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The terms and definitions in this glossary are from the Dictionary of Terms produced by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program.

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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.

Criminal Inadmissibility

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
  1. the spouse or common-law partner of the person;
  2. a dependent child of the person, dependent child of their spouse, or dependent child of a common-law partner; or
  3. a dependent child of a dependent child referred to in paragraph (b).


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.

Durable Solution

The three durable solutions for refugees and persons in "refugee-like" situations are:
  1. Voluntary repatriation or resettlement in their country of nationality or habitual residence 
  2. Local integration in their country of asylum 
  3. Resettlement to a third country
  4. Internal Flight Alternative 



Eligiblity refers to meeting three conditions in order for a refugee to be eligible for resettlement. The applicant must:
  1. meet the definition of one of the following either Convention refugee abroad class (CR) or Country of asylum class (RA);
  2. not have any other durable solutions; and 
  3. demonstrate their ability to establish themselves successfully in Canada.


Family member

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.


 The federal Government of Canada is represented by the Minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada who 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).

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:
  • are at least 18 years of age;
  • live in the community where the refugees are expected to settle;
  • are not in default on any other sponsorship undertaking; and
  • have the necessary resources to guarantee support for the full duration of the sponsorship, usually up to a 12-month period.


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

  • defraying the cost of transportation to Canada (transportation loan)
  • assisting with establishment in Canada (assistance loan)
  • defraying the cost of the right of permanent residence fee (RPRF) loan
Note: Immigration loans are no longer provided to defray the cost of immigration medical examinations (IMEs). These expenses are now covered under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) for eligible applicants.

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