Feb 23, 2018 – The Canadian immigration department has announced changes to the structure of the Immigration Loans Program to reduce the burden on loan recipients, who are mainly refugees in Canada.
The main change will see loan recipients begin repayments one year after arriving in Canada, compared to the previous requirement of 30 days after arriving here.
New loans will also be interest free, while those with existing loans will see no further interest accumulation. Finally, the repayment window has been extended by two years, significantly reducing monthly repayments.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) says the aim is to give refugees and other loan recipients more freedom to focus on integration factors such as improving language skills and making use of settlement services.
The Immigration Loans Program dates back to 1951, giving eligible recipients a financial boost to cover some of the expenses of moving and settling in Canada.
There are four types of loans: the admissibility loan, assistance loan, right of permanent residence fee loan and transportation loan. Applicants request the amount they require, with each case considered by an Immigration Loans Program officer.
Canada accepted 93,725 refugees between 2015 and 2017, as the federal government made good on its promise to quickly accept thousands of Syrians affected by the civil war in the Middle East country. This included accepting 25,000 Syrians in the first few months after the Liberals were elected in November 2015.
Refugees are accepted in three categories, government-assisted, privately sponsored and a third category that is a combination of the two.
The attitude of Canadians towards those in need is illustrated in the fact that nearly half of those accepted, 45,265, came to Canada in the privately-sponsored category.
Source: Government of Canada
Following the success of the private sponsorship program, several other countries expressed an interest in adopting it, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Chile, Germany, New Zealand, and the U.S.
Canada plans to be accepting nearly 48,000 refugees and protected people per year by 2020, up from an planned 17,800 in 2016. It should be noted that the drive to welcome Syrians was outside the levels plan for 2016 and 2017, meaning the figures were dramatically higher than those planned.
Canada’s Refugee Settlement Plan 2016 to 2020
|Protected Persons in Canada & Dependents Abroad||10,000||15,000||16,000||16,500||17,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Government Assisted||44,800||25,000||7,500||29,150||10,000|
|Resettled Refugees – Blended Visa Office Referred||24,600||7,500||1,500||1,650||1,700|
|Resettled Refugees – Privately Sponsored||2,400||1,500||18,000||19,000||20,000|
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