Post arrival requirements for private sponsorships

On this page

  1. Introduction
  2. Settlement Support Requirements (non-financial)
  3. Financial Support Requirements
  4. Self-Destination and Secondary Migration
  5. Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS)
  6. Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership (RRAP)
  7. Post-Arrival Monitoring and Assurance
  8. References

This guide sets out the supports that sponsors are expected to provide to resettled refugees once they arrive in Canada. It can be used as:

  • a reference document for sponsoring groups
  • a reference document for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) staff to conduct assurance work
  • a tool to make sure support given to privately sponsored refugees is consistent across the country

This new 2023 guide consolidates and clarifies existing requirements found in various forms and guides, including the financial FAQs for the PSR program. It includes more detail on requirements to address gaps in areas such as timelines for providing supports.

The Post Arrival Requirements for Private Sponsorships guide focuses on what and when support should be delivered. The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) develops and delivers tools and information to help sponsors follow the requirements.

These requirements are managed by IRCC. For any comments or required updates, please contact us at

Alternate formats

1. Introduction

Sponsors play a key role in supporting privately sponsored refugees after they arrive. Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs), along with their Constituent Groups (CGs) and co-sponsors, Groups of Five and Community Sponsors are all accountable to IRCC for the delivery and quality of the settlement and financial support they provide to the sponsored refugees.

In their sponsorship applications, sponsors agree to provide post-arrival financial and non-financial (i.e., settlement) supports as outlined in the sponsorship undertaking and related settlement plan. These are requirements under paragraph 153(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). SAHs also make commitments in the sponsorship agreement.

This guide provides more detail on the post arrival supports sponsors must provide to sponsored refugees, as outlined in:

All financial and settlement needs must be provided for as detailed in this guide.

Sponsors can get help via the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), an organization with national and regional staff that provide information, training, and support to refugee sponsors. You can find contact information on their website.

RSTP provides orientation and guidance on settlement issues through:

RSTP staff help sponsors:

2. Settlement support requirements (non-financial)

2.1 Providing settlement support

a) Types of settlement assistance and support

Sponsoring groups are responsible for making sure the basic settlement needs of sponsored refugees are met when they arrive in Canada. They must make sure sponsored refugees receive:

b) When to provide settlement support

Sponsoring groups are required to provide certain settlement supports to the refugee(s) within or before identified time periods, subject to reasonable variances due to case-specific circumstances. This ensures that newcomers have timely support to meet their evolving settlement needs over the first year in Canada.
The settlement support time periods are:

The type of activities expected for each of the Settlement support time period will be further discussed in sub-section 2.2.

c) How long to provide settlement support

Length of settlement support

Type of sponsoring group Must provide settlement support for
Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program 12 months
Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program 12 months
Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) Program 24 months
(In coordination with the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) Service Providing Organization initially supporting the resettled refugee. For more information see section 5.)
Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership (RRAP) 12 months
(For more information see section 6.)

2.2 Settlement support activities

This section outlines the settlement supports found in the settlement plan by providing detail on what IRCC considers essential as well as providing some best practice guidance.

If you’re not sure what IRCC may consider a reasonable variance due to your specific circumstances, you can contact the Resettlement Services Assurance Team (RSAT) at IRCC via for assistance.

a) Ongoing for the sponsorship period

Sponsors are encouraged to follow these best practices:

b) Pre-arrival (once you receive NAT):

We’ll inform sponsors of a refugee’s arrival details (e.g. date, time, location, special needs) when IRCC issues the Notification of Arrival Transition (NAT). During this time, sponsors prepare for a successful start to the sponsorship.

How to get ready for a refugee’s arrival:

Sponsors are encouraged to follow these best practices:

c) Arrival and first 3 weeks:

Sponsors receive and welcome refugees and help with immediate and essential needs.


Update contact information with IRCC:

Housing and immediate/essential orientation:

Essential Federal / Provincial Programs and Services:

Community-Based Services:

Financial orientation – income support and financial responsibilities

d) Month 1-3:

By this time the newcomer’s immediate needs have been addressed or supports are in process. Settlement supports continue to address early settlement needs, focusing on:

Immediate and essential orientation

Financial orientation – income support and financial responsibilities

e) Month 4-6:

By this time, all the required settlement supports from months 1-3 are completed or in progress. Other settlement supports during this time period, if not already happening, could include:

f) Month 7-9:

During this time, you’ll keep giving settlement support as needed and start getting ready for the transition at the end of the sponsorship period.

g) Month 10-12:

The last phase is the transition of the newcomers from the sponsorship period. If the newcomers are not working or not supporting themselves, you’ll need to help ensure finances are in place so they can support themselves.

2.3 Changes to a refugee’s situation that affect settlement support

Sponsors are encouraged to review their settlement commitments on a monthly basis so that any changes to the refugee’s situation that may need changes to the settlement support are addressed. You may need to reassess settlement support for different reasons, such as:

Case-by-case assessment is often needed to make sure you maintain access to settlement services. Sponsors may contact IRCC RSAT for guidance as needed.

3. Financial support requirements

3.1 Providing financial support

a) Types of financial support

Sponsors must provide one-time start-up costs and ongoing monthly costs.

Start-up costs

  • household items (basic window coverings and common household products such as kitchen utensils, pots, pans, brooms, mops, detergents and cleaners, etc.)
  • furniture (beds, mattresses, dining set, couches, end tables, lamps, etc.)
  • linens (including bedding)
  • food staples
  • clothing, both regular and seasonal
  • utility connection fees
  • school start-up allowance (if needed, may be issued twice for families who arrive between September 1 and May 31 and the support period spans 2 school years).

Monthly costs

  • basic needs (food and incidentals)
  • shelter allowance (housing, including utilities) and enough money to cover deposits for security, utilities, and first/last month’s rent as needed
  • housing supplement, if applicable
  • monthly transportation allowance for anyone 18 or older
  • communication allowance to cover the costs of a telephone and internet connection (per case and to each adult child dependant).
  • Maternity food allowance, if applicable
  • Special dietary allowance, if applicable
    • $75 monthly per family if they have a doctor (or nurse practitioner) note indicating a medical condition requiring a special diet.

b) When to provide financial support


Sponsoring groups must provide financial support to newcomers according to the timelines below.

Type Timelines
Start-up costs
  • Must be provided between arrival date and end of Month 2.
  • For items that may not be needed right away (winter clothing), you can provide these at a later date but you must be able to prove you are prepared to do this.
Monthly costs
  • Provide support monthly. Newcomers should be aware of when to expect financial support and should not have to ask for it.

c) Lump sum payments

We don’t encourage lump sum payments. If sponsors chose to issue payments in lump sums, the amounts must equal the equivalent in monthly payments (i.e. lump sums do not result in any “savings” to the sponsors). If sponsoring groups want to issue support this way, they must:

IRCC may recommend re-adjusting to monthly payments, if

d) How long to provide financial support

Duration of Financial Sponsorship

Program What sponsoring groups must provide
Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) Program Income support for up to 12 months.
Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program 6 months of income support, plus start-up costs. IRCC provides the remaining 6 months of income support through the RAP.
Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) Program Sponsoring groups do not provide financial support in JAS. For more information, see section 5.
Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership (RRAP) 9 months of income support. IRCC provides start-up costs and 3 months through the RAP. For more information, see section 6.

e) Reducing or eliminating financial support

A refugee may not need financial support from their sponsor when they earn a certain amount of earned income or have a certain amount of personal assets. You can find more details in sections 3.2(f) and 3.2(g) below.

f) Methods to provide financial support

Sponsoring groups decide how financial support is provided, but it must be traceable.

Recommended Cheques, e-transfers, or other traceable payment methods.
Not recommended Cash. If you absolutely need to provide a support payment in cash, sponsors must ensure it is documented (e.g. receipt from sponsor signed by newcomer, bank statements (withdrawals/deposits), email confirmations) by both the sponsor and refugee.

Refugees have the right to manage their own finances, and should be encouraged to do so. Sponsoring groups cannot:

3.2 Calculating financial support

a) Pre-arrival – the sponsorship cost table in Appendix A of the Application Guide

The sponsorship cost table is primarily used to provide Groups of Five/Community Sponsors – and SAHs required to provide proof of funds at the application stage – with the information needed to show they are financially able to sponsor a case. IRCC uses this information as part of its assessment for a sponsorship application.

b) Minimum rates

Sponsoring groups (SAHs, Groups of Five, and Community Sponsors) must provide refugees with financial support that, at minimum, aligns with the level of RAP income support levels and policies in the city where the refugee will live.

To find how much financial assistance is needed in any city or province, sponsoring groups should review the RAP rates in the community where the refugee will live and the start-up rates that apply nationally. Sponsors can use the RSTP online Minimum Financial Support Calculator to estimate the minimum sponsorship costs.

If a refugee moves to a new community of settlement, sponsors recalculate and continue to provide refugees with financial support based on RAP rates in the new community as discussed in section 4.

Case-specific factors, such as in-kind donations, shared living arrangements, or special needs may impact the amount of monthly financial support to be provided. Changes to a refugee’s status that may impact financial support are further discussed in sub-section 3.3.

Sponsors are encouraged to follow these best practices:

c) Newcomers above the age of majority

According to the RAP rates for single persons, adult dependent children who are above the age of majority in their community of settlement must be provided with start-up and monthly financial support as single adults. Dependents that reach the age of majority during the sponsorship period start receiving monthly financial support at the rates of a single adult the first of the next month after their birthday.

They cannot be considered dependents to the family when calculating financial support requirements.

Newcomers above the age of majority who live with others, for example, a 19 year old living with parents, may have financial support reduced for some shared costs as outlined in Section 3.3.

d) In-kind support

In-kind support includes donated goods, commodities or services (such as gently used furniture or clothing, or housing provided at no cost to the sponsored family).

Refer to Appendix A of the Sponsorship Application Guide for SAHs, Groups of Five or Community Sponsors and the Minimum Financial Support Calculator for the maximum value of donated items that can be applied towards the financial obligations for start-up and monthly costs of the sponsorship. In-kind donations cannot be valued for more than either their actual value or the maximum in-kind deduction amounts.

e) Calculating start-up

You can provide start-up costs in three ways:

Sponsors are encouraged to follow these best practices:

 Engage the sponsored person or family in the process to find an acceptable balance of direct payments and purchases.

You can only provide certain start-up items through in-kind donations (see table below).

Items that may be partially deducted through in-kind donations: Items that cannot be provided as in-kind donations:
  • clothing
  • furniture
  • household needs
  • linens
  • school supplies
  • food staples
  • mattresses, which should always be purchased new, although case by case discretion may be applied
  • opened food products
  • personal clothing items such as undergarments or footwear

Only a certain percentage of the total value of in-kind donations can be subtracted from the financial support that must be provided to the sponsored refugee(s) as start-up support. Start-up costs cannot be provided fully in-kind (through donations). Only in-kind donations that the newcomers accept can be counted and deducted from the financial support provided.

If you buy additional items new (such as a mattress, clothing, or additional furniture), on behalf of or with the sponsored person or family, you may deduct these costs from the overall amount of financial start-up support provided. This is counted separately from in-kind donations.

Example of in-kind deductions to start-up furniture allowance:

f) Calculating monthly costs

You can provide monthly costs in two ways:

  • Shelter may be provided fully in-kind as long as it is safe, secure and suitable for the size of family unit, and provided to the refugee(s) without cost.
  • In-kind shelter does not have to be provided by a party to the sponsorship. Anyone other than a refugee who is within their sponsorship period can provide it. Note: this exception only applies to in-kind shelter costs (see section 3.3 for more information on support from parties and non-parties to the sponsorship).
Basic needs (food and incidentals)
  • The basic needs allowance may be provided in-kind to a maximum of 50% only if the refugee(s) is living with a party to the sponsorship. See section 3.1 for further information.
  • The monthly transportation allowance for all people 18 years and older may be waived as long as:
    • In areas with no public transit system, alternative transportation is provided at no cost to the refugee, or
    • the allowance is provided in kind, such as through free bus passes or access to programs for low-income residents

The financial amounts for all other monthly costs cannot be provided in-kind. This financial support will help refugees start their life in Canada and develop the knowledge and skills they need to make such decisions and maintain these costs on their own.

RAP shelter rate and national housing supplement

The RAP income support housing benefit has 2 components: the basic shelter rate and the national housing supplement.

Sponsors provide – at a minimum – the basic shelter rate, plus the national housing supplement amount if the shelter costs exceed the basic rate.

Sponsors are encouraged to follow this best practice:

 Ask about housing supports available in their community, such as subsidized housing programs.

g) Refugees with personal assets

Personal assets are the sum of money that the refugee(s) and their family:

If refugees’ personal assets, minus the maximum amounts noted below, are enough to cover some or all of the sponsorship costs for the full sponsorship period, the sponsor can reduce or remove financial support for some or all of the sponsorship period.

Before deeming the refugee to be financially self-sufficient, the sponsoring group makes a calculation based on the guidance below. Even if the refugee is deemed to be financially self-sufficient, sponsoring groups must still provide settlement support and assistance for the full sponsorship period.

Please refer to the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) delivery instructions for more information on personal assets. Personal assets do not include earned income (refer to section 3.2 (h) for information on earned income).

Refugee declaration of personal assets

The refugee self-declares the funds and assets and cannot be forced or coerced. The amount of income and assets declared to their sponsors may impact the level of financial support to be provided.

The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program has developed a Declaration of Funds and Assets (PDF, 229 KB) form for this purpose.

While sponsors may not withhold financial support if the assets/income are not reported, they may contact IRCC for help in situations where there are reasonable grounds to believe that a refugee may be withholding information about funds and assets.

Factoring personal assets into financial support

If the sponsoring group wants to factor personal assets into the required levels of financial support they provide, the standards for use of personal assets follow RAP standards.

If a sponsor makes deductions to their financial support, they must be able to explain the amount and the reason. The onus is on the sponsor to show the support provided to the refugee(s) and that program requirements have been met.

The maximum personal assets that refugees can keep under the RAP income support guidelines without affecting the amount of income support they get can be found here and in the table below. Any other assets will be factored in when deciding the level of income support needed.

Family size Maximum amount of personal assets (Canadian dollars)
Single person $5,000
Couple $7,500
Single plus one dependant $7,500
Each additional dependant $2,500

Sponsors are encouraged to follow these best practices:

h) Refugees with earned income

If a refugee has enough earnings during the sponsorship period, sponsoring groups may reduce or not provide income support under the terms of the sponsorship undertaking subject to the employment earnings thresholds noted below.

Sponsors should keep in mind that the financial situation of the family may change during the sponsorship period. Financial support may need to be re-instated unless the refugee has enough assets to cover the full sponsorship period as per section (g) above. Sponsors may need to prove they provided the financial supports needed at all points of the sponsorship period.

If sponsoring groups decide to make deductions to monthly financial support based on earned income, it must be done according to the principles of the RAP. Refer to the RAP delivery instructions for what is considered earned income.

Deductions can begin after net employment income becomes higher than 50% of the full RAP monthly support entitlement, at which point income is reduced dollar for dollar for each additional dollar earned above the threshold.

Exception: if the employment income is earned by a refugee who is attending secondary school:

Refugee declaration of employment earnings

Refugees are expected to declare income to their sponsors, as this may affect how much financial support is provided. However, this is voluntary and cannot be forced or coerced. While you can’t withhold financial support for non-reporting, sponsors may contact IRCC for help if you have reasonable grounds to believe a refugee may be withholding information about employment earnings.

Factoring earned income into financial support

When a refugee’s level of total earned household income is more than 50% of their household’s level of financial support, deductions can be made for every dollar earned above that. Refer to the RAP delivery instructions on the 50% additional income incentive for more information.

Refugees may no longer need financial support from their sponsor:

If support is reduced or removed, it is strongly suggested that sponsoring groups keep documentation to show they have followed the RAP policy for earnings.

At any time during the commitment period, if the financial situation of the refugee and their family changes, the sponsor must go back to providing financial support, as needed.

The sponsoring group must still give non-financial support (i.e. settlement) for the rest of the sponsorship period, as needed.

i) Canada Child Benefit and other federal or provincial tax benefits

The Canada Child Benefit (CCB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age. The CCB, which might include the child disability benefit and any related provincial and territorial programs, is based on the family’s net income, as well as the number and age(s) of children.

Excluded from financial support calculations

Since the CCB, and other federal or provincial tax benefits or rebates, are tax-free monthly payments available to all qualifying permanent residents and Canadian citizens, they cannot be counted as earned income or used to calculate reductions to sponsor support.

Sponsors also cannot count them towards the financial support requirements under the PSR Program. These tax benefits have no impact on the minimum amount of financial support a sponsor is required to provide and should never be clawed back.

Lending or advancing funds while the refugee family awaits their Canada Child Benefit payment

While the CCB is an important benefit for families with children, the application process usually takes several months. So even though payments are retroactive, you should plan for the CCB waiting period.

Sponsoring groups can choose to:

If a sponsor chooses to provide a loan, a clear record of the agreement and terms should be kept by all parties. Interest should not be charged to refugees.

Any later deductions to monthly support to repay a loan should be done according to the agreed upon terms. The terms should consider the ongoing needs of the family and not cause financial hardship.

j) Blended Visa Office-Referred cases: RAP rates when sponsors provide in-kind or financial support

RAP income support is based on need. It is not meant to duplicate benefits already provided through RAP or other sources, whether in-kind or financial.

If you provide in-kind or financial support while a client is on RAP, we’ll review the circumstances and nature of that support to find its impact on RAP levels of support.

Generally, if a refugee’s need is greater than the support being provided by RAP, a sponsoring group may be able to provide more in-kind or financial support without RAP rates being reduced.

When the in-kind or financial supports are the same as the benefits already provided through RAP, RAP benefits may be reduced. Under the RAP agreement signed by the refugee, all income or benefits from any source must be reported to IRCC.

For example, if a sponsor provides in-kind housing at no cost or at a cost less than the RAP income support allowance for shelter during the RAP period, this would cause monthly shelter allowance to be reduced in line with RAP guidelines.

One-time or monthly financial payments from a sponsor are assessed on a case-by-case basis to find if:

k) Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) cases: Supplementary benefits under RAP

In addition to start-up and monthly support, refugees supported under an official cost-sharing arrangement with IRCC are also eligible for supplementary benefits under RAP. Supporting documents must be submitted to the local IRCC office when requesting these benefits. This applies to all RAP-income support applications open when we receive supporting documents. No retroactive payments will be made.

The benefits are:

To support any request for the special dietary allowance, each request must include a note from a doctor or nurse practitioner showing that the refugee has a medical condition that requires a specialized diet.

l) Refugees who will not work, go to school or contribute to their integration

A refugee’s focus during their first year in Canada is to take part in activities that will help them become self-sufficient and independent. This may include working, settlement activities, language training classes, college or university courses, and job preparation programs.

Sponsoring groups should support refugee efforts in

Financial support cannot be reduced based on the personal choices of the refugees. If refugees are not taking part in activities that would help them integrate, sponsoring groups are encouraged to try and work with them to understand why this is happening, e.g. possible physical or mental health issues.

Either the sponsoring group or the refugee may ask for help from IRCC if you can’t reach a mutually acceptable solution.

m) Immigration loans and debt incurred in Canada

Sponsoring groups are not responsible for paying back the refugee’s immigration loan, but they can help pay it back if they want to. If they choose to, this amount cannot be deducted from the start-up financial support or the monthly financial support the refugee(s) should be receiving at RAP rates.

Sponsoring groups are also not responsible for any debt that a refugee incurs in Canada, unless they have co-signed loans.

n) Accepting or requiring funds from sponsored people before or after they arrive in Canada

Sponsoring groups, including co-sponsors, must not accept any funds from the refugee(s) either before or after they arrive in Canada. For example, no funds should be paid by refugee(s) to the sponsoring groups related to submitting sponsorship applications, housing, care or settlement help, etc.

The Sponsorship Undertaking (IMM5373) has a declaration that confirms that the refugees did not provide any funds towards the sponsorship. This applies equally to Sponsorship Agreement Holders, Groups of Five and Community Sponsors.

3.3 Changes to a refugee’s situation that affect financial support

Sponsors are encouraged to review their financial commitments every month to respond to any changes to the refugee’s situation that may affect financial support.

You may need to reassess financial support for various reasons, such as:

a) Sponsored refugees who choose to live together and refugees living with their sponsor or family member

Some shared costs may be reduced in situations where:

However, this only applies if:

IRCC will find supports to be reasonable and appropriate if:

The basic allowance, which includes an amount for food and incidentals (such as personal care products), may be provided in-kind to a maximum of 50% only if the refugee(s) is living with a party to the sponsorship (such as a co-sponsor, or member of a Group of Five who is listed on the sponsorship undertaking). This does not apply to situations where the refugee(s) lives with an individual/group who is not a party to the sponsorship (a family link).

b) Sponsored refugees who decide to move out of a shared living situation and establish an independent household

At all times, you must consider the dignity and the autonomy of the refugee(s) and any shared living arrangement must be fully consensual. Refugee(s) who would prefer to live independently of the sponsor, or age of majority children who want to live independently of their parents, must be given the right to do so.

Refugee(s) initially living with a sponsor who move out on their own:

Sponsoring groups should contact IRCC for help in these situations.

c) Marital breakdowns

In situations where the family goes through marital or household separation, the sponsoring group is not responsible for supporting 2 separate households. They may choose to support both households if they have capacity to do so.

If they choose to only support 1 household, the sponsor should keep supporting the household with the higher number of people. If both households are of equal size, it is up to the sponsoring group to decide which household they will keep supporting.

The other household is to be processed for breakdown and referred to:

Sponsoring groups must contact IRCC for help in these situations in order for IRCC to process the partial breakdown.

d) Death

In situations where a resettled refugee dies, sponsors are encouraged to follow these best practices:

Sponsors are required to send a copy of the death certificate and the immigration loan warrant number (if the client has a loan) to the Chief of Revenue Accounting, NHQ. You can find the address at Financial help – Refugees -

In situations where a party to the sponsorship passes (e.g. co-sponsor on file or one of the G5 members), sponsors inform IRCC RSAT and provide a copy of the death certificate. The department reports the death to the IRCC Operational Support Centre (OSC) and uploads the death certificate into GCMS.

e) Sponsored refugee who are temporarily hospitalized or incarcerated

Refugees entering a hospital or correctional centre do not automatically become ineligible for financial support.

When finding whether or not the rate of financial assistance should be affected, you must consider certain factors, such as:

For instance, if the refugee is temporarily hospitalized or incarcerated, they will likely still have rental or lease obligations. They should not lose their home because of these situations. There may be other expenses or factors to consider in these situations.

Sponsoring groups should contact IRCC if they have questions about this type of situation.

f) Sponsored refugees who temporarily leave the community of settlement, either to other parts of Canada or overseas

If a refugee leaves the community of settlement or Canada temporarily:
When finding whether or not the rate of financial assistance should be affected, you should consider the length of the expected absence and the number of members in the household that will be both travelling and remaining.

If refugees leave the country for an extended period:
Sponsors are not expected to provide financial or non-financial support while they are absent. It is in your best interest to report these situations and to provide proof, if you have it, to record this change with IRCC.

Sponsoring groups should contact IRCC if they have any questions about these situations.

g) Financial support required for One Year Window of Opportunity cases

Sponsoring groups are responsible to provide financial support for One Year Window cases for up to 12 months after they arrive in Canada. You are committed to this in the sponsorship undertaking.

However, the income situation of the family already in Canada should be considered in finding the required amount of financial support. See guidelines for One-Year Window of Opportunity and RAP income support for additional information.

4. Self-destination and secondary migration

Self-destined refugees are those who choose to change their final destination when they arrive at the Port of Entry (POE), before reaching the pre-arranged final destination. These refugees will either choose to remain at the POE city, or go to a different place in Canada.

Secondary migration happens when a refugee chooses to move out of the sponsor’s community before the end of the sponsorship period.

4.1 Residency requirements and obligations

As per paragraph 153(1)(a) of the IRPR, a sponsor must live or have representatives in the refugee’s expected community of settlement.

To meet residency requirements (as per section 2.2 (b)), depending on the type of sponsorship, a sponsor must:

Sponsor type How to meet residency requirements
Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH):
  • Either the SAH and/or Constituent Group (CG) is located in the community of settlement, or
  • At least two co-sponsors live in the community of settlement , or
  • At least two appointed representatives live in the community of settlement
Community Sponsors (CS):
  • Either the CS is located in the community of settlement, or
  • At least two co-sponsors live in the community of settlement , or
  • At least two appointed representatives live in the community of settlement
Groups of Five (G5):
  • All five sponsors live in the community of settlement, or
  • Their appointed representatives (for each group member that does not live in the community of settlement) live in the community of settlement

4.2 Options available to sponsoring groups

In the event of secondary migration or self-destination, the sponsoring group has 3 options to meet the residency requirements:

1. Find a replacement Constituent Group and/or Co-sponsors or Group of Five member(s) to meet residency requirements in the new community and resubmit an updated sponsorship undertaking.
2. Transfer the sponsorship to a new sponsoring group. In a transfer of sponsorship, the new group signs a sponsorship undertaking for the rest of the sponsorship period. The new undertaking replaces the first one. The original sponsorship would be declared in sponsorship breakdown.
3. Appoint representatives in the new community by submitting an Appointment of Representative(s) in Expected Community of Settlement form (IMM 5956) (PDF, 138 KB).

4.3 Role of sponsoring group

4.4 Sponsorship breakdown

If the sponsors can’t meet residency requirements in the new community of settlement, they should tell RSAT about their attempts to meet residency requirements – i.e. reaching out to potential sponsorship groups, co-sponsors, or representatives via phone, email, or text.

This may result in a breakdown due to secondary migration. These breakdowns do not directly result in case default or agreement action. A case review process is initiated only if other issues besides the secondary migration are found. See Figure 1 below.

Figure 1: Sponsorship breakdown process following secondary migration or self-destination
  1. RSAT Notified of Migration
  2. Alternative Sponsor Arrangements Found
    1. If yes, sponsorship continues
    2. If no
      1. Case is assessed for sponsorship breakdown by RSAT officer
      2. Declaration of sponsorship breakdown
      3. Sponsor’s liabilities cease and PSR/BVOR can apply to SA/RAP respectively
  3. If any issues beyond the migration are detected, a case review process begins.

Following migration, officers are only looking at sponsor efforts to find alternate sponsorship arrangements. Unless concerns related to other program requirements are identified at this time, no case review process is initiated, and thus, no default of potential Agreement actions are taken.

5. Joint Assistance Sponsorships (JAS)

A Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) is when Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) with special needs receive support and services from a combination of IRCC, private sponsors and RAP service providers for an extended period of up to 24 months.

Special needs mean that a person has greater need of settlement assistance than other GARs because of their personal situation, such as:

Working together in partnership, IRCC, the RAP service provider and the sponsor help to make sure refugee(s) have the best possible outcome. Only Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) and their Constituent Groups (CGs) are eligible to take part in JAS.

5.1 Roles and responsibilities

IRCC’s role is to provide JAS clients with similar assistance as is provided to GARs under the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). This includes income support and access to government-funded resettlement services if needed.

The IRCC local office also helps coordinate the initial case conferencing meeting between the sponsor and RAP Service Provider. They should participate when possible, and check-in mid-way through the JAS to ensure the client’s needs are being met by the sponsor and that JAS is still in the best interest of the client.

IRCC officers process Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) contributions for eligible JAS newcomers to offset transportation and/or assistance loans (non-refundable expenses) under the Immigration Loans Program (ILP).

The sponsor's role is to:

JAS newcomers are eligible for the same orientation and resettlement services as GARs, both under the RAP and Settlement Programs.

Sponsors should go to orientation sessions with the JAS newcomers to:

The Service Provider Organization’s (SPO’s) role is to:

Services they can provide may include:

More information on JAS can be found at:

6. Rainbow Refugee Assistance Partnership (RRAP)

IRCC has a partnership with the Rainbow Refugee Society. The goal of the partnership is to:

This partnership applies only to PSR cases. Refugees coming into Canada under the Blended Visa Officer Referred program are not subject to this partnership.

IRCC provides 3 months of financial support and start-up support from the Resettlement Assistance Program. The sponsoring group, who partners with the Rainbow Refugee Society in Vancouver, provides 9 months of financial support, according to Resettlement Assistance Program rates, and all settlement support for the sponsorship period.

7. Post-arrival monitoring and assurance

7.1 Sponsoring group monitoring activities

Monitoring the activity of partners, ensuring the settlement plan is implemented and ensuring that settlement needs are met are key responsibilities of all sponsoring groups, especially those who work with co-sponsors and constituent groups or other organizations.

All sponsoring groups must fulfill their sponsorship responsibilities and either:

SAHs can refer to their responsibilities outlined in the sponsorship agreements and access the RSTP Best Practices for Monitoring Resource Kit for information on monitoring their CGs and co-sponsors. G5s and CS may want to make sure responsibilities are divided as agreed to in the settlement plan, to confirm that all settlement needs of the refugee(s) are being met.

Sponsors are encouraged to follow this best practice:

 keeping lines of communication open with newcomers, co-sponsors etc.

7.2 IRCC sponsorship assurance activities

IRCC and sponsors share the same goal – for refugees to settle well into their community and work toward being self-sufficient. IRCC and sponsors also share a responsibility to ensure that refugees are aware of, and have access to, the financial and non-financial supports available.

IRCC works with sponsors to ensure that refugee(s) are supported financially and non-financially, in line with the sponsorship undertaking and program requirements, throughout the sponsorship period. They work with sponsors to identify any outstanding items and help find solutions to meet the financial and settlement needs of the refugee(s), as well as how sponsors can show their support.

IRCC also works with sponsors on issues that sponsors and refugees may be facing in order to:

IRCC’s Resettlement Services Assurance Team (RSAT):

7.3 How sponsoring groups show they are providing enough financial support

While sponsoring groups can provide financial support in different ways, IRCC recommends that support be provided through cheques, e-transfers or other traceable methods. IRCC may ask for proof of financial support during a case review. If these methods aren’t used, sponsors should regularly document support, for example, by sending an email each month stating how much money was given. While giving cash may be the most convenient method of support, it is hard to track and show that it was given, so the payment methods above are recommended.

If sponsoring groups have made deductions to the monthly support (e.g. in-kind items, personal assets, earned income), they must give an explanation and supporting proof that clearly outlines how, and why, the deductions were calculated.

IRCC does accept, and will consider, attestations from refugees or sponsors about personal assets or finances, along with all other submitted documents, when reviewing a case. These are considered as part of the overall assessment. However, as attestations cannot be verified, they may not be considered as final. If it conflicts with other details on file, verifiable proof may be needed to resolve the discrepancy.

Sponsors cannot ask refugees to provide receipts, bank statements, or other financial declarations as a condition of financial or in-kind support being provided.

RSTP has examples of documents you can use to show proof of support (PDF, 128 KB).

7.4 How sponsoring groups show they are providing enough settlement support

IRCC may ask for proof of settlement support during a case review. Examples of non-financial support documents include:

Sponsors don’t need to provide copies of government documents such as passports or health cards. If there are privacy concerns, or if there is information that belongs to the refugee that would satisfy IRCC’s request, the sponsor should note this. In these cases, an IRCC officer will approach the refugee directly.

RSTP has more information (PDF, 0.1 MB).

7.5 Difference between support provided by a party to the sponsorship and someone who is not

Parties to the sponsorship sign the sponsorship undertaking either as a signing authority for a larger group, such as a Constituent Group, Sponsorship Agreement Holder, or Community Sponsor or on their own, e.g. co-sponsors.

By signing the undertaking, they are committing to, and become liable for, providing financial and settlement support for the refugees listed. There can be other people who help to provide these supports during the sponsorship, but only those who have signed the sponsorship undertaking will be held responsible if supports are not provided.

Planned support

If financial or non-financial support is provided by someone who is not party to the sponsorship, the sponsors should be able to show that this support was planned when the case was originally submitted or immediately on arrival. There should be an established pattern of this support provided, so proof can be given to IRCC when a case is reviewed. Such support will not be counted if it is in the form of ad hoc gifts.

Examples of proof could be the settlement plan on file, or emails or texts showing that there was an agreement between parties to the sponsorship and non-parties for the monthly support to be provided by someone who didn’t sign the undertaking.

Sponsors always have the option of adding the non-party to the undertaking to have the support be officially recognized, and that person become officially liable. Adding a party to the sponsorship lets support provided going forward to be officially recognized. It does not automatically recognize previous support given.

8. References

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