Resettlement Assistance Program

Complex application

Tax filing not required

The Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) is a contribution program. It has two main components: income support and assistance for a range of immediate essential services.

Immediate and essential services are delivered by Service Provider Organizations (SPOs), generally within the first 4-6 weeks of a newcomer’s arrival in Canada. Activities include the following:

  • Meeting newcomers at the airport or final destination in Canada
  • Providing temporary accommodation
  • Providing basic orientation to Canada, life skills training and financial orientation
  • Assisting in finding permanent accommodation
  • Referring to other settlement programs

Refugees qualify for income support when they cannot provide basic needs of life for themselves or their dependants. Basic needs of life include the following:

  • Food and incidentals
  • Shelter
  • Clothing
  • Basic furniture
  • Other essential household goods (linens, pots and pans, etc.)

Income support allowances are based on criteria that consider the client’s ability to meet ongoing basic needs for the duration of their entitlement period.

  • Benefits for Principal Applicant (PA) or Head of Family (HOF) and accompanying dependants are normally provided
    • for 12 months from the date of arrival in Canada or
    • until the client has sufficient income and resources available to provide for themselves - whichever comes first.
  • The eligibility period for non-accompanying dependants is based upon their arrival date (not that of the PA or HOF) and ends up to 12 months later.

Please view this benefit’s Exceptions page to learn more about:

  • Sponsorship breakdown
  • Blended and cost-sharing
  • Income support for Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVORs) before and after a breakdown

The following immigration categories may qualify for income support and immediate essential services:

  • CR1: Government-Assisted Refugee
  • CR5: Government-Assisted Refugee
  • RA5: Government-assisted member of Designated Humanitarian Asylum Class Country
  • CRS: Privately sponsored refugee admitted to Canada under cost-sharing/blended initiatives are also eligible to receive prescribed RAP income support based on specific initiatives set out by the Department

Please note: If this is a special needs case, please view the eligibility chart on the benefit page.

Permanent residents admitted to Canada who were granted permanent residence under section 25.1 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) are also eligible to receive income support or RAP services. The approval of RAP funding for these persons is restricted to Directors General.

Permanent residents admitted to Canada, who were granted permanent residence under section 25.2 of IRPA as part of a group under public policy established by the Minister on unique and compelling humanitarian situations and where no other means of financial support is available are also eligible to receive income support or RAP services.

Temporary resident categories:

Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) arriving on temporary resident permits (e.g., urgent protection cases) are considered to be part of the Protected Permanent Residence Class and are eligible for RAP income support and services upon arrival in Canada.

Persons who are eligible recipients for the Resettlement Assistance Program do not apply for income support. They are selected overseas on the basis that such assistance will be provided to them in preparation for departure to Canada and upon arriving in Canada. A departmental official will verify the eligibility and identity of the individual.

Last updated: March 4, 2022