Become a Co-sponsor
Co-sponsorship enables Americans to support newcomers in partnership with a local resettlement agency, in certain cities.
In co-sponsorship, a group of Americans work together with a resettlement agency to help recently arrived refugees adapt and thrive in American communities.
Common responsibilities for a co-sponsor group can include tasks like greeting a newcomer family at the airport, setting up a home for the newcomers they are supporting, and helping families access local resources like language classes. Resettlement agencies are nonprofits that welcome refugees to local communities as part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. In co-sponsorship, a resettlement agency formally welcomes a newcomer and a co-sponsorship group helps once a refugee is in the U.S.
Get Started as a Co-sponsor
1) Take our quick Sponsorship 101 training
Get an overview of sponsorship and learn what sponsorship path is right for you.Sign up now
2) Explore the Sponsorship Directory
The Sponsorship Directory will help you identify co-sponsorship opportunities in your state.Explore the Sponsor Directory
3) Complete a longer training
Once you've decided to become a co-sponsor and identified an opportunity in your location, take this comprehensive training to get ready.Sign up now
More Information about Co-Sponsorship
Who does co-sponsorship help?
Violence, political persecution or oppression, and economic instability have forced over 27 million people to flee their homelands and seek refuge in neighboring countries, according to UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). Because of long-term crises and conflict, less than three percent of refugees are able to return home. Many refugees live their lives in limbo in refugee camps, and seek a chance to rebuild their lives in a new country, through resettlement systems in the United States and other countries.
Co-sponsorship enables everyday Americans to work with a resettlement agency to support refugees who have been resettled through this established process. Co-sponsors are matched with families who arrive through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
Refugees resettled in the United States in FY2022 came from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Guatemala, Myanmar (Burma), Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine.
It is important to note that co-sponsorship groups will be assigned a refugee family to help by the local resettlement agency. If welcoming a newcomer you know or someone from a specific country is a priority, consider other sponsorship programs including humanitarian sponsorship (for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, Ukrainians, and Venezuelans) or the Welcome Corps (for refugees from other countries).
How does co-sponsorship work?
Volunteers typically form a group of 6 to 10 people to share the responsibilities of welcoming a newly arriving refugee family into their community. The group must work under the supervision of a local resettlement agency that has an established co-sponsorship program. Co-sponsorship groups must be within 100 miles of a resettlement agency. Note: Co-sponsorship is currently only available in certain cities and may be limited. If there is no co-sponsorship program available in your area, consider getting involved as a private sponsor group for the Welcome Corps.
The co-sponsorship group will work to:
- Complete Community Sponsorship Essentials training and any supplemental onboarding through the local resettlement agency.
- Raise up to $12,000 (in-kind or monetary) for the resettlement agency to support the newcomer
- Commit through a formal agreement to 6 to 12 months of newcomer assistance (5 hours each week for the first 3 months of the co-sponsorship experience)
- Determine a leader and assign roles (such as helping children with school) to each group member
The local resettlement agency matches co-sponsor groups with a family who is scheduled to arrive in the community through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program.
Co-sponsor groups work in partnership with the resettlement agency and commit to specific duties to support new arrivals, including airport pick up, finding employment, and helping with enrollment for English classes and health benefits.
Learn more about how co-sponsorship works by taking a training session.
Is co-sponsorship a good choice for me?
Co-sponsorship is a great sponsorship option for you if:
- You’re new to working with newcomers and prefer to work underneath staff at local resettlement agency
- You live near a city or town where a local resettlement agency has a physical presence and is offering a co-sponsorship program.
- You enjoy working with a group.
- You do well in environments that balance autonomy with structure and oversight.
What training do co-sponsors receive?
This online training serves as a baseline for engaging as a co-sponsor. Participants will receive both in-depth information around providing resettlement services and a broad overview of how to help facilitate long-term integration and success for newcomers. This training helps potential co-sponsors understand the full scope of sponsorship and its responsibilities and joys. Because co-sponsors work directly with a resettlement agency, there may be additional training that helps co-sponsors prepare to welcome refugees. Potential co-sponsors can take the online training to familiarize themselves with sponsorship and then connect with their local resettlement agency for next steps.
Welcome.US is proud to have co-created this training alongside the Refugee Welcome Collective and the Community Sponsorship Hub. This initiative was generously funded by the U.S. State Department and the Shapiro Foundation.
BE A WELCOMER
Discover how rewarding it can be to welcome newcomers into your community.