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Joint Assistance Sponsorships

Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) is a joint refugee resettlement undertaking by a Canadian sponsoring group (a SAH and/or their CG) and the Government of Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada). The JAS program has been created to enable the resettlement of vulnerable refugees who require special assistance and whose admissibility to Canada depends on the additional support of a sponsor. Refugees sponsored under the JAS program are identified as having special needs that will likely result in a longer or more difficult period of integration in Canada due to:

  • trauma from violence or torture
  • medical disabilities
  • effects of systemic discrimination, or
  • large family unit (i.e.: higher number of family members).

Sponsorship under the JAS program means giving refugees a welcoming environment, helping them integrate, helping them access services for their needs and giving moral and emotional support. Under a JAS, the government provides financial assistance to the refugee while sponsoring groups provide community and emotional support and orientation, and ensure access to appropriate services.

Frequently Asked Questions about JAS:

Who can sponsor refugees under JAS?
Sponsorship Agreement Holders and their Constituent Groups

Who qualifies for JAS?
Someone who is a Convention Refugee Abroad or a member of the Country of Asylum class AND is expected to require greater settlement assistance due to the serious nature of personal circumstances such as large/unusual family configuration, trauma due to violence or torture, medical disability, and/or effects of systemic discrimination. The person has to be referred to the JAS program by either Canadian visa office abroad or a RAP Service Provider Organization in Canada.

How are JAS cases identified?
The visa officer determines during the eligibility interview which refugee applicants require a JAS. Sponsoring groups cannot designate cases to the program. The visa officer sends the details of JAS cases to the Matching Centre, which posts a JAS profile on a secure website accessible to Sponsorship Agreement Holders and local CIC. This website can be accessed here: Refugee Profile Directory. Alternatively, refugees resettled under the Government-Assisted Refugee (GAR) program to Canada, can be identified and referred to a SAH by the RAP organization.

How long is the processing time?
Refugees under the JAS program who are still overseas arrive on average within 12 weeks of the sponsorship approval date.

How long are JAS refugees supported?
Most refugees under the JAS program are provided support for 12 to 24 months after arrival, depending on the individual circumstances and needs.

Who are the major players in JAS?
Since sponsorship under JAS is a joint endeavour, SAHs and their CGs must work closely with the local CIC office, the Resettlement Assistance Service Provider Organization (RAP SPO), settlement and other community agencies to meet the needs of the newcomers.

What is the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)?
RAP provides income support and immediate essential services to Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) and humanitarian cases for which the federal government has undertaken a financial commitment. Financial entitlements under RAP are based on prevailing social services rates.

How can our group find a JAS case to sponsor?
Your group can visit CIC’s Refugee Profile Directory to see if any JAS profiles are available for sponsorship. If you are a Constituent Group, contact your SAH Representative for information on how to access this website. You can also request a refugee profile through CIC’s Matching Centre. Complete the Request for a Refugee Profile (IMM5438) form and make sure you consult the Instructions Guide (IMM5496) before submitting the request. Note that submitting a request is for information only and does not commit your group to the sponsorship.

We want to commit to a JAS case; what now?
Once you have received and reviewed the profile of a JAS case, complete the Undertaking/Application for a Joint Assistance Sponsorship (IMM1324) and submit it along with the completed Sponsor Assessment form (IMM5492), Settlement Plan – Joint Assistance Sponsorship (5494), and Document Checklist (IMM5495) to the Centralized Processing Office in Winnipeg (CPO-W). All forms can be downloaded from: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/ref-joint.asp.

Centralized Processing Office – Winnipeg (CPO-W)
400 – 25 Forks Market Road
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 4S9