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REFUGEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Sponsorship programs

Some refugees may be sponsored by the Canadian government or by individuals or groups in Canada:

Government-assisted refugees are Convention Refugees Abroad and members of the Source Country Class whose initial resettlement in Canada is entirely supported by the Government of Canada or Quebec.

Privately sponsored refugees are Convention Refugees Abroad and members of both the Country of Asylum and Source Country Classes whose resettlement in Canada is supported by groups of individuals or organizations in Canada. Organizations or individuals in Canada interested in sponsoring refugees should consult our Web site or contact a Call Centre for more information.

Resettlement assistance

Whether you are a sponsored refugee or a self-supporting refugee, various forms of assistance are available to you to make your adjustment to life in Canada easier as a newcomer. After you arrive in Canada, you will begin your search for employment and learn how Canadian society works, including education, housing, transportation, shopping, banking, and other parts of everyday life.

Government-assisted refugees: The Canadian or Quebec government, through funding to nongovernmental organizations, provides accepted refugees with financial support and essential services in the form of accommodation, clothing, food and resettlement assistance for up to one year from the date of arrival in Canada, or until you are able to support yourself, whichever happens first. The Canadian government can also assist you in finding employment and becoming self-supporting.

Privately sponsored refugees: If you are sponsored by an organization or group in Canada, your sponsors will help you find suitable housing, learn English or French, get a job, make friends and learn about Canadian culture and values and about services in the community. They will also provide you and your family with basic financial support (e.g., for lodging and food) and care for up to 12 months, or until you become self-sufficient, whichever comes first. In rare circumstances, extended sponsorships of up to 36 months may be recommended by the visa office to the sponsorship group.

If you bring financial resources to Canada you will be expected to contribute to your own settlement costs. Sponsors may expect you (if you have financial resources) to contribute towards your settlement costs according to the same standard established for government-assisted refugees who bring financial resources to Canada. For example, a single sponsored refugee may keep up to a maximum of $1000 for personal use and a couple may keep up to $2000 plus $500 for each additional family member, with the balance of their funds being allocated towards the cost of their settlement and the repayment of their transportation loan.

Self-supporting refugees: As self-supporting refugees, you and your family must have enough money for basic necessities (e.g., lodging, food, shelter, clothing, etc.) once you arrive in Canada. You are eligible to take part in government programs for newcomers, such as language instruction and orientation services, but you will not receive the financial and other support available to government-assisted refugees.

Immigrant loans

A person accepted for immigration to Canada may be eligible for financial assistance through one or more of the following loan programs:

Transportation loan, to cover the expense of travel to Canada;

Admissibility loan, to cover the costs of medical expenses related to your medical exams;

Assistance loan, to help disadvantaged newcomers cover expenses such as housing rental, telephone deposits or work tools.

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