2.A Refugees: From Eligibility to Arrival
A.8 How are refugees transported and how are destinations chosen?
(ii) Who is responsible for covering the costs of transportation?
How Canada Does It
Canada offers transportation loans to cover the costs of refugees’ transportation. Refugees must begin making payments on their loans shortly after they arrive in Canada.
Article 34 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees states that “The Contracting States shall as far as possible facilitate the assimilation and naturalization of refugees. They shall in particular make every effort to expedite naturalization proceedings and to reduce as far as possible the charges and costs of such proceedings”.
While not required, sponsoring groups may offer to absorb the costs associated with sponsored refugees’ travel to Canada. Otherwise, sponsored refugees may apply for loans with the Government of Canada to cover these costs. The transportation loan includes approved service fees from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as well as other related expenses.
Refugees can apply for transportation loans with the overseas visa office. Eligible expenses include the costs of travel; transportation taxes; approved service fees from IOM; and inland transportation costs.
Repayment on transportation loans should commence thirty days after refugees arrive in Canada. The larger the loan amount, the more time refugees are given to repay the full amount.
Privately sponsored refugees have a grace period from interest on the loan for one to three years depending on the size of the loan.