Other useful information
Once the sponsored persons arrive in Canada they have certain obligations (transportation loan) as well as access to many services (health care, settlement help, etc.). Refugees are encouraged to take advantage of all benefits available to them, especially the Interim Federal Health Program which is only available for one year after arrival.
Most people who are sponsored through a refugee resettlement program arrive in Canada with a transportation loan covering the cost of their medical exam and plane ticket. This loan is in the name of the principal applicant and the repayment schedule will depend on the amount of the loan.
Settlement services are essential to the integration of a newcomer into Canadian society. There are a huge variety of services offered by different community organizations and often services are available in multiple languages.
Refugees living overseas often have little access to health care, making it all the more important for those who are resettled to Canada to access health services once they arrive. This includes registering for provincial health care, the Interim Federal Health Program, and being aware of mental health supports in the community.
A permanent residence card is an important document which confirms a person’s status in Canada and allows them access to certain resources. It is sent automatically to newly arrived sponsored persons. To avoid problems or delays, a sponsored person's mailing address must be up to date, and that the card is renewed before it expires.
Many great resources exist already to try to simplify the complexities of a sponsored refugee’s first year in Canada. These resources build on the experiences and best practices of many groups so it is well worth the time to review them.
Once sponsored persons arrive in Canada, they are often thinking about other family or friends left behind. Certain family members might qualify under a family reunification program, or other sponsorship options could be available. The One-Year Window program is available for spouses and dependent children, while other family members have fewer options.
When a sponsored persons arrives in Canada, they are immediately given a status of permanent resident which allows them to travel freely within Canada. However, If they wish to travel outside of Canada, they will have to apply for a Refugee Travel Document, as well as follow certain tips to avoid problems during and after the trip.
During the sponsorship period (usually the first year) it is possible that difficulties will arise that might impede the sponsoring group from offering further support to sponsored persons. Two examples of this include secondary migration, when a sponsored person moves out of the community where their sponsoring group in located, and sponsorship breakdown, when the sponsoring group is no longer providing support to the sponsored person due to a breakdown in their relationship.