Get government assistance – Refugees

Government-assisted refugees are Convention Refugees Abroad whose initial resettlement in Canada is entirely supported by the Government of Canada or Quebec. This support is delivered by IRCC-supported non-governmental agencies.

Support can last up to one year from the date of arrival in Canada, or until the refugee is able to support himself or herself, whichever happens first. It may include:

  • accommodation;
  • clothing;
  • food;
  • help in finding employment and becoming self-supporting; and
  • other resettlement assistance.

Organizations offering resettlement services to newcomers to Canada are called service provider organizations. There are various service provider organizations located throughout Canada working within the Resettlement Assistance Program.

The Canadian government offers financial assistance for government-assisted refugees and loans for all resettled refugees.

Find out how to get the help you need and some great advice about living in Canada after you arrive.

Urgent Protection Program (UPP)

The Urgent Protection Program (UPP) ensures that Canada is able to respond to urgent requests by refugees under threat of being returned home, of expulsion or of facing direct threats to their lives. UPP cases are designated as government-assisted refugees and some may be identified as Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) cases. Learn more about the UPP.

  • Women at Risk (WAR): UPP includes cases of women whose lives are at risk and for whom urgent protection is needed. Women who are in need of urgent protection or who are vulnerable do not have to show that they have settlement potential. However, as with all refugee applicants, women at risk and their accompanying dependants must pass medical, security and criminality requirements. Women at risk may also be privately sponsored.


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