Resettlement Assistance Program Income Support Payments for Privately Sponsored Refugees Arriving under the Visa Office Referred Program
Operational Bulletin 512 (Modified) – February 12, 2014
This Operational Bulletin guides Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Matching Centre and in-Canada officers on:
- Issuing Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) income support payments to,
- Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs) under the,
- Visa Office Referred (VOR) Program
This Operational Bulletin instructs officers of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), who administer RAP income support. It enlists the procedures they need to follow when implementing the blended VOR program.
In 2012, CIC announced two significant plans. These plans aimed at:
- Reducing the number of government-assisted refugees (GARs) that were resettled in a year by 1,000 and,
- Increasing the number of PSRs by 1,000
CIC announced that they would implement these numbers over a span of three years, starting from 2013.
CIC also declared that the additional 1,000 PSRs would be VOR cases. To support them, CIC would provide them with six months of income support under RAP. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had referred these cases to CIC.
The Process for Issuing RAP Income Support to VOR Resettled Refugees
Currently, the visa office sends a Notification of Arrival Transmission (NAT) to CIC’s Matching Centre by e-mail. This usually occurs once the visa office completes overseas refugee processing. For VOR cases, the subject line of the NAT e-mail would appear as:
NROBI NAT001/2014 (CRS/VOR) Mar 07 – Ottawa ON (POE-Toronto)
Upon receiving this e-mail, the Matching Centre would:
- Send the NAT to the sponsor in Canada
- Send the NAT to the applicable Port of Entry service provider
- Send a copy to the local CIC office for the RAP officer to initiate income support (according to OB 511)
Usually, the local CIC office would be the nearest local CIC office that provides RAP income support services.
Upon receiving the NAT with the words “CRS/VOR” in the subject line, the local CIC officer would:
- Create a RAP file
- Issue monthly income support payments to the refugee (after the refugee’s arrival) for:
- A period or six months or,
- Until the refugee becomes self-sufficient
Local CIC officers would need to follow local procedures concerning:
- Arranging for intake procedures and,
- Signing RAP Income Support Agreements
Additionally, the RAP officer must also contact the sponsor to make these arrangements. This would usually occur once the RAP officer receives the NAT.
VOR clients are not eligible for certain kinds of payments and services. These include:
- Start-up payments
- Certain special payments e.g. dietary allowance etc.
- The National Housing Supplement
- RAP services without prior approval and on an exceptional basis only (excluding Port of Entry services)
At the same time, VOR clients are entitled to receive RAP income support benefits that comprise:
- Food and incidentals
- Basic shelter and,
- Transportation and maternity dietary allowance (if applicable)
Additionally, VOR clients are also eligible for Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) coverage. This coverage commences from the time they arrive in Canada. It lasts for a duration of:
- Not more than 12 months or,
- Until they are no longer under private sponsorship
RAP officers do not need to track payments to VOR clients under a separate Internal Order (IO) Code. However, they would send any One-Year Window (OYW) applications for VOR clients to the CPO-W. This is also the case with regular PSRs.
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC)