Frequently Asked Questions about the JAS program
Who can sponsor refugees under the JAS program?
Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) and their Constituent Groups (CGs) can sponsor refugees under the JAS program. Groups of Five and Community Sponsors are not eligible.
Who qualifies for the JAS program?
In order to be selected for the JAS program, a refugee must:
- Be a member of the Convention Refugee Abroad class or the Country of Asylum class; and,
- Be expected to need a longer and/or have a more difficult resettlement period due to the serious nature of the problems they have faced, such as: trauma resulting from violence or torture; physical or mental health disabilities; or, large family units or unusual family configurations.
How are refugees in the JAS program identified?
Refugees in the JAS program are identified in one of two ways:
- Refugees in the GAR program are identified and referred as potential clients for the JAS program by the IRCC officer overseas during the eligibility interview (IRCC’s Resettlement Operations Centre – Ottawa may also identify GAR cases to the overseas officer for consideration); or,
- Refugees in the GAR program are identified and referred to IRCC in Canada by RAP SPOs.
Note: In exceptional circumstances, sponsoring groups can recommend BVOR cases to the JAS program, such as in situations when information regarding high medical needs is known only post-arrival or at the Notification of Arrival Transmission (NAT) stage, and with the concurrence of the local IRCC office.
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.
Sponsorships of refugees referred to JAS after arrival to Canada typically begin within a few weeks following the JAS application approval date.
Who are the major actors in the JAS program?
As sponsorship under the JAS program is a joint endeavor, SAHs and their CGs must work closely with the local IRCC office, RAP SPOs, Settlement SPOs and other community-based agencies to meet the needs of the sponsored refugees.
What is the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP)?
RAP is an IRCC-funded program designed to meet the immediate and essential needs of GARs and other eligible clients upon arrival to Canada. It has two main components:
- Financial income support provided to eligible refugees processed under the GAR, JAS and BVOR programs; and,
- Immediate and essential services, delivered by RAP SPOs, including meeting the refugees at the airport on arrival; providing temporary accommodation; assessing needs and providing referrals to Settlement and broader-based community services; providing orientation and links to essential federal/provincial programs and services; providing immediate and essential orientation; providing assistance in locating permanent accommodation, and Canadian life skills training if needed.
How can our group find a JAS refugee to sponsor?
Sponsoring groups can view and select the profiles of refugees currently referred for the JAS program on the RSTP website at the following link: https://www.rstp.ca/en/jas-profiles/
The website contains the profiles of refugees currently referred to the JAS program who are overseas and ready to travel to Canada, or are already in Canada.
If you are a CG, please contact your SAH first to confirm that they are willing and able to submit an application to sponsor under the JAS program.
We want to commit to a JAS case; what now?
Once you have selected a JAS profile, your sponsoring group needs to submit the application package to the Resettlement Operations Centre – Ottawa (ROC-O).
There is a specific application package for the JAS program. The application package is available at: www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/ref-joint.asp.
If you require assistance with completing any of the forms included in this application package, please contact the RSTP at 1-877-290-1701 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Once the application package has been completed, it can be mailed or emailed to the ROC-O:
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa
365 Laurier Avenue West