2.D Refugee-Sponsor Relationship
D.3 What happens if a dispute between sponsors and refugees cannot be resolved?
(iv) What happens if there is a breakup in the refugee family after they arrive?
How Canada Does It
A breakup in the refugee family may lead to a sponsorship breakdown when sponsors no longer have the capacity to provide financial and settlement support to two separate households. The Government of Canada will expect the sponsors to continue supporting the household with the highest number of people. The other household will be processed for breakdown (see 2.D.3(i)-(iii)). The ability of sponsors to provide support may also be affected if a separated or divorced sponsored spouse moves from the initial community of resettlement to another part of the country.
Marital separations often lead to increased financial and settlement support burdens for sponsors, since separated spouses live in separate households requiring additional payments of rent, furnishing, utilities costs, costs of food, etc. For some sponsoring groups, this increase in costs exceeds what they have undertaken and are able to provide to the family.
Sponsoring groups may consider recruiting additional members into their group or to raise more funds to be able to continue supporting the entire refugee family. Constituent Groups should contact their Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) to ask whether additional assistance may be available. However, when this is not possible, the sponsors may report the issue to the Government of Canada.
Canada expects the sponsors to continue supporting at least the household with the highest number of people. The smaller household will be processed for breakdown (see 2.D.3(i)-(iii)):
- Canada expects sponsors to look for a replacement sponsoring group for the smaller household. It is expected that the refugees reasonably comply with efforts to find replacement sponsors.
- If initially sponsored by a Constituent Group/SAH, the refugees will be asked to apply for provincially funded income support programs. If this application is denied, the refugees are referred to the federally-funded Resettlement Assistance Program until the end of the sponsorship period or until they become self-sufficient. If they are not self-sufficient by the end of the sponsorship period, these refugees will become eligible for municipal and provincial income support.
- If initially sponsored by a Group of Five or Community Sponsor, the refugees are referred directly to municipal and provincial social assistance programs.