Proposed changes to the Immigration Loan Program to help refugees and immigrants succeed

Ottawa, September 29, 2017 — Proposed regulatory changes to the Immigration Loan Program were published today in Canada Gazette Part I (PDF, 1 MB) for a 30-day comment period.

Immigration loans provide eligible immigrants, who are mainly refugees selected for resettlement to Canada, with access to funding that would otherwise not be available. Loans are used to cover a number of expenses, including travel to Canada and other costs associated with resettlement to Canada, such as exit permit fees.

The proposed changes would give refugees more time to repay their loans and would keep the loans fixed at the amount that was originally borrowed. Easing the loan repayment process would give refugees the chance to focus on improving their language skills and making use of the settlement services available to help them become part of Canadian society faster.

Current system

Repayment start date: 30 days after arrival in Canada
Interest rate: interest-free for one to three years, depending on the size of the loan (interest rate is 1.14% in 2017)
Repayment period: up to six years, depending on the loan amount

Proposed regulatory changes

Repayment start date: one year after arrival in Canada
Interest rate: interest on new loans and further accumulation of interest on existing loans eliminated
Repayment period: length of the loan repayment extended by two years to reduce the size of monthly installments

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