After Arriving for Resettlement

Upon arriving at a point of entry or border to Canada, you will be met by an officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).  You will be required to present your Canadian permanent resident visa and a valid passport from your home country or a travel document issued by the Government of Canada.  In addition, you must show your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), unless you fall under the Urgent Protection Program (UPP).  Remember to keep these items on your person when travelling.

The officer will conduct a short interview that covers the questions that you answered on your Permanent Residence application.  If you are unable to convince the officer of your eligibility to enter the country, or if you provide false or incomplete information, you may be denied entry.

If there are no issues at the point of entry, you will be authorized to enter Canada as a permanent resident.  Your permanent resident card will be mailed to the Canadian address on your COPR card.

Disclosure of funds

You must notify the CBSA officer if you arrive in Canada with more than C$10,000, or you could be fined or imprisoned.

These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash
  • securities that belong to you, such as stocks, bonds, or treasury bills
  • transferable papers that belong to you, such as bankers’ drafts, cheques, or money orders

Assistance once you arrive

Once you have been admitted into Canada, someone from a settlement agency or sponsorship group will meet you at the airport.  They will take you to your first residence where you’ll stay for a few days, and they’ll help to find you a permanent residence.

Financial assistance

In order to assist refugees to establish themselves in Canada, the Canadian government has created many programs.

Resettlement Assistance Program

Funds from this program are available to assist with financing:

  • meeting the refugee at the airport or port of entry
  • temporary accommodation
  • the search for permanent accommodation
  • basic household items
  • general adjustment to life in Canada

In addition, the program will offer the refugee income support for up to one year, unless the person becomes self-sufficient first.

Immigration Loans Program

In order to pay for the costs of medical examinations abroad, travel documents, and transportation to Canada, the Immigration Loans Program (ILP) offers loans to be repaid by the applicant.  Assistance loans for housing rental, telephone deposits and work tools are also available.  Interest is charged on ILP loans.

Interim Federal Health Program

Until they become eligible for provincial/territorial or private health plan coverage, resettled refugees can collect benefits from the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP).

Settlement assistance

Programs and services to assist refugees in swiftly participating in Canadian society are available, such as counseling and cultural orientation, language training, translation and interpretation, referral to community resources, and job-related services.

Each program has their own requirements for eligibility.  Contact a service organization to learn more about the settlement assistance they offer.  You can find a list of service providers here.

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