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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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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".

Community 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).

Constituent Group

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.

Convention Refugee

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,
  • is outside the country of his or her nationality and is unable or, by reason of that fear, unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country; or,
  • not having a country of nationality, is outside the country of his or her former habitual residence and is unable or, by reason of that fear, unwilling to return to that country.

Convention Refugee Abroad

Any person who:
  • is a Convention refugee; 
  • is outside Canada;
  • is seeking resettlement in Canada; 
  • does not have a prospect of another durable solution, within a reasonable period of time, that is:
    • cannot return to his or her country of nationality or habitual residence;
    • cannot integrate in the country of refuge or the country of first asylum; and
    • does not have another offer of resettlement from a country other than Canada;
  • will be privately sponsored or assisted by the government or has adequate financial resources to support himself or herself and any dependants.

Country of Asylum Class

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations defines a member of the Country of Asylum Class (RA) as a person
  • who is outside his or her country of citizenship or habitual residence; 
  • who has been, and continues to be, seriously and personally affected by civil war or armed conflict or who has suffered massive violations of human rights;
  • for whom there is no possibility of finding an adequate solution to his or her situation within a reasonable period of time; and
  • who will be privately sponsored or who has adequate financial resources to support himself or herself and any dependants.

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.

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