These are common questions we are asked with refugee sponsorship. Continue to check this page as we will update it with more helpful information.

What benefits does the government provide for a refugee family?

  • Wait periods and premiums for Medical Service Plan coverage are waived for all refugees health (MSP)
  • Each refugee student in public school in B.C. is funded from the Province's pupil funding formula.
  • All refugees are able to access the Employment Program of BC
  • In addition, refugees are eligible to receive:
    • Child care subsidy
    • Early childhood tax benefit - up to $55 per month per child under age 6
    • Basic family bonus - up to $111 per child per month when combined with the National Child Benefit Supplement
    • Student aid

What tax credits can I receive for donating to a refugee family?


  • Donations must be made to qualified organizations such as SAH or church (check before you donate)
  • You must submit official donation receipts with your tax return, so, ask for them
  • Your donation must not exceed 75% of your net income. But, any excess can be carried forward
  • The tax credit will amount to about 40% of the amount you donated

How do we get their international cell phones working here?

Members of the St. Matthias & Friends constituent group have been researching options for providing cell phone service to the arriving refugees. The issue has come up whether it might be possible for refugees who arrive with cell phones to continue to use them. Information has been received that a company called Black Apple Cellular offers this service in Victoria, and may be the only company having the equipment to do so. This information has not yet been tested and is offered simply as a point for others to start their research should this be an issue.


How do I explain our celebration of Christmas to Muslim, Hindu or other religious families?

Religious families love to talk about their religion and spiritual practices. While sharing your religious beliefs may be awkward, there are great ways to share your beliefs. We found a wonderful article that is written by newcomers who experienced Christmas for the first time and what was helpful for them.