Refugees > Government-Assisted Refugees

Government-Assisted Refugees

The Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program provides that eligible sponsors may help refugees from abroad who qualify to come to Canada.

Refugees who come to Canada have forcefully left their homes and have to start their lives over again. Refugees usually need help to settle, regardless of whether they are granted protection in Canada or resettled from overseas. The Canadian Government works with many stakeholders and partners to provide various types of settlement services that help them to adjust to life in Canada.

Under the Government-Assisted Refugees (GAR) Program, the United Nations Refugee Agency, also known as UNHCR, along with private sponsors, help refugees to resettle and find their new homes. But a person cannot apply directly to Canada for resettlement. They can do that only after their UNHCR identification, and it takes time to process each case. You must register for refugee status with state authorities or the UNHCR to be considered by a referral organization.

Under GAR’s initial resettlement in Canada, government-assisted refugees receive income support and essential services once they are in Canada. They can get this income support for up to one year or until they can support themselves, whichever comes first. Canada provides this support only to eligible refugees who cannot support their own basic needs.

GARs also receive help during the first four to six weeks in Canada. Special organizations welcome them at the airport or other port of entry, help to find a temporary (permanent) place to live and assess their needs. Also, they get information and help to get to know Canada and referrals to other federal and provincial programs, and to other settlement services.

Private sponsor’s support includes help with clothing and housing. Most sponsorships last for one year. All refugees get emotional and social support.

The Urgent Protection Program

The UPP ensures that Canada is able to react to urgent requests by refugees at risk of returning home, of expulsion or of facing direct danger to their lives. UPP works mostly with government-assisted refugees, but some cases may be with Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS).

Women at Risk (WAR)

The UPP includes cases of women whose lives are in danger or who are vulnerable and who need urgent protection. They do not have to prove that they have settlement potential, but women at risk and their accompanying dependants like all refugee applicants must pass medical, criminality and security requirements. Besides, women at risk may receive private sponsorship.

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