Transportation loans

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 objective of the transportation loan is to provide financial assistance to eligible applicants to cover the costs of transportation for themselves and their beneficiaries from overseas to their place of final destination in Canada. This includes approved service fees from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as well as other related expenses.

A Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] (PDF, 1.16MB) is generally issued only when travel is booked through the assistance of the IOM. In the rare circumstance where there is no IOM presence, the migration office can assist the eligible applicant in booking travel and issuing a transportation loan (Right of Permanent Residence Loan, Transportation Loan, Admissibility Loan form [IMM 500]).

Any applicants who chose to book their own travel are not issued a transportation loan.

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Eligible expenses

The IOM provides pre-arrival services to refugees who are covered under the Immigration Loans Program (ILP). Types of expenses that may be covered include

  • transportation from the refugee’s place of residence in a rural community or camp to a city from which the refugee may board a flight that commences their trip to Canada
  • cost of overnight accommodation and meal allowances before departure
  • cost of travel to Canada by the most direct route at the most economical rate available
  • charges for any transportation tax (for example, toll or airport tax)
  • IOM operational escort (approved by the International Network Resettlement Operations Division [IN-ROD] Resettlement Services Unit)
  • approved service fees from the IOM to cover the IOM’s administrative costs associated with the delivery of its services
  • inland transportation costs, which may include
    • meals en route
    • overnight accommodation
    • ground transportation
    • incidental expenses
  • pre-selection processing costs (for example, transportation, accommodation and meals associated with selection interviews, immigration medical examinations (IMEs) or both) only if these costs are not already covered under a separate agreement with the IOM

The IOM is required to pay the initial costs involved in transporting and providing accommodation to the refugees. Payment is provided to the IOM by IRCC Loans and Accounts Receivable once invoices have been received, and it has been verified that the refugees have arrived in Canada.

For this reason, whenever possible, it is preferable to use the services of the IOM over other organizations when making travel arrangements.

Ineligible expenses

Types of expenses that are not covered include

  • baggage in excess of the carrier’s free baggage allowance
  • costs for the shipping of personal and household effects
  • transportation of animals (domestic or livestock); see Importing or travelling with pets
  • cost of DNA testing (not an eligible expense, according to section 289 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations [IRPR])
  • medical interventions for clients to be travel-ready (fit to fly)
  • pre-departure medical services covered under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) (for example, medical escorts, medical devices required for travel, IMEs, vaccinations)
  • cost of transportation, accommodation and meals associated with the delivery of the Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) Program (covered under a separate agreement with the IOM)

Procedures for overseas refugees

Applicable form to use: Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] (PDF, 1.16MB)

  1. During an eligibility interview, the migration officer must assess an applicant‘s ability to repay the loan.
    1. If the officer determines the applicant should be able to repay the loan, the officer counsels the applicants regarding loan repayment and provides the terms and conditions of the loan to the applicants, noting the following:
      • The total amount of the transportation loan will not be provided until the applicants are ready to travel to Canada with the help of the IOM.
      • If an individual included in the application is over the age of 18 at the time of travel, they may be placed on their own loan (only when the loan exceeds $10,000).
      • The total amount of the transportation loan will not exceed $10,000 per loan.
    2. If the officer determines that a government-assisted refugee or joint assistance sponsorship (JAS) applicant may be unable to repay the loan, the officer may request to have the costs covered through a contribution.
    3. If the officer determines that a Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program applicant may have difficulty repaying the loan, the officer should approve the loan, in keeping with the department’s humanitarian commitment.
  2. Once the applicants have been counselled on repayment, the migration officer and applicants sign the Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] (PDF, 1.16MB) as an indication that the loan has been authorized.

    Note: Migration offices do not need to provide a hard copy of the form to the applicant, as the IOM provides a copy of the terms of conditions to the applicant before departure.

  3. This signed form is scanned and uploaded to the associated application in the Global Case Management System (GCMS), and the migration officer also adds the following note in GCMS (officers can leave the GCMS “Warrant #” field blank):
    • Transportation loan – Approved; client(s) counselled on repayment terms and signing final cost sheets with IOM; loan Ts&Cs provided to client
  4. Once the applicant is travel-ready, the migration office provides the IOM with the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) and any corresponding travel documents. Using the information on the COPR, the IOM produces a detailed immigration travel costs sheet. The loan recipient is always the principal applicant indicated on the COPR.
    • The following exceptions apply:
      1. Only if the loan is over the $10,000 limit, those over the age of 18 can be placed on their own loan. However, if there is no family member who is 18 years or older, all dependants included on the same application are included in the principal applicant’s loan.
      2. If there are de facto dependants included in the family unit, the migration officer sends a note with the applicant’s COPR, indicating which principal applicant their loan should be issued to.
  5. Before departure, the client signs the immigration travel costs sheet in the presence of an IOM representative, whenever possible. The IOM provides a copy of this form to the applicant.

Procedures for remote processing

Applicable form to use: Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] (PDF, 1.16MB)

In instances where remote processing has occurred (for example, video conferencing, dossier-based processing), and an applicant’s signature cannot be obtained at an interview, the following procedures should be followed:

  1. The IRCC migration officer signs the Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502], which is sent to the IOM, along with travel documents for the client.
  2. Once the form is signed by the IRCC migration officer, it should be scanned and sent to the IOM (along with paper copies of the form), and the names of the clients that must sign it are to be indicated.
  3. The duly signed Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] is then scanned by the IOM office and sent back to the IRCC office to be uploaded to the GCMS application.
    1. If the officer determines that a government-assisted refugee or JAS applicant may be unable to repay the loan, the officer may request to have the costs covered through a contribution.

      Note: Government-assisted refugees being resettled to Quebec are not eligible.

    2. If the officer determines that a PSR Program applicant may have difficulty repaying the loan, the officer should approve the loan, in keeping with the department’s humanitarian commitment.

    Note: If the officer has conducted dossier-based processing, the applicant is counselled in writing. This information is provided to the applicant by the IOM before the applicant signs the Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502].

  4. Once the applicant is travel-ready, the migration office provides the IOM with the COPR, corresponding travel documents and signed Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502]. Using the information on the COPR, the IOM produces a detailed immigration travel costs sheet. The loan recipient is always the principal applicant indicated on the COPR.
    • The following exceptions apply:
      1. Only if the loan is over the $10,000 limit, those over the age of 18 can be placed on their own loan. However, if there is no family member of 18 years or older, all dependants included on the same application are included in the principal applicant’s loan.
      2. If there are de facto dependants included in the family unit, the migration officer sends a note, along with the applicant’s COPR, indicating which principal applicant their loan should be issued to.
  5. Before departure, the client signs the immigration travel costs sheet and Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] in the presence of an IOM representative, whenever possible. The IOM provides a copy of the immigration travel costs sheet to the applicant.

New procedures for applications submitted for minor dependants under the one-year window of opportunity (OYW) provision

Applicable form to use: Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] (PDF, 1.16MB)

  1. The family member in Canada submits to the Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O) the OYW application, which must include the signed Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] to cover the transportation costs for their minor family members overseas to travel to Canada.
  2. Once the ROC-O receives the signed form from the family member in Canada, a delegated officer signs the form, indicating that the loan has been authorized.
  3. The officer scans and uploads the completed document to the associated application in GCMS.
  4. Upon completion of the above steps, the ROC-O sends an email indicating that the loan has been authorized to the IOM in Ottawa and IRCC Loans and Accounts Receivable.
  5. Once the application has been finalized by the IRCC migration office, corresponding travel documents are sent to the IOM. The IOM produces an immigration travel costs sheet in the name and UCI of the minor, which is provided to the client before departure.

    Note: If there is more than one minor covered by the loan, the immigration travel costs sheet is issued in the name and UCI of the oldest minor, with younger minors listed as people covered by the loan (to ensure the loan cap is applied if costs exceeds CAN$10,000).

  6. Once the loan has been created in Systems, Applications and Products (SAP), IRCC Loans and Accounts Receivable manually changes the name of the loan applicant in the system to the designated individual.

Transitional procedures for applications submitted under the one-year window of opportunity (OYW) provision that include minors and have already been assessed by the Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O)

Regarding the handling of OYW applications that include minors and have already been assessed at the ROC-O, the procedures below apply.

When completing a destination matching request, officers are to check GCMS to determine if a loan form has already been signed and uploaded.

  • If the loan has already been authorized, or if there is a parent travelling with the minor dependant, the officer is to proceed with the destination matching request (DMR).
  • If the loan has not yet been authorized, and the case includes only minors, the head of the family in Canada is required to take on the loan of the minor (not an adult sibling or any other person over 18 years of age who is travelling with the minor).

The following procedures should be followed before the DMR is completed.

  1. The ROC-O sends a request to the family member in Canada, who is also the loan recipient, to have them sign the Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502]. The ROC-O copies the local office in Canada, so they are aware.
  2. When the ROC-O receives the signed form from the family member in Canada, a delegated officer signs the form, indicating that the loan has been authorized. The officer scans and uploads the completed document to the associated application in GCMS.
  3. Upon completion of the above steps, the ROC-O sends an email indicating that the loan has been authorized to the IOM in Ottawa, IRCC Finance and the requesting migration office.
  4. Once the applicant is travel-ready, the migration office provides the IOM with the COPR and any corresponding travel documents. Using the information on the COPR, the IOM produces a detailed immigration travel costs sheet.
  5. Before departure, the client signs the immigration travel cost sheet in the in the presence of an IOM representative, wherever possible. The IOM provides a copy of this form to the applicant.

Process for eligible dependent refugee or family class applications

The request for issuance of a transportation loan for applicants overseas included with a dependent refugee or family class application is often initiated by the head of the family in Canada and directed to an IRCC local office.

When an IRCC local office is contacted by an individual regarding this type of request, the following procedures should be followed:

  1. A delegated IRCC local officer assesses if the in-Canada applicant is eligible for a transportation loan and if they will be able to repay the loan.
  2. If approved, the delegated IRCC officer counsels the loan recipient regarding loan repayment and provides a copy of the Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502] (PDF, 1.16MB) to the loan recipient.
  3. Both the client and the IRCC local officer sign the Terms and Conditions of Loan form [IMM 0502].
  4. The IRCC officer scans and uploads the completed document to the associated application in GCMS.
  5. Upon completion, the IRCC local office sends an email to the IOM in Ottawa, IRCC Loans and Accounts Receivable and the corresponding IRCC migration office.
  6. Once the application has been finalized by the IRCC migration office, corresponding travel documents are sent to the IOM. The IOM produces an immigration travel costs sheet in the name and UCI of the client.

    Note: If there is more than one minor covered by the loan, the immigration travel costs sheet is issued in the name and UCI of the oldest minor, with younger minors listed as people covered by the loan (to ensure the loan cap is applied if costs exceeds CAN$10,000).

  7. Once the loan has been created in SAP, IRCC Loans and Accounts Receivable manually changes the name of the loan applicant in the system to the designated individual.
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