Private Sponsorship of Refugees (psr)

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Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR)

Settlement WORK PLAN | Calgary


The Settlement Work Plan is a plan detailing what you and members of your group will do to orient and support the newcomer(s) during the sponsorship. It will provide your group with a framework for working through the many details of who will do what, when, how, with what resources and where those resources will come from.

Below is a draft Settlement Work Plan that can be used as a guide, with the understanding that as circumstances change, the work plan may need to be revised and updated to reflect these changes during the settlement period.

Note that your settlement planning should take into account both the arriving family members as well as any non- accompanying family members listed on the IMM 0008, as your group will be expected to sponsor them as well if they submit an IMM 0008 within one year of the arrival of the principal applicant.

How to Use This Work Plan

Simply make a copy of this plan, review with your group, make any necessary adjustments, and assign names to the various sections. It is advised that you review the Work Plan on a regular basis and track status (started, complete, etc.) plus any additional notes using the status column provided.

ESSENTIAL Documents & Benefits

Preparation Steps

Key Considerations

Assigned To


  • Permanent Resident Card

  • The Permanent Resident (PR) card is the official proof that you are a permanent resident of Canada.

  • Use this wallet-sized plastic card to show you can enter/stay in Canada when you return from another country

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) – Arriving in Canada


  • During processing upon arrival, the newcomer will usually be asked to provide a mailing address in Canada to which the PR (Permanent Residence) card will be sent

  • If the sponsoring group has provided the address information ahead of time, this information will be provided to the immigration officers at the newcomer’s arrival to the airport

  • If this is the case, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will mail out the first Permanent Resident card to the address provided

  • If however the newcomer(s) was not able to provide the address at arrival, they must provide their Canadian address to the IRCC by completing the IMM 5456 form, online (see below) or by faxing completed forms to the PR Card Processing Centre

  • To avoid a $50 processing fee, the newcomer’s permanent address in Canada must be provided to IRCC within 180 days after entering Canada; the address must be complete, and include an apartment number or post office box number if this is part of the mailing address

  • NOTE: if the PR card is mailed to an incomplete address, it will be returned to the IRCC office where they will hold it for 180 days; if a new or complete address is not sent within 180 days, the card will be destroyed and the newcomer(s) will have to apply for a card along with all the documents required, and pay the fee

  • Change of Address - Online Tool


  • IRCC will use the photos provided with the newcomer(s) Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) to print their PR card

  • For this reason, the photos must meet the PR card photo specifications

  • If they do not, and a permanent Canadian address has been provided, IRCC will contact the newcomer(s) for new photos

  • Photo specifications can be reviewed at the following IRCC website: Click on the link just below “Photo specifications”

  • If you get a letter from the IRCC office asking you to send new photos, contact your service provider organization for help

  • NOTE: If new photos are required and you do not have a permanent Canadian address on your file, IRCC will not be able to contact you. To avoid delaying the Permanent Resident Card, it is important that the IRCC is provided with a permanent Canadian address as soon as possible

Health Care Coverage

  • The new Permanent Residence Card no longer has an immigration category on it (i.e. CR1, CR3, etc.)

  • As a result, applicants cannot use this document when applying for provincial health care coverage

  • Reference the health care coverage section for more details


In Progress

  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)

  • The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a nine-digit number that is needed to work in Canada or to have access to government programs and benefits

  • If the immigration services at the airport helped the newcomer(s) fill in the application for the SIN card at arrival, you do not need to go to a Service Canada Centre

  • Otherwise an application for a SIN card needs to be done in person at a Service Canada Centre

  • Service Canada requires individuals to apply in-person. By doing so, if your application is in order, you will not need to part with your original proof of identity documents

  • To apply for a SIN, the applicant needs to provide a primary document at the time of application.

  • The primary document is an official document that proves his or her status in Canada.

  • The document has to be an original; if the name on this document is different from the name the person currently uses, the person will also need to provide a supporting document

Example of Primary Documents:

    • Permanent Resident Card issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada

    • Confirmation of Permanent Residence AND visa counterfoil affixed to a foreign passport or travel document

    • Confirmation of Permanent Residence AND foreign passport for visa 
exempt countries

    • Verification of landing. This document is provided when an original of the Record of Landing or the Confirmation of Permanent Residence is not 
available (i.e. lost, misplaced, etc.).

    • Status Verification, also known as "Verification of Status", is considered an acceptable document to support the client's status in Canada when applying for a replacement SIN card or updating the SIN record

  • Special measures are in place to accommodate individuals who cannot apply in-person at a Service Canada site

  • Important notices:

    • Every member of the family requires a SIN

    • There is no fee to apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

    • On March 31, 2014, Service Canada began issuing SINs in a paper format (confirmation of SIN letter). Production of the plastic SIN cards has stopped

    • Original proof of identity documents are required to apply for a SIN; photocopies are not accepted

  • Service Canada - Social Insurance Number Info

  • Service Canada Centre Locations


In Progress

  • Bank Account

  • You will need to bring two (2) pieces of ID (landing document or passport, and SIN)

  • You will need to request the direct deposit information from the bank in order to apply for eligible benefits

  • For additional information and considerations, reference Finance section below


In Progress

  • Alberta Health Care Coverage

  • Refugees arriving in Alberta will immediately have access to health care services

  • Like anyone moving into the province, they will need to apply for health coverage under the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan

  • Within the first 7 days in Calgary, clients must apply ‘in person’ at one of the Alberta Registry Offices

  • All individuals age 18 and over need to attend; children under age 18 can be represented by their parents as long as each child’s documents are made available

  • NOTE: it is very important that a member of the sponsor group accompanies the newcomer(s) to the nearest Alberta Registry office 

  • When you apply for Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) coverage, you must provide supporting documents that prove:

    • Alberta residency (i.e. bank statement or address verification provided by the bank),

    • Government issued photo ID (i.e. confirmation of permanent residency (COPR) or landing papers), AND

    • Legal entitlement to be in Canada (i.e. COPR or Canada entry document)

  • If these documents are not provided, an application cannot be processed

  • NOTE: the new Permanent Residence Card no longer has an immigration category on it (i.e. CR1, CR3, etc.) and therefore, applicants cannot use this document when applying for provincial health care coverage; instead they need to use their COPR document as proof of status whether they have obtained their PR card yet or not

  • TIP: if possible, get copies of the forms in advance, fill them out at home, and bring them to the registry already completed

  • Examples of acceptable supporting documents

  • Alberta Registry Offices

  • Syrian Refugees and Health Care in Alberta


In Progress

  • Interim Federal Health (IFH) Plan

  • Until Syrian refugees receive their provincial health care card, they will be covered for up to one year under the Government of Canada’s Interim Federal Health (IFH) Program

  • This program repays the cost of care to health-care providers, such as doctors, dentists, hospitals and pharmacies

  • Refugees must fill out an IFH application form and bring it to their local Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) office once they arrive in Canada

  • An appointment should be made with an IRCC office within the first week of arrival

  • The application requires a photograph, which must fit the requirements exactly or the form will not be accepted

  • If your form is accepted you will begin to receive IFH coverage immediately

  • NOTE: Effective April 1, 2016, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be restoring the IFHP to the levels of coverage available before 2012 for all beneficiaries

  • See the attached document from Medavie Blue Cross for a summary of changes and health

  • Interim Federal Health Program

  • IRCC Office Locations

  • Guide to the IFH application


In Progress

  • Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB)

  • The Canada Child Tax Benefit (CCTB) is a tax-free monthly payment made to eligible families to help them with the cost of raising children under 18 years of age

  • The CCTB was updated in 2016 and is now income dependent. Use the Child Tax Benefit Calculator link to get an estimation

  • This payment will retroactive to the arrival date, regardless of when the application is made

  • NOTE: To apply for the CCTB the applicant must have a SIN number

  • NOTE: It is important to inform the family that in order to continue to receive the CCTB, they have to file their income tax and benefit returns for every year, even if they have no income to report

  • TIP: Register for and attend a CCIS Orientation Session where there will be assistance in filling out the CCTB application including supporting documentation, among other orientation services

  • Canada Child Tax Benefit: Overview & Application Form

  • RSTP Fact Sheet: Child Tax Benefits

  • Child Tax Benefits Calculator


In Progress

  • GST/HST Credit

  • The GST/HST credit is a tax-free quarterly payment that helps individuals and families with low or modest incomes offset all or part of the GST or HST that they pay

  • The Goods and Service Tax rebate is approximately $65, paid every three (3) months

  • This payment is retroactive to the arrival date

  • TIP: Be sure to register for and attend a CCIS Orientation Session where there will be assistance in filling out the application form, among other orientation services

  • GST/HST Credit Overview

  • On-line Rebate Application Form


In Progress

Communication & Expectations

Preparation Steps

Key Considerations

Assigned To


Sponsorship Expectations

Introduce newcomers to all members of the sponsoring group

Explain the various roles that each of the committee members are responsible for and their availability, contact details, etc.

Discuss expectations and responsibilities with the newcomers soon after arrival, including things like finances, schooling, employment, emergencies, etc.)

Consider documenting expectations and providing a copy to the family

Provide a follow up after a few months

  • It is necessary to discuss expectations and responsibilities with the newcomers soon after arrival

  • This is important so that everyone involved have the same understanding of who is responsible for what

  • If there is a language barrier it is necessary to have an interpreter present in order to avoid misunderstandings

  • Be sensitive to the overload newcomers might experience as they are introduced to many, many new things all at once

  • Be patient and prepared to explain anything as many times as necessary. Do not assume that the newcomers feel comfortable asking for information or help; be aware of signs of confusion and/or a tendency to say yes for fear of upsetting you

  • TIP: Simple texting may be a preferred way of communicating in the beginning

  • Reference the SAH Association website for further information and resources


In Progress

Privacy & Visits

Review guidelines on what you can do to guard privacy, including things like calling ahead before visiting

Upon arrival, discuss necessary aspects regarding confidentiality and privacy, including visit arrangements

Advise newcomer to be careful with what, whom and when they should disclose personal information to avoid identity theft

Explain importance of protecting valuables

  • It is important to respect the privacy of newcomer families, especially in their own homes. But keep in mind many cultures are more collectivist, meaning they want you to visit.

  • One of the more important points related to visits and privacy is the visits with female refugees

  • Due to the power imbalance between a sponsoring group member and the refugees, no men from the sponsoring group should be alone with sponsored newcomer women, especially in their home

  • Make sure to include the newcomer(s) in conversations when they are present, especially conversations that are about them

  • Encourage use of a safety deposit box for valuables such as: passports, record of landing papers, financial documents, etc.


In Progress

Basic Orientation / Community

Preparation Steps

Key Considerations

Assigned To


Food and Shopping

  • Help newcomers learn to shop for food in Canada

  • Explain the currency conversion between Canada and where they came from

  • Provide a list of grocery stores in the area (location, accessible by transit, etc.)

  • Take into account the newcomers’ need to have national foods in their diet

  • Introduce them to Canadian food and cooking

  • Since newcomers will have limited funds, learning how to shop economically will be a priority

  • Be sure to explain the difference in pricing – for example per unit versus per g/kg

  • Shopping may be quite different in their country of origin—for example, they may be used to bargaining on prices; or alternatively, they may be used to fixed prices for staple foods, and may not realize they need to compare prices

  • Find out what economical shopping venues are available in your community: from bulk food to discount stores, to second-hand shops

  • It may be helpful for someone to be responsible for shopping with the newcomers for the first couple of months

  • Newcomers should be informed about the availability of food banks in case they need to use one in the future

  • The newcomer(s) should not use food banks during the sponsorship – it is the responsibility of the sponsor to work with the family to budget food spending and ensure they have access to appropriate food options

  • However, it is important to inform the newcomer(s) about food banks in case they are needed once sponsorship ends

  • Community Kitchen


In Progress

Clothing & Laundry

  • If the newcomer(s) arrive in the winter, you should provide some weather appropriate clothing for them at arrival

  • If they require new clothes you should go with the newcomer(s) to help them understand what clothes to buy appropriate for the weather that also suits their cultural needs and budget. 

  • Look for donations in the form of second hand clothing for arriving families

  • Demonstrate how to operate the washing and drying machines, how the payment system works, and what products should be used

  • Be sensitive to issues of cultural appropriateness, especially concerning the use of second-hand clothing

  • Budget for at least some new clothing; adequate winter clothing is essential

  • If they require new clothes you should go with the newcomers to different stores so that they can buy clothes appropriate for the weather that also suits their cultural needs and budget

  • Explain the benefits of second-hand clothing in terms of money savings

  • Always be conscious of and respect individual preferences

  • Advise the newcomer(s) on second-hand or other affordable stores in 
the area they live, such as Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army Stores, and Dollar Stores

  • If there are no laundry services available, take them to the closest Laundromat and clearly explain how the process works

  • Refer to the Housing & Furnishing section below for links to local organizations who provide donated clothing


In Progress

Public Library

  • Orient newcomers to the nearest public library and the various services provided there

  • To apply for a library card bring a valid name AND address identification to any branch; the card expires once a year and can be renewed by showing your identification to branch staff

  • The public library usually gives people access to free services such as borrowing books, music, DVD’s, Internet and computer access etc.

  • Some library will have books in their native language as well as ESL books

  • You can also get help finding information and take part in a variety of programs from reading clubs for children to classes for adults on a range of topics

  • You can use the library without joining if you do not want to borrow material

  • If you want to borrow material, you can join for a small annual fee

  • Some branches also have computer learning centers where people can take computer classes for free

  • Calgary Public Library Locations


In Progress

Other Community Services

  • Provide newcomers with orientation to other elements of daily life and available services

  • Take a tour of the immediate neighborhood

  • Explain day-light savings time

  • Provide list of upcoming community events

  • Include overview of local services such as: 911, post office, fire, ambulance, hospital, walk-in clinics, food banks, etc.

  • Local list of community events is easily provided and can act as a way to keep the newcomer(s) busy and integrate them more quickly into the community and Canadian culture

  • Informational videos for newcomers, available in English and Arabic, on life in Calgary, including how to use the Transit system, access the Zoo, how to get a Driver’s Licence, etc. are available at the following site: Ahlain

  • Multilingual Information and Referral Service (211)

  • City of Calgary (311)

  • Emergency (911) Calgary Police Services

  • Health Link (811)


In Progress
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