For the most part, Syrians being resettled to Canada will be processed as either Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) or Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs).
The Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) is provided by Canada to Convention Refugees Abroad. Refugees who claimed refugee protection from inside Canada are not eligible for this program. These funds are used to help pay for:
- meeting the refugee at the airport or port of entry
- temporary accommodation
- help in finding permanent accommodation
- basic household items
- general orientation to life in Canada
- This money is also used to give the refugee income support for up to one year or until that person becomes self-sufficient, whichever comes first
- Eligible for the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which provides limited, temporary, taxpayer-funded coverage of health-care benefit
- PSRs are supported by sponsors who agree to provide them with care, lodging, settlement assistance and social support
- Normally, a private sponsor supports a refugee financially for 12 months, starting from the refugee’s arrival in Canada or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient, whichever comes first
- Eligible for Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP), which provides limited, temporary, taxpayer-funded coverage of health-care benefit
Canadians can privately sponsor refugees in three different ways:
1. Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) are groups that have signed agreements with the Government of Canada to sponsor refugees. They are generally large, well-established organizations that are trusted resettlement partners. Connecting with an established SAH is the quickest and easiest way to sponsor a refugee to come to Canada, and many SAHs have sponsored refugees who will be arriving in the near future and who would benefit from community support when they arrive.
There are a total of 14 SAHs in British Columbia, and 92 country-wide. A list of the SAHs in Canada is updated regularly to reflect all groups/organizations which have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada.
2. Groups of Five (G5) are five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who combine efforts and resources to sponsor refugees living abroad to come to Canada. Because it can take longer to process, Canadians are encouraged w to connect with an established SAH as their first option
3. Community Sponsors (CSs) can be an organization, association or corporation that seeks to sponsor a refugee. Again, new sponsors may take longer than other options to process and connecting with an established SAH is encouraged
Blended Visa Office-Referred program
- Canada provides up to 6 months of income support the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)
- Private sponsors provide another 6 months of financial support
- Private sponsors also offer social support for up to a year
- Refugees are covered under the Interim Federal Health Program for one year
All three categories are entitled to the the Immigration Loans Program (ILP), which helps government-assisted and privately sponsored members of the Convention Refugees Abroad and Country of Asylum.
The ILP covers:
- costs of medical examinations abroad;
- travel documents; and
- transportation to Canada.
Loans are approved according to the applicant’s needs and ability to repay. Assistance loans are also available to newcomers to cover expenses such as rental housing, telephone deposits and work tools. Interest is charged on ILP loans, and the interest rate is set each January by the Department of Finance. However, the Canadian government announced in late November that all ILP loans would be waived forthe 25,000 Syrian refugees.
(Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada)