The Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) Program

Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) refers to a joint undertaking by a sponsoring group and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to sponsor vulnerable refugee/s with special needs who may need more support when settling in Canada than other refugees.

Refugees sponsored under the JAS program are identified as having special needs owing to personal circumstances that will likely result in a longer or more difficult period of integration. Personal circumstances can include, but are not limited to:

  • Trauma resulting from violence or torture;
  • Physical or mental health disabilities;
  • The effects of systemic discrimination; or,
  • Large family units or unusual family configurations.

How JAS Works

Under the JAS program, which operates in all provinces except for Quebec, Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAHs) and their Constituent Groups (CGs) work together with IRCC and the Government of Canada.

The government provides financial income support to the refugees via the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). Payments include an initial start-up amount to help establish a new household, and monthly amounts equivalent to provincial social assistance rates to meet basic food, shelter and clothing needs.

Sponsoring groups provide emotional support and support the refugees while they access RAP and Settlement services provided by service provider organizations (SPOs) funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and broader-based community services. Sponsors further support refugees in living safely and becoming independent in their new community.

The joint sponsorship period is typically for up to 24 months after arrival, or until the refugees become self-sufficient (whichever comes first). Sponsoring group support could be extended up to 36 months in exceptional circumstances.