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The Sponsorship

The Sponsorship Journey

What does the Community Refugee Sponsorship Journey involve?

Once your group decides to apply for the programme, ​HOST will be available to answer any questions, and provide coaching, information and training throughout your sponsorship journey.

HOST will also work alongside Approved Sponsors and sponsored refugees to ensure you have the tools and resources your staff and volunteers require to support the successful settlement of refugees.

We have divided the Community Refugee Sponsorship process into four phases to make the process easier to understand. The phases are outlined in chronological order (although some steps may start concurrently) to guide you step-by-step through the Community Refugee Sponsorship journey.


Phase 1: Application Process

Phase 2: Post Approval

Phase 3: Pre-Arrival of Sponsored Refugee Individual/Whānau

Phase 4: Post Arrival of Sponsored Refugee Individual/Whānau

You find further details about each phase below and in the Sponsorship Overview.

We hope you will enjoy the experience of coming on board as an Approved Sponsor.

CORS Programme Sponsorship Overview

“There are so many community benefits of bringing people here and working with them. It’s a noble cause.

The positive thing for the whole community is that they really benefit from having people they can support. We focus on an outcome that is highly valued in a way. What can you do? You are helping a family. You see the children integrate very quickly and make that change, you see them flourish and blossom very quickly. You feel you have done something. That’s where you experience real joy."

A previous sponsor group's experience

PHASE ONE: Application Process


As a potential sponsor group, you assess if your organisation is eligible for the CORS programme and whether sponsoring a refugee individual/whānau under the CORS programme model is right for you.

HOST International Aotearoa coaches potential sponsor organisations through the application process. Applications will be assessed by a panel of experts.


Refer to the Programme Overview for further details about the Community Refugee Sponsorship programme.

When you are ready to apply, please contact the team at HOST who can coach you through the application process. Check the Phase One Toolkit to ensure you have everything you need.

CORS Programme Phase One Toolkit

Approved Sponsor Process Map

Sponsor Process Map

When your application has been considered and it meets the criteria of the programme you will be notified of your approval in principle.


Before Approved Community Organisation status can be granted, enabling your organisation to nominate or be matched with potential applicant refugees, you will need to enter into a Deed of Agreement for Services with Immigration New Zealand for the provision of settlement services within the required timeframe. 

PHASE TWO: Post Approval

Decide on the Sponsorship Pathway

Your sponsor group now signs a Deed of Agreement with Immigration New Zealand. Once signed, you are an Approved Sponsor in the Community Refugee Sponsorship programme.

Approved Sponsors decide on the sponsorship pathway:

Pathway 1: Nominated pathway

Nominate a refugee individual/whānau who they wish to support; and/or 

Pathway 2: Matched pathway

Be matched with a refugee individual/whānau who has been identified by UNHCR. 


Refugees offshore begin the immigration process.

Training and Support

Approved Sponsors have access to training and a communication and resources hub online. The Community of Practice model is introduced.

Refugee Sponsorship Map

Refugee Pathway Map

PHASE THREE 3: Pre-Arrival of Refugees

Preparation for Arrival

HOST facilitates engagement between Approved Sponsors and sponsored refugees offshore and the practical day-to-day preparation for their arrival begins. Approved Sponsors start engaging with the wider community, mana whenua, and social services sector in preparation for the sponsored refugees’ arrival.

While you prepare for the arrival of the refugee individual/whānau, this is a great time to focus on your core team of supporters.


Training for Approved Sponsor group members will also continue.

PHASE FOUR: Post Arrival of Refugees

The Settlement Journey Begins

It's now time to welcome the sponsored refugee individual/whānau to Aotearoa. At this point it's all go. The Settlement Plan gets actioned, and relationships begin to develop. Approved Sponsors embed and refer to the Community of Practice for peer mentoring and support. HOST is available for coaching and support for both Approved Sponsors and the people they are supporting.

“Sponsoring the families was a brilliant experience. […] overall, it was a pretty amazing experience. I've watched these three families settle into New Zealand and I'm just quite encouraged."

A previous sponsor group's experience

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