Two Black women embrace cheek to cheek. They both smile. The woman on the left looks slightly past the camera, the woman on the right has her eyes closed.

Private Sponsorship

Private sponsorship can offer organizations, companies, and philanthropies the opportunity to support the resettlement of refugees. With additional resources and volunteer capacity, countries can both resettle additional refugees and improve the resettlement and integration process that a refugee experiences on arrival. Moreover, communities in which refugees are resettled benefit from more direct involvement in welcoming their new neighbors.

In addition to helping clients navigate private sponsorship pathways to other countries through our legal casework, IRAP’s Policy Department is working with partner organizations to explore how sponsorship can be developed in the United States — including through the Fall 2021 launch of the Sponsor Circles Program for Afghan humanitarian parolees — and make technical recommendations to the U.S. government as it designs an upcoming private sponsorship pilot program. IRAP has published several papers on private sponsorship: one on private sponsorship in the United States, another on models on private sponsorship globally, and most recently a paper outlining recommendations for a pilot private sponsorship program in the United States.

Client Story

Bader* is a transgender Jordanian man who faced years of persecution and discrimination because of his gender identity. He fled to Lebanon to register as a refugee with UNHCR in hopes of finding safety. However, as a transgender man living in Beirut with an ID that did not match his gender expression, Bader was highly vulnerable with an urgent need for resettlement to a safe, third country. Yet, because he had not been displaced from Syria or Iraq, Bader’s case was not considered high priority and UNHCR warned him that his chances of being resettled were low. Faced with this life-threatening obstacle, IRAP helped to secure safe housing for Bader in Beirut while his legal team worked to pursue an alternative pathway to resettlement. With IRAP ’s help, and after two long years in limbo, Bader was finally resettled through a private sponsorship program in Canada, where he is now able to live freely and without fear.

Rainbow over Beirut