2.C Settlement and Integration
C.9 What costs need to be considered and who covers them?
(iii) If certain costs are shared, what percentage does each party pay?
How Canada Does It
Canada has various programs where it shares the costs of basic needs with sponsoring groups. Examples include the Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) program, the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program, and blended 3/9 and 4/8 programs. Under these programs, Canada provides some or all of income assistance for sponsored refugees while sponsoring groups provide settlement support and potentially some income assistance.
Canada provides several sponsorship options to share costs of settlement with private sponsors in various ways. Under the Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) program, government-assisted refugees with special needs receive financial support from the Government of Canada while the sponsoring group provides emotional and community support. Typically, sponsorship undertakings under the JAS program are twenty-four to thirty-six months, compared to twelve months under most other sponsorships.
Under the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program, the Government of Canada and sponsoring groups each provide up to six months of income support for basic needs, while the sponsoring groups provide the full twelve months of settlement support. Sponsoring groups must agree to sponsor refugees identified under the BVOR program, who are referred to Canada by UNHCR.
Canada has also used other cost-sharing pilot programs for private sponsorship. For example, between 1994 and 1998, Afghan Ismaili refugees were resettled through a 3/9 model in which the government provided support for the first three months of financial support for basic needs and private sponsors covered the remaining nine months. This model – as well as the similar 4/8 model – has been used to privately sponsor other refugee populations, most recently to resettle lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer refugees.