Operational Bulletin 512 (Modified) – February 12, 2014
This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada staff. It is posted on the Department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.
Resettlement Assistance Program Income Support Payments for Privately Sponsored Refugees Arriving Under the Visa Office Referred Program
This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides operational instructions to Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) Matching Centre and in-Canada officers with respect to issuing Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) income support payments to Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) under the Visa Office Referred (VOR) program.
CIC officers who administer RAP income support need to be aware of the procedures to follow for implementing the blended VOR program.
In 2012, CIC announced plans to reduce the number of government-assisted refugees (GARs) to be resettled in a year by 1,000 and to increase the number of PSRs by the same amount. This will be phased in over three years, beginning in 2013.
The additional 1000 PSRs will be VOR cases, referred to CIC by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). They will be provided with six months of income support under RAP.
Process for issuing RAP income support to VOR resettled refugees
As per current procedures, when overseas refugee processing is complete, the visa office sends a Notification of Arrival Transmission (NAT) by email to CIC’s Matching Centre. For VOR cases, the subject line of the NAT email should appear as shown in the following example:
NROBI NAT001/2013 (CRS/VOR) Jan 24 – Ottawa ON (POE-Toronto)
In addition to sending the NAT to the sponsor in Canada and to the applicable Port of Entry service provider, as per current procedures, Matching Centre should also copy the appropriate local CIC office (i.e., the nearest local CIC office that provides RAP income support services) so that the RAP officer can initiate income support, as per OB 511.
When a local CIC officer receives a NAT with “CRS/VOR” in the subject line, a RAP file should be created. After the refugee arrives, monthly income support payments will be issued for a period of six months or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient. Local procedures with respect to arranging for intake interviews and signing RAP Income Support Agreements should be followed. The RAP officer should also contact the sponsor to make these arrangements once the NAT is received.
VOR clients are not eligible for start-up payments, certain special payments such as dietary allowance or the National Housing Supplement. Their RAP income support benefits should be limited to:
- food and incidentals;
- basic shelter; and
- transportation and maternity dietary allowance, if applicable.
They are also not eligible for RAP services, apart from Port of Entry services, without prior approval and on an exceptional basis only.
VOR clients are eligible for Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) coverage from the time they arrive in Canada until they are no longer under private sponsorship, up to a maximum of 12 months. RAP officers are not required to track payments to VOR clients under a separate Internal Order (IO) Code.
Any One-Year Window (OYW) applications for VOR clients will continue to be sent to the CPO-W, as with regular PSRs.
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