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Refugees selected for resettlement are required to pay their own cost of medical exams and travel. The admissibility loan is a loan issued by a visa officer overseas to eligible applicants to help them pay for their medical exams and other processing costs.
Permission to come into Canada as an immigrant or as a visitor.
The particular agreement that an individual SAH signed with IRCC.
The person making an application for permanent residence.
This loan is assessed and issued by a visa officer in Canada after the arrival of the refugee. It is designed to help the refugee with living expenses associated with the basic needs of life, basic household needs, i.e. deposits for telephone or last months rent, or labour market access.
A sponsorship undertaking whereby both IRCC and a SAH contribute to the financial support of the refugee(s). The period of financial support during which each party contributes is established with the agreement of both parties. The SAH has responsibility for the reception and settlement assistance for the refugees for the term of the sponsorship. Other responsibilities such as start-up-costs may also be undertaken by the sponsor.
Canada Child Tax Benefit
Delivered by the Canada Revenue Agency, the Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) includes a base amount for all children under 18, and a National Child Benefit supplement for low income families.
The provision of food, clothing, local transportation costs and other basic necessities of life to the refugees.
An individual or organization that partners with a SAH to share responsibility for an undertaking. Derived from the meaning of "group" as found in Section 138 of IRPR. A sponsoring group may choose to formally partner with an individual (e.g., a family member of the sponsored refugee living in Canada) and/or another organization in carrying out settlement duties. The partner is termed a "co-sponsor".
Any organization (for-profit/not-for-profit, incorporated/non-incorporated) located in the community where the refugees are expected to settle can make an organizational commitment to sponsor. Unlike SAHs and their CGs, Community Sponsors must undergo financial and settlement plan assessments by IRCC each time they wish to sponsor. Community Sponsors do not have a limit on the number of sponsorship applications that they can submit per year, as long as they can demonstrate financial and settlement capacity. Like Groups of Five, Community Sponsors may only sponsor applicants who are recognized as refugees by either the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or a foreign state. Community Sponsors must also demonstrate that the organization is willing and able to commit funds toward the sponsorship in line with the levels established in the sponsorship cost table (included in the Community Sponsors application kit).
A group authorized in writing by the SAH to act on its behalf in sponsoring refugees. Please also refer to section 138 "group" of IRPR. A SAH can authorize any number of Constituent Groups (CGs) to sponsor under its agreement and provide support to the sponsored refugees. Each SAH sets its own criteria for recognizing CGs. CGs are based in the sponsored refugee's expected community of settlement and must have their sponsorship application and settlement plan approved by their SAH before the undertaking is submitted to a Citizenship and Immigration Centre.
The definition of a Convention refugee is based on that contained in the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. A Convention refugee is any person who, by reason of a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion,
Convention Refugee Abroad
Any person who:
Country of Asylum Class
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations defines a member of the Country of Asylum Class (RA) as a person
Country of Citizenship
Country of citizenship is the country with which the applicant has the legal bond of nationality. In most cases, this will be the country that has issued the applicant's passport.
As with other permanent residents, refugees are inadmissible to Canada if they have been convicted of serious crimes, war crimes or crimes against humanity or have committed acts or omissions that would render them inadmissible to Canada. Please note that Article 31 of the 1951 Convention stipulates that contracting states shall not impose penalties on refugees on account of illegal entry See A36 and A37.
De facto Dependant
A de facto dependant is a person who does not meet the definition of family member but who is nonetheless considered by the Principal Applicant (PA) to be an integral member of the family unit. The Visa Officer must be satisfied that this person is dependent on the family unit in which membership is claimed and cannot apply as a family member. The dependency may be emotional or economic and will often be a combination of these factors. Such a person would normally, but not exclusively, reside with the PA as a member of the same household and must be the dependants of a PA who has been determined to be a member of one of the three refugee classes. The de facto dependant must also meet the definition of refugee in his own right even when a dependency relationship is established. (See IP3, Part 1 Section 6.11)
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations defines "dependant" in respect of a person as
Destining is the process whereby best efforts are made to send (destine) refugees to a location within Canada, where community resources and services will best support their resettlement and integration needs.
Eligiblity refers to meeting three conditions in order for a refugee to be eligible for resettlement. The applicant must:
A family member, for resettlement purposes, is a person who can be included on the principal applicant's (PA) application (i.e. spouse, common-law partner and dependent children of the spouses or common-law partner or the dependent children of the dependent children of the spouses or common-law partners) regardless of whether they are physically at the same location.
Each year, the Government of Canada plans for the resettlement of a number of refugees from abroad as Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) and supports these refugees through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). Under RAP, the refugees are supported at approximately the equivalent of local provincial social assistance levels for up to twelve months after their arrival in Canada. Government-assisted refugees consist of members of the Convention refugees abroad class. They are selected from applicants referred by the UNHCR or other designated referral agents, to Canadian visa offices.
GCMS (Global Case Management System) is Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC's) system used to process applications for citizenship and immigration. Sponsorship Agreement Holders can place a request for GCMS notes to IRCC under the Access to Information Act.
Group of Five
A Group of Five (G5) is one of three groups that can engage in the private sponsorship of refugees. Refugees may be sponsored by any group of five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who:
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA)
An Act respecting immigration to Canada and the granting of refugee protection to persons who are displaced, persecuted or in danger which came into effect June 28, 2002.
Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR)
Detailed instructions that have been placed in Regulations to accompany IRPA.
Immigration Loans Program (ILP)
The Immigration Loans Program (ILP) provides eligible immigrants, who are mainly refugees selected for resettlement to Canada, with access to funding that would otherwise not be available to them. Loans are used to cover a number of expenses, including travel to Canada and other costs associated with resettlement, specifically
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is a department of the federal Government of Canada. It was created in 1994 to:
IRCC's mandate comes from the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Act. The Minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada is responsible for the Citizenship Act of 1977 and shares responsibility with the Minister of Public Safety for the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).
Interim Federal Health Program (IFH)
The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) established by IRCC covers certain pre-departure medical services for refugees coming to Canada for resettlement. This coverage includes the following services:
Internal Flight Alternative
There is a fourth type of durable solution that may exist for refugees and persons in refugee-like situations who have not fled their country of nationality. There may be an internal flight alternative for the refugee. Internal Flight Alternative (IFA) involves the consideration of whether the individual could have found a safe haven in another location within the country of nationality or residence at the time of their flight. If so, they will not be viewed as needing Canada's protection.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has a primary mandate to make arrangements for the organized transfer of foreign nationals, including refugees, displaced persons and other individuals in need of international migration services. It arranges transportation and medical examinations for refugees. The IOM provides an in-depth Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) program on a contractual basis, in some locations, to refugees and foreign nationals before they arrive in Canada.
Canada is a full member of IOM and works closely with the organization. The IOM has its headquarters in Geneva and has 72 offices around the world.
IP 3 In Canada Processing of Convention Refugees Abroad and Members of the Humanitarian Protected Persons Abroad Classes refers to a chapter of the IRCC Inland Processing Manual that explains the policy and procedures for the refugee resettlement program in Canada, including the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (PSRP) and Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP).
Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS)
A joint undertaking by a SAH or one of its CGs and IRCC to sponsor GARs requiring special assistance and whose admissibility depends upon this additional support to become established. Refer to Section 157 of IRPR, IP3 and REF-OVS-2-4 for details.
JAS provides the opportunity for the government and private sponsors to work together in the resettlement of these special needs persons who would not otherwise be accepted. The government provides income support for the period of the sponsorship and the private sponsors provide moral and emotional support and guidance while ensuring that the resettlement services required are provided.
Landing (Landed Status)
Means lawful permission to establish permanent residence in Canada .
Letter of Approval (LOA)
A letter signed by a person authorized to sign on behalf of the SAH, permitting a CG or cosponsor to enter into an undertaking to sponsor refugees on its behalf.
Limited individual agreement
A sponsorship agreement that establishes a limitation on the number of persons the SAH or its CGs can undertake to sponsor for a specific length of time. All Limited Individual Agreements include an expiry date.
Local integration is a durable solution and refers to a refugee's integration in their country of asylum. Refugees are considered to be locally integrated in the country of refuge if they have rights similar to those of citizens such as: they can move around the country freely; they are allowed to earn a living; their children are allowed to attend school; there is no threat of refoulement, etc.
Includes suitable accommodation, basic furniture and other household essentials.
Matching Centre (MC)
Office located at IRCC NHQ that is responsible for brokering between IRCC offices located in Canada and Visa posts overseas regarding the destining and matching to sponsors of selected refugees who have been successfully processed and are ready to travel to Canada. The MC is also responsible for the destining of some GARs as well as coordinating Notice of Arrival information.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
A memorandum of understanding is a document used to articulate an agreement between two or more parties. The document may be used between SAHs, CGs/Co-sponsors to outline expectations, responsibilities, and/or financial arrangements for their particular sponsorships. Unlike the undertaking to sponsor document, which is a contract, a memorandum of understanding is not intended to be a legally binding agreement.
A Notification of Arrival Transmission (NAT) advises the sponsor and/or Service Provider Organization (SPO), and the Port of Entry (POE) of the date of arrival and flight details of the refugee, and of pertinent details such as the names of sponsors, onward travel arrangements to final destinations, and special needs (e.g., wheelchair required), etc. NATs are required to maintain accurate statistics and are sent for all refugees. They include:
NGO-Government Committee on the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (NGO-Gov't Committee)
A committee of elected SAH representatives and appointed IRCC representatives established in 1994 to provide an ongoing consultative mechanism for program partners in support of the PSRP. The committee is intended to be a facilitative mechanism and does not limit the avenues through which representations may be made of issues of concern to any interested party.
Non-accompanying family member
A non-accompanying family member is defined as a dependent family member of a refugee who is separated from the family unit due to circumstances beyond his/her control and is unable to travel with the principal applicant. [Refer to Section 141 of IRPR.]
OP 17 - Loans
OP 17 LOANS outlines the procedures for determining eligibility and approving loans and contributions, making alternative arrangements, counselling loan applicants and administering the loan forms; it has undergone various updates, the most recent of which occurred in May 2014.
This chapter covers how to determine the eligibility of applicants to receive:
This chapter also discusses:
A chapter of the IRCC Overseas Processing Manual that provides an understanding of the process for judicial reviews of decisions made under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act for which no specific right of appeal exists. This chapter deals specifically with overseas files that are subject to judicial review.
A chapter of the IRCC Overseas Processing Manual that explains the policy and procedures for the refugee resettlement program abroad including the selection of government-assisted refugees (GARs) and privately sponsored refugees (PSRs).
Refers to the One Year Window of Opportunity provision. This is a regulatory mechanism that allows non-accompanying family members to submit an application and be eligible to be processed in the same class and category as the principal applicant (PA) for up to one year following the PA's arrival in Canada. All family members must be identified on the PA's application form. For more details refer to Paragraph 141(1) (b) of IRPR, IP3 and OP5.
A person with permanent residence:has been granted landing under previous legislation or permanent residence under IRPA; has not been granted Canadian citizenship has not ceased to be a permanent resident
Port of Entry (POE)
Legal point of entry into Canada, staffed by IRCC employees. Most POEs are at international airports, legal border crossing checkpoints with the United States and at lake and coastal seas ports
A Latin expression meaning on its first encounter or at first sight. It signifies that on first examination, a matter appears to be self-evident and, unless rebutted, would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact (Wikipedia).
The Agreement negotiated between IRCC and the SAH Community
For a single applicant, it is that one person. For spouses, common law partners including those with children, it is the person with the strongest claim to persecution.
RAP Service Provider Organization (RAP SPO)
A non-governmental organization funded by IRCC to provide a range of settlement and adaptation services in Canada directly to GARs, including refugees sponsored under the JAS program.
Reception is defined in the Sponsorship Agreement and Undertaking as meeting the refugee upon arrival in the community of resettlement or, when applicable, making arrangements for the refugee's transportation from the closest domestic airport to the community of resettlement.
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations define a referral organization as:
Refugees are people who are forced to leave their country of origin in order to seek protection and safety in another country. Refugees are defined and protected in international law. The 1951 Refugee Convention is a key legal document and defines a refugee as: “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”
Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP)
The RSTP is a program designed to support the Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) of Canada, their Constituent Groups, Groups of Five and Community Sponsors interested in sponsoring refugees. The objective of RSTP is to address, on a national level, the information and ongoing training needs of the sponsorship community and the initial information needs of refugees. RSTP is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Resettlement refers to resettlement to a third country. It is a durable solution for refugees without local integration prospects. Resettlement may also be used as an instrument of protection geared primarily to the special needs of refugees whose life, liberty, safety, health or fundamental human rights are at risk in the country where they sought refuge.
Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)
A contribution program established by IRCC that provides basic income support and essential services for refugees who have been admitted to Canada as Government-assisted refugees. Refugees resettled under the BVOR program receive income support from the Government of Canada through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) for 6 months after their arrival (during months 2-7).
Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) Rates
In January 2018, IRCC adopted prevailing provincial RAP rates as the guideline for private sponsors to calculate settlement support funding. Prior to 2018, sponsors were expected to refer to prevailing provincial social assistance rates. This change was intended to align private sponsorship of refugees (PSR) minimum settlement funding with the allowances received by Government assisted refugees (GARs). See RSTP website for current rates and the Minimum Financial Support Calculator.
Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) are organizations incorporated under the laws of Canada or any province thereof, that signs a Sponsorship Agreement with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Organizations entering into a sponsorship agreement with IRCC generally submit several refugee sponsorships a year. SAHs are typically religious organizations, ethno-cultural groups, or other humanitarian organizations. SAHs may operate nationally, managing many CGs and/or co-sponsors across Canada, or they may operate within a specific regional/local geographical area to sponsor refugees directly and/or through designated CGs\Co-sponsors. SAHs and their CGs are also eligible to sponsor BVOR or JAS cases according to the terms and conditions of RAP.
The term "secondary migration" refers to a refugee-initiated change in location on arrival in Canada, or during the period of the sponsorship, to a destination (city or province) other than the sponsoring community i.e. the one chosen during the selection process overseas.
The point at which a refugee no longer requires the financial support (care and lodging) of a sponsor but may still need settlement assistance. Refers to Paragraph 5 (d) and Appendix 1 of the Sponsorship Agreement.
"Self-supporting refugees" are refugees who meet resettlement criteria and have sufficient financial resources to support themselves and their accompanying dependants until they are likely to become self-supporting. This category of refugees is in addition to the other categories of refugees who receive assistance from the government or private sponsors. Self-supporting refugees are included in the range of privately sponsored refugees reported to Parliament each year.
Service Provider Organizations (SPOs)
SPOs are funded by IRCC, either directly or through provincial programs, to deliver orientation and settlement services directly to newcomers, including sponsored refugees.
The non-financial support activities that facilitate the refugee's adjustment to Canadian society such as providing orientation to the community, help with learning an official language, assistance with finding employment, and extending ongoing friendship, encouragement and general assistance. It also involves informing refugees of the rights and responsibilities of permanent residents in Canada.
A written plan that outlines a sponsoring group's arrangements for the reception, care, lodging and settlement assistance of the sponsored refugee(s).
In the context of SAH/CG sponsorships, a sponsor is a SAH, or a CG/Cosponsor acting on behalf of the SAH for the purpose of sponsoring a refugee. Refer to Section 138 "sponsor" of IRPR.
An official declaration that an irreparable failure to meet the sponsorship arrangements (care, lodging and settlement assistance) has occurred. Sponsorship breakdown is a condition of deterioration in the sponsor-refugee relationship such that the sponsor is unable or unwilling to fulfill the terms of the sponsorship undertaking. Normally, attempts are made to reestablish the sponsorship, but failing those efforts, IRCC will formally declare a breakdown in the sponsorship and depending on the circumstances, the sponsoring group may be found in default.
Sponsorship default refers to a breach of the contractual obligations of the sponsorship undertaking itself, specifically, the failure to fulfill a financial or non-financial obligation associated with the undertaking. A sponsoring group may not submit undertakings while they remain in default. Refer to Subsection 153(4) of IRPR.
A rescindment, withdrawal or cancellation of an approved undertaking by IRCC before or after the issuance of a visa. Refer to Section 155 of IRPR.
A cancellation by a sponsor of an undertaking before the issuance of a visa. It is the last option when all attempts to fulfill the conditions of the sponsorship have failed or when situations have changed.
A written undertaking to the Minister, sometimes referred to as an application to sponsor, to make provision for reception, care, lodging and settlement assistance for a refugee and their named accompanying and non accompanying family members in the expected community of settlement. The typical sponsorship undertaking is for a period of 12 months (longer in exceptional circumstances if agreed to by the SAH) from the date of arrival of the refugee or until the refugee becomes self-supporting and no longer requires settlement assistance, whichever is less. Refer to Sections 138 "undertaking" and 141 and Subsections 154(2) and (3) of IRPR.
UNHCR stands for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Commonly referred to as the the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR has a mandate to lead and co-ordinate international refugee protection actions and support refugees in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country. The UNHCR also provides humanitarian assistance to 'persons of concern' such as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and others in their countries of origin.
Urgent need of protection
Urgent need of protection means, in respect of a member of the Convention refugee abroad class and the Country of asylum class, that their life, liberty or physical safety is under immediate threat and, if not protected, the person is likely to be:
Urgent Protection Program (UPP)
A case in need of urgent protection is one where the life, liberty or physical well-being of a refugee is under immediate threat. These cases are assigned the highest processing priority to offer resettlement as a tool of protection. Resettlement in urgent protection cases is undertaken as a priority where there is no other way to guarantee the security of the person concerned. Resettlement in these cases is the best, and often the only protection response.
Voluntary repatriation (or resettlement in their country of nationality or habitual residence) is a durable solution. It should occur only when the situation in the country of habitual or permanent residence has changed in a lasting and meaningful way and refugees can return in conditions of safety and dignity. If the country is made up of many ethnic groups, officers should bear in mind that some individuals could be safely repatriated while others could not. There are a variety of reasons why some individuals may not be able to return safely when others can, including political opinion, religion and personal experience (e.g. survivors of torture or rape for whom it would be re-traumatizing to return, or individuals who would be social outcasts like the forced slaves of combatants.) The UNHCR is an excellent source of information on such conditions.
Visa office-referred sponsorship (VOR) refers to situations where a refugee has been determined to be eligible and is referred by a visa office for sponsorship. Either a sponsor requests the visa office-referred case or a visa office refers the case to the Matching Centre to find a sponsor.
"Vulnerable" with respect of a Convention refugee or a person in similar circumstances means that the person has a greater need of protection than other applicants abroad because of the person's particular circumstances that give rise to a heightened risk to their physical safety. Vulnerable cases are eligible for expedited processing. Expedited cases are not urgent and it is acceptable to have refugees in these cases en route to Canada within one to four months.
Women at Risk Program (AWR)
The Women-at-Risk Program (AWR) is designed to offer resettlement opportunities to women in:
Women eligible under this program may: