Arrival & Settlement

Now that the newcomer family has arrived, what sort of things does a sponsoring group need to assist in resettlement? Here you will have access to a First Weeks Checklist, information regarding IFHP coverage, CG reporting, a settlement handbook and how to effectively prepare for month 13 and independence.

This 6-minute video produced by IRCC is intended to help newcomers know what to expect and what services and support are available to them as they get settled in Canada. Sponsors should share this link with refugees after they have successfully passed their Visa Office Interview.

The video can be found on YouTube in the following languages:

airportHow exciting that finally after months or years of planning & preparation, the time has arrived to meet the family at the airport.

The SAH will have received and forwarded to the CG the Notice of Arrival Transmission (NAT) from IRCC about 10 days prior which includes the refugee(s) specific travel itinerary, the names, birthdates, and gender of family members. The NAT notification also includes languages spoken, any medical needs that have been identified, if there are family/friends of the PA already in Canada, and of course the SAH and CG details.

Permanent Residency:

Resettled refugees become permanent residents (PRs) the moment they sign their ‘Confirmation of Permanent Residence’ document at the airport. As Permanent Residents they:

  • Access the same social benefits and health care coverage as Canadian citizens.
  • Do not require a permit to study or work.
  • Are protected under Canadian law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
  • Have responsibilities, including paying taxes and respecting all federal, provincial and municipal laws.

The Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) provides limited, temporary coverage of health-care benefits for resettled refugees.

  • IFHP is funded by IRCC and administered by Medavie Blue Cross.
  • A Certificate of Eligibility is issued upon arrival by Canada Border Service Agency and will be given to the newcomers at their Port of Entry.
  • To use IFHP coverage, you must present the certificate to the service provider.
  • Coverage lasts 12 months.

desk signingThe Social Insurance Number (SIN) is:

  • A nine-digit number that you need to work in Canada and access government programs/benefits.
  • Issued to newcomers in the form of 1 paper document per person. Production of plastic SIN cards ended in 2014.
  • Sponsors must explain the importance of the SIN, it’s purpose, when they will need to share it, and when not to share it. It is their responsibility to protect their SIN.

family2Now that the sponsored refugees have arrived, all the work that went into settlement and budget planning will be put to the test. Is it a good plan? Are the expectations realistic?

As with every successful endeavor, there must be an informed plan or course of action. And as with every successful endeavor, that plan must be flexible enough to bend to real life, with real people. To help CGs navigate the adjustments that are to be expected once they move from theory to the real thing, we require the CG Representative submit a quarterly report designed to provide us with the practical information we need, and to create room to notice potential issues as they arise.

Post-sponsorship transition helpIt is essential that when the sponsorship period ends, the newcomer’s financial dependency on the sponsors must end too. While it may take much longer to truly settle and feel at home here, sponsors must work to support a transition to self-sufficiency. Community connections and friendships often continue indefinitely.

Supporting Independence from the Beginning:

Take active steps throughout the sponsorship to give newcomers the tools to do things for themselves (even when it might be easier to do things for them) including:

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