Sponsorship and resettlement success

  • Morton Beiser



To compare the integration of privately and government sponsored Southeast Asian refugees at the end of their first decade in the country.


Data derive from the University of Toronto Refugee Resettlement Project, a 10 year study of the resettlement of more than 1300 Southeast Asians admitted to Canada during the 1979–1981 «boat people» crisis. The current study is based on data from 608 cases interviewed at 3 points in time between 1981 and 1991. Successful resettlement was measured by combining three study variables: employment. English language fluency and general health. The composite index of successful resettlement was regressed on the following predictor variables: sponsorship type (private versus government) gender; marital status; education; age, depression, and ethnicity (Chinese, Laotian and Vietnamese).


In 1991, 86% of the refugees were working, feeling healthy and speaking English with at least moderate proficiency. Sponsorship appeared to affect long-term success, even after controlling for the effects of ethnicity, as well as other predisposing and enabling factors. Private sponsorship predicted successful integration whereas government sponsorship was more likely to predict the opposite. Men were more likely to have achieved successful integration than women, premigration educational level was associated with success, and younger refugees were more likely than their older counterparts to have been successful. Vietnamese refugees were less likely to have been successfully integrated than Chinese.


Private sponsorship may offer not only a potential solution in times of crisis, such as the «Boat People» and Kosovo situations, it may also make a significant contribution to long-term successful adaptation. More research is required in order to explore possible causal links between private sponsorship and integration.

Key words

Indochinese refugee resettlement Longitudinal research Government sponsorship Private sponsorship Social factors Adaptation 


Réétablissement des réfugiés indochinois Recherche longitudinale Parrainage par le gouvernement parrainage privé Facteurs sociaux 


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Copyright information

© Springer SBM 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Morton Beiser
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoCanada

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