Post-Sponsorship Transition
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Refugee sponsorship is unique for all involved, and the relationships that are built often last for many years. However, it is essential for newcomers to become financially self-sufficient once the sponsorship is completed.
•With the exception of clearly designated JAS (Joint Assistance Sponsorship) cases, sponsorships last 12 months from the date of arrival.
•Community connections and friendships may continue indefinitely.
•Financial support MUST end after 12 months.

Exit Strategy:
•Each group must develop and implement an exit strategy.
•Start the conversation EARLY. From the very first week of the sponsorship newcomers should understand exactly when the financial support will end.
•Mark the date on a calendar and give it to the newcomers.
•Revisit this conversation often to avoid surprises and misunderstandings.
•Work throughout the year to support meaningful connections beyond the sponsor group: Cultural communities, settlement agencies, sports, clubs, volunteering, classes, extracurricular activities, conversation circles.
•Ask newcomers how they feel about the end of the sponsorship. Identify concerns and solutions, resources etc.
•As the months pass, put increasing emphasis on newcomers being independent.

Promote a strong understanding of how to:
•Pay rent, bills.
•Live on a budget.
•Effectively use public transit.
•Access services, make appointments.
•Update address with immigration, government, service providers etc.

At the end of the sponsorship, newcomers transition to financial self-sufficiency.

Help identify/search for employment (ensuring it does not interfere with ESL during the sponsorship).
•Orient newcomers to employment in Canada.
•Emphasize the importance of Canadian experience.
•For newcomers with professional experience, explore certification/bridging programs, mentors, internships etc.
•Identify resources to support.
•Job skills training, continuing education, trades/technical school etc.
•Resume building, interview practice etc.
•Filing income tax (Tax Clinics).

Social Assistance:
•If continued English language learning is a priority, Social Assistance may be the best option once the sponsorship ends.
•During the sponsorship, sponsored newcomers are not eligible for social assistance. In fact, the sponsor group would be liable to the government if any funds were received.

Ontario Works (OW):
•Social Assistance in Ontario is called Ontario Works. Contact Ontario Works during the last month of sponsorship to arrange for intake.
•Applicants can apply online, over the phone, or in-person.
•An Ontario Works Rate Chart is available online.
•Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is an extended social assistance program for people with disabilities. Applicants first apply for OW, and then request an ODSP application from their worker.

If newcomers will not be able to remain in the housing their sponsors provided, help them find and move into appropriate housing they will be able to afford.

Additional Support:
Legally, a sponsor group can decide to continue supporting newcomers financially. However, AURA recommends VERY STRONGLY AGAINST this:
•Newcomers can become dependent on additional financial support from sponsors.
•Sponsors can end up subsidizing a situation that could continue indefinitely (social assistance, low paid work).
•Ending this relationship later can be extremely complicated.
•Continued emotional/settlement support can be jeopardized if a financial relationship continues.
•Any additional support your group intends to provide should have very clearly defined boundaries. If you are considering additional support, contact the AURA Executive Director to discuss it.

1. Remember, Interim Federal Health (IFHP) coverage ends at the same time as a 12 month sponsorship.
2. The best time to start planning for post-sponsorship is in the first month of sponsorship.
3. Emphasize the importance of becoming a Canadian citizen.
Citizenship Eligibility: (as of Feb 2017):
•Physically present in Canada for 4 years as a Permanent Resident.
•Filed Income tax for 4 years.
•Proof of Language Capability (for applicants age 14-64).
•LINC Level 4+ (Speaking/Listening) / Graduated secondary school (in English).
•Third party language test results
•Knowledge of Canada
•Fees/completed application forms.

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