How do applicants access the resettlement program?

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.

Access mechanisms

R140.2 and R140.3 establish two mechanisms for applicants to access the resettlement program:

  • referral organizations and
  • private sponsorships.

The access mechanism for a particular application is not a factor in deciding eligibility.

Conditions (when applicant is not being sponsored)

R140.3 states that a foreign national applying for resettlement must submit their application to the immigration office outside Canada that serves the applicant’s place of residence. Their application must meet one of the following conditions:

  • R140.3 (1) (a) Referred by a referral organization. That is, the refugee has been referred for resettlement to Canada by the UNHCR or by another referral organization with which the Minister has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for the purpose of referring refugees; or.
  • R140.3 (1) (b) Referral resulting from an arrangement between the Minister and a government of a foreign state or any institution of such a government relating to resettlement; or
  • R140.3 (1) (c) Referral resulting from an agreement relating to resettlement entered into by the Government of Canada and an international organization or a government of a foreign state. ”

Conditions (for applicants being sponsored)

R140.2 states that a foreign national applying for resettlement and who is being sponsored must send the application together with the sponsorship application to the Case Processing Office in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The application for a permanent resident visa must meet the following conditions:

  1. be accompanied by a sponsorship application referred to in paragraph 153(1)(b) by which the foreign national is being sponsored; or
  2. be attached to the sponsorship application sent by the sponsor in accordance with subsection 153(1.2).

Exemptions are articulated in R140.3 (2) and R140.3 (3) for a foreign national residing in a geographic area that has been granted direct access.

That is, it is a geographic area that the Minister has determined (under subsection R140.3 (3) to be a geographic area in which circumstances justify the submission of permanent resident visa applications not accompanied by a referral or an undertaking. Any person residing in a designated region may submit an application for resettlement under any of the refugee classes without having a sponsor in Canada or a referral by the UNHCR or other referral organization. There are currently no geographic areas that have been granted direct access.

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