered by them; we supply all guarantors/ family links with this number when we know it. Sometimes we are asked to look up a file based upon the “B” number assigned by the Canadian office overseas, and sometimes we can do this. But please remember that no one automatically gives us the overseas file number, and we are dependent upon accidental communications from abroad or the family-link here for knowledge of this useful number.

Other refugees whose files were submitted at the same time as my family, have arrived here. Why hasn’t my family arrived?

Files are not necessarily processed in the sequence of their numbering, whether in our office or in Canada’s offices here or overseas. Files with special challenges, requiring extra work, can be delayed and slip behind because of other work pressures. Files are processed by different people at different desks. Many things can interrupt or sideline a file’s process through a complex system. The pressures of trying to cope with large volumes, whether in our small office or Canada’s big office in Nairobi, mean that while people are trying to do the best they can, it is unreasonable to expect that the logic of a sequential numbering system will result in the same sequence of results. Finally, departures for Canada from places like Nairobi, depend on coordination of a number of factors (availability of airline seats, medical examinations, the International Organization for Migration, exit visa requirements, and others) not necessarily or entirely under the control of the local Canadian office. It is not an easy process.