Preparing a settlement plan is one of the most important responsibilities of private sponsors. The settlement plan is the framework of all the steps that need to be taken to help and support the sponsored refugees settle in Canada . It covers the duration of the sponsorship, usually the first 12 months after the newcomers arrive in Canada.
Who has to submit a settlement plan?
All private sponsor groups (Sponsorship Agreement Holders, Group of Five or Community Sponsors) have to submit a settlement plan to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) as part of their private sponsorship application. IRCC uses the settlement plan to assess “whether the sponsors have the capacity to fulfil their financial and non-financial obligations to support the refugees so they can establish successfully in Canada”. The sponsorship application can be returned or rejected by IRCC if important details are not included in the settlement plan.
What should be included in the settlement plan?
All settlement plans should include:
- Information about the principal refugee applicant and the sponsors
- A checklist of needs that includes both financial assistance and settlement assistance. On this checklist, each item must be assigned to at least one member of the sponsorship group.
- Details about housing, available support (sponsorship group members and settlement agencies), plans for special needs and plans for supporting members of the family who could arrive within the One Year Window of Opportunity
Groups of Five and Community Sponsors need to provide more information in their settlement plan than Sponsorship Agreement Holders, as their settlement plan is also used as a financial assessment by IRCC (section E of the form).
For more information:
- You can check the settlement plan form for SAH and Groups of Five provided by IRCC
- Tips for completing the application forms, provided by the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP). RSTP also offers monthly webinars to help and train sponsors.
- You can read Chapter 7 - Settlement Preparation from Refugee Sponsorship Training Program’s Handbook
- What are the financial responsibilities of sponsors?, an article from Welcome Ontario