Procedures for processing urgent protection cases: Financial and other support

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.

The category in which an UPP case is processed has implications for the amount and type of assistance received in Canada. UPP cases may have needs that require specialized assistance in Canada. Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) and Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) services can be provided to those resettled as urgent protection cases.

The officer determines the type of support required, including whether a JAS is appropriate.

Refugees not requiring a sponsor should be destined as usual (PDF, 431.66KB).

For those refugees for whom a sponsor has been identified prior to departure for Canada, the refugee will be destined directly to the city of final destination, where the sponsor is located.

Cases are not to be delayed while searching for a sponsor; if a sponsor cannot be identified, the refugee(s) will be sent to a city chosen by the Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O) until a sponsor is found (see below).

If the refugee has family in Canada, the ROC-O will locate a sponsor near the family.

Final destinations in Canada will be established on the basis of a number of factors, including location of any family in Canada, availability of required services (e.g., counselling), refugee’s ability to communicate in English or French and/or location of a sponsor.

Destining urgent-protection-cases

Send DMR

In all cases, the officer will send a Destination Matching Request (DMR) to the NHQ ROC-O at the same time a notification of acceptance to the UNHCR or other referral organization is sent.

In addition to all required information for regular refugee cases, the message to the ROC-O should outline:

  • the applicant's family profile;
  • refugee background; and, in particular,
  • any special-needs requirements including a request for contribution funds to cover part of the transportation costs.

The more complete the family profile and the more detailed the needs assessment, the easier and faster it will be to find a sponsor, when one is required.

ROC-O responds

The ROC-O will respond to the visa office within one day with details about contributions, loans, sponsor and destination.

The ROC-O works closely with local Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) offices across Canada, with Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) and with the MICC, where applicable, to complete the destining process. The ROC-O will ensure that all special needs information sent by the visa office has been received by the appropriate local IRCC office/POE/SPO/sponsor to ensure that the required services will be available upon arrival.

Keep records in GCMS

All information should be fully detailed in GCMS according to the principal applicant’s (PA) application form IMM 0008sch2, including all family names and relationships, even when the family has been separated. This will also help facilitate family reunification later, if needed. For cases destined to Quebec, the GCMS notes will also indicate the CSQ number and the fact that it is a Quebec case.

Note: Because these cases are being processed within a short time frame, there may be instances where refugees arrive with very little advance notification or without a sponsor.

By program/destination:

Post-departure joint assistance sponsorship cases

In rare cases where a JAS is required, but a sponsor has not been identified prior to departure, the refugee will be destined to a location chosen by the ROC-O that appears to best suit the refugee’s needs. The ROC-O will work with the local IRCC office and a local SPO to ensure that appropriate arrangements for reception services, including counselling, are made until a sponsor can be located. These cases are coded as if the sponsorship undertaking is completed prior to departure.

Privately sponsored

In cases where the applicant is named on an undertaking for private sponsorship and is in urgent need of protection, the applicant must present themselves to UNHCR for an assessment. Should the UNHCR find the applicant to be in need of urgent protection, they will advise the visa office who will proceed as above. Private sponsors cannot directly refer or upgrade a case to the Urgent Protection Program and must approach UNHCR if they feel a case requires urgent protection. However, as long as resettlement applications are submitted consistent with IRPA, (referral from UNHCR or designated referral organization, or sponsorship undertaking) visa officers have full discretion in deciding whether to accept a case for urgent processing.

Urgent protection cases destined to Quebec

For cases destined to Quebec, the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI) will be responsible for selecting the final destination in Québec, as well as the services and settlement activities.

Step Action

Contact MIDI

The officer will send an e-mail or a fax to the MIDI, Direction de l’immigration familiale et humanitaire (DIFH) with the words “Urgent Protection Program/Programme de protection d’urgence” in the subject line of the message.

The message must be accompanied by:

  • an IMM 0008E, schedule 2;
  • the UNHCR Resettlement Registration Form (RRF); and
  • medical information gathered by the UNHCR.

For urgent protection cases, the IMM 0008E and schedule 2 may replace the request for the Certificat de sélection du Québec (CSQ).

  • Although urgent protection cases are not assessed on the basis of their capacity to integrate, this information is required to:
  • determine whether a sponsorship undertaking is needed under the Quebec Joint Sponsorship Program;
  • determine whether the person should in fact be going to Quebec; and
  • give the MIDI an opportunity to assess the officer’s opinion about the management of any risk of excessive costs.

Unaccompanied minors must not be directed to Quebec.

MIDI responds

The MIDI immediately sends its response to the Canadian visa office, along with the number of any CSQ and its validity date. The MIDI also indicates whether the case is eligible for the Quebec Joint Sponsorship Program.

Send DMR and NAT

The Destination Matching Request (DMR) and Notification of Arrival Transmission (NAT) should indicate that the case is a UPP case and must be sent to the ROC-O in accordance with normal procedures. The ROC-O will contact MIDI. A response will be sent back within hours.

Quebec Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program

In Quebec, the Joint Sponsorship Program exclusively targets Convention refugees or members of a humanitarian-protected persons abroad class who have a physical disability, need medical treatment, or have been the victim of torture or other traumas, including women at risk.

Under this program, refugees are given reception and settlement services, integration advice, ongoing emotional support and assistance for learning French for two years.

Whether or not they are involved in the Joint Sponsorship Program, urgent-protection cases will receive support through Quebec’s refugee reception and settlement (PAIR) program.

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