The first month will likely be the most demanding as the family deals
with the shock of coming to an entirely new place and starting a new
life, but over time as their comfort level in Canada increases, the need
for your support will be reduced. There are also many supports that
already exist for people who arrive in Toronto as refugees and Lifeline
Syria will help you make these connections.
A refugee family of four will require a minimum of about $20,000 for support for a year plus start up costs of $7000; a family of five, about $22,500 plus $7200 start up. This is roughly equivalent to Social Assistance payments. Start up money is used to buy household items, such as beds and pots and pans, and other items that the refugees might not have, such as winter clothing. Start-up costs – housing deposits, furniture, utilities, clothing etc. – are required at the beginning of a sponsorship, while housing, food and transportation will be ongoing expenses.
Smaller families involve lower costs. These costs can be reduced by donations in kind, such as by providing a place to live. A rough rule of thumb is that the cost will be equivalent to what a family on social assistance would receive. If a refugee becomes financially self-sufficient during the 12-month sponsorship period, the sponsors are not obligated to provide income support for the remainder of the sponsorship. But they must be prepared to resume assistance if the refugee ceases to be self-sufficient during their first year in Canada.
Refugees resettled in Canada are responsible for paying for their overseas medical examination, travel documents and transportation costs to Canada. They may receive a repayable loan from the government to cover these costs.
Sponsoring Groups are not responsible, unless they have co-signed loans, for any debt that a refugee incurs in Canada.
After the first twelve months, the formal sponsorship commitments end, but we hope that sponsoring groups will have created strong links with the family that will make them want to stay in touch.