Help for refugees

Programs are available to help you resettle as a refugee in Alberta. Learn more about sponsorship, resettlement, immigration loans, and interim health programs.


As a refugee you can be sponsored by individuals, groups or governments. Sponsorship gives you financial settlement assistance, emotional support, and other settlement assistance. Most sponsorships last for one year, but you may be able to get assistance from your sponsors for longer.

Resettlement Assistance Program

Resettlement assistance is provided by the Government of Canada to Convention Refugees Abroad and members of the Source Country Class, and in some instances, members of the Country of Asylum Class who have been identified as Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) cases, admitted to Canada as government-assisted refugees. These funds are given to help pay for:

  • meeting you at the airport or port of entry
  • temporary accommodation
  • help in finding permanent accommodation
  • basic household items
  • general orientation to life in Canada

This money is also used to provide you with income support for up to one year or until you become self-sufficient.

Immigration Loans Program

Loans are given to government-assisted or privately sponsored members of the Convention Refugees Abroad, Country of Asylum and Source Country classes. The loans may be approved to pay for:

  • the costs of medical examinations abroad
  • travel documents
  • transportation to Canada.

Assistance loans are also available to newcomers to cover expenses such as housing rental, telephone deposits and work tools.

Interest is charged on ILP loans. The interest rate is set each January by the Department of Finance.

Interim Federal Health Program

Refugee claimants, resettled refugees, persons detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, victims of trafficking in persons and the in-Canada dependants of these groups who are unable to pay for health care are eligible for benefits under the Interim Federal Health Program (IFHP) until they become eligible for provincial/territorial or private health plan coverage.

Under the Resettlement Assistance Program, resettled refugees with provincial/territorial health coverage are provided with supplemental IFHP coverage for one year from the date of entry to Canada. Added coverage includes emergency dental, vision and pharmaceutical care. This coverage can be extended up to 24 months for recipients identified with special needs. See more information on the IFHP.