Notice – Helping refugees succeed – changes to the Immigration Loans Program come into effect

Ottawa, February 21, 2018 — Changes came into effect today to the Immigration Loans Program which will ease the loan repayment process and give resettled refugees more time to repay their immigration loan, which will aid with their integration by giving them more time to focus on improving their language skills and making use of the settlement services available to help them to become part of Canadian society faster.

Immigration loans were first introduced in 1951 to assist people displaced by the Second World War who were travelling to Canada to start a new life.

Immigration loans provide eligible immigrants, who are mainly refugees selected for resettlement to Canada, with access to funding that would otherwise not be available. Loans are used to cover a number of expenses, including travel to Canada and other costs associated with resettlement.

To make loan repayment easier:

  • repayment begins 1 year after arrival in Canada (previously it was 30 days);
  • new loans are interest free;
  • existing loans will have no further accumulation of interest; and
  • the repayment period has been extended by 2 years, to reduce the size of monthly installments.

These changes will also keep loans fixed at the amount that was originally borrowed.

The final publication of these regulatory changes are posted in Canada Gazette Part II.

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