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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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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.

Secondary Migration

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

"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.

Settlement Assistance

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.

Settlement Plan

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.

Sponsorship Breakdown

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

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

Sponsorship Revocation

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.

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