Refugees

Who can sponsor a refugee?

These people or groups can sponsor a refugee:

You can find out more about each group in the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.


Who is eligible for sponsorship under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program?

To be eligible for sponsorship, a refugee applicant must:

Two classes of refugees are eligible under the program:

Find out more about resettlement from outside Canada.


Who decides if a refugee can be sponsored and resettled?

Sponsorship

The sponsor will present the name of a refugee or refugee family it would like to sponsor. One of our officers will decide if a group has set up the supports it needs to be a sponsor.

Resettlement

The United Nations Refugee Agency, other referral organizations and private sponsorship groups identify and refer refugees to be resettled in Canada.

A Canadian visa officer will then decide if the person identified


How does Citizenship and Immigration Canada decide whether a refugee can be sponsored and resettled?

The decisions are based on:

To be accepted for resettlement in Canada, the refugee must also pass medical and security checks. In addition, a visa officer will assess the refugee based on whether he or she:

When a family unit is applying, the officer assesses these factors for the family as a unit.

In some cases, the officer may decide that refugees urgently need protection. In that case, they are not assessed on their ability to establish themselves in Canada.


Who cannot be sponsored under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program?

The following people do not qualify for private sponsorship:


What are the responsibilities of a sponsoring group?

A group sponsoring a refugee must perform the following tasks.

Find more information in CIC’s Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.


Who identifies refugees for sponsorship?

The sponsoring group identifies refugees for sponsorship and submits the refugee’s name to the Centralized processing office in Winnipeg, using the sponsorship kit. These are known as sponsor-referred refugees. They are interviewed for eligibility by an officer from a Canadian visa office after the application is submitted.

Officers from a Canadian visa office identify refugees who have been referred for resettlement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. These are known as visa office-referred refugees. Officers interview them to find if they are eligible to be sponsored.

Before they are approved, all refugees must:


What is the Joint Assistance Sponsorship (JAS) Program?

Under this program, sponsorship agreement holders work with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) to provide additional settlement support to government-assisted refugees with special needs.

Joint Assistance Sponsorship refugees receive help under the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) such as:

Joint Assistance Sponsorship refugees also receive income support from the Government of Canada for up to 24 months, depending on their circumstances.

CIC provides income support for:

They are also matched with a private sponsoring group who will provide:

See joint assistance sponsorship for details.


Which visa office processes applications for permanent residence for privately sponsored refugees?

That depends on which country a sponsored refugee is coming from. The Centralized Processing Office in Winnipeg can let you know which visa office will process your application. You can also consult this list of visa offices.

See also Checking Processing Times questions


How long does it take before a privately sponsored refugee gets to Canada?

It depends. Processing times vary based on where the refugee comes from and how complex the case is. You can check the application processing times on our website.

In some regions, interviews can be complicated because visa officers cannot physically reach the refugees. It can also be difficult to get documents (including proof of identity) or to identify a person’s family members.

How quickly we can process applications also depends on:

Because of this, some cases may take longer to process than others.

To help us process these applications faster, sponsoring groups should:

make sure all contact information is accurate and up to date for both the sponsoring group and the refugee(s) they are sponsoring.


The refugee our group wanted to sponsor was refused after an interview. Can we appeal?

There is no formal appeal process. However, if you believe the visa officer made a legal error, you can send the details to the following address:

Case Management
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
Jean Edmonds North Tower
300 Slater Street, 9th Floor
Ottawa ON K1A 1L1

In some cases, you may seek a judicial review by the Federal Court of Canada. This is not an appeal on the merits of the case. Rather, this review examines the process that led to the decision, to see whether the process was fair and reasonable.


Where can I find more information about applying to sponsor a refugee?

For more information:


I know someone who claimed refugee status here in Canada and was refused. Can we sponsor him or her?

No, private sponsorships are intended for refugees outside Canada who meet the criteria of Canada's Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program.


The UNHCR accepted my relatives as refugees. Does that mean they will be resettled in Canada?

No, it does not mean they will be resettled in Canada. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) accepts refugees who meet its requirements. Next, it refers some of those refugees to be resettled in Canada. Canada then screens them to make sure they meet:

Not every person referred by the UNHCR is accepted for resettlement in Canada.


Are there any fees for applying to sponsor a refugee?

No, there are no processing fees for private sponsorship applications. Applications forms are also available for free online.


Will the refugee have to pay any costs?

Yes. Refugees resettled to Canada are responsible for paying for their medical examination, travel documents and transportation costs to Canada. To help refugees cover these costs, they are able to access the Immigration Loans Program. For more information on the loans program, see the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program handbooks.


Are sponsored refugee families with children eligible for a child tax benefit when they arrive?

Yes, sponsored refugee families with children are eligible for a child tax benefit when they get to Canada. Refugees should apply as soon as they arrive in Canada. It may take up to two months to process the application.

The Canada Revenue Agency can only make retroactive payments for up to 11 months from the month it gets the application. If refugees apply for the benefit after a child is one year old, they have to attach proof of birth.

More information on child and family benefits is available from the Canada Revenue Agency.


Are resettled refugees allowed to go to university?

Yes, they may attend university. Resettled refugees are permanent residents on arrival and have all the rights of other permanent residents.


Can resettled refugees apply for student loans?

Yes, as permanent residents, they are eligible for the same types of student loans as other permanent residents. Sponsoring groups do not have to cover tuition costs during the sponsorship year.


Are there different rules if I want to sponsor a refugee from Turkey?

There are no longer restrictions on cases that may be submitted for private sponsorship of refugees out of Turkey.

However, to increase the chances of being granted an exit permit by the Government of Turkey, sponsors should ensure that refugees are registered with the local Turkish authorities. Please refer to Guidelines on Sponsorship out of Turkey for additional information.        

This new procedure came into effect in September 2015 following successful implementation of a project under which the department accepted a limited number of applications from Sponsorship Agreement Holders for refugees in Turkey.


Do privately sponsored refugees get resettlement help from the government?

In most cases, you will get financial help from your sponsor, not the government.

As a privately sponsored refugee, you will become a permanent resident when you arrive in Canada. You can get the same settlement support services as other permanent residents, such as language training.

In some cases, the federal government will help fund the initial cost of your resettlement. This depends on which program you came to Canada through, such as the Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program or the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program.

You will also have access to government settlement programs. This includes information and orientation services, help finding and keeping a job, language training, and support to build connections in communities.


How does the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program work?

The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program matches refugees identified for resettlement by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with private sponsors in Canada.

The Government of Canada will provide up to six months of income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program, while private sponsors will provide another six months of financial support and up to a year of social and emotional support. Refugees are also covered under the Interim Federal Health Program for the duration of the sponsorship (one year), in addition to provincial health coverage.


How is the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program different from the regular Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program?

Under the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program, refugees are referred to Canadian visa offices abroad directly by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Many of the refugees sponsored under this program will be travel-ready and will arrive in Canada quickly, normally within 1-4 months.

The Government of Canada will generally provide up to six months of income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program, while private sponsors will provide another six months of financial support and up to a year of social and emotional support. Refugees are also covered under the Interim Federal Health Program for the duration of the sponsorship (one year), in addition to provincial health coverage.


Can refugees be referred to the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program by sponsoring groups?

No. Refugees chosen under this program can only be referred by Canadian visa offices.


My sponsor asked me to pay money toward the processing of my refugee application. Should I pay?

No one should ask you for any money to cover the cost of your sponsorship. You do not have to pay anyone to process your application.

Note: Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. This means that the rules private sponsors in Quebec must follow are different from the rest of Canada. If your sponsor is from Quebec and you have questions, contact Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion. This is the part of the Quebec provincial government that deals with immigration.


My sponsor says they will guarantee that the Canadian government will accept my refugee application. Is that true?

No one can guarantee that we will accept your application. Not your sponsor, nor anyone you hire to help, such as a consultant. Only a Canadian visa officer can make that decision.

There are also other requirements, such as medical and security checks, that you must meet before we can approve your application.


I am a privately sponsored refugee. My sponsor has asked me to pay money to support myself in Canada. Should I pay?

No, you do not have to pay.

Being a privately sponsored refugee means that a group of people in Canada has volunteered to help you adjust to life here. Your sponsorship group will help you find a place to live, give you food and clothing and financial support. They have made a commitment to support you for one year after you arrive in Canada or until you can support yourself, whichever comes first.

However, sometimes there are refugees who come to Canada with their own money. If you have the money and are able to support yourself, your sponsor may expect you to contribute to your own settlement costs. This could be from funds you’ve brought to Canada or money you earn during your sponsorship period.

Sponsors will support refugees who need the financial support.

Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. This means that the rules private sponsors in Quebec must follow are different from the rest of Canada. If your sponsor is from Quebec and you have questions, contact Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion. This is the part of the Quebec provincial government that deals with immigration.


I am coming to Canada as a privately sponsored refugee, and I am bringing some of my own money with me. Does my sponsor get any of this money?

No, you do not need to make any payment for your sponsorship application. However, after you arrive in Canada, sponsors may expect you to contribute to your own settlement costs from the funds you bring with you.

Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. This means that the rules private sponsors in Quebec must follow are different from the rest of Canada. If your sponsor is from Quebec and you have questions, contact Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion. This is the part of the Quebec provincial government that deals with immigration.


Does the Government of Canada ask private sponsors to collect money from me or my relatives to fund my sponsorship or settlement in Canada?

No, the Government of Canada does not charge or collect application fees for refugees to be resettled.

Notices asking you to deposit money that will later be refunded are false. They do not come from the Government of Canada.


What should I do if I already paid someone money to cover the cost of my refugee sponsorship?

You should contact the person you gave your money to and ask them to return it right away.

Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. This means that the rules private sponsors in Quebec must follow are different from the rest of Canada. If your sponsor is from Quebec and you have questions, contact Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion. This is the part of the Quebec provincial government that deals with immigration.


What can I expect from my sponsor after I travel to Canada as a refugee?

When you arrive in Canada, your sponsor will welcome you at the airport and help you get settled.

Your sponsor will find a place for you to stay, such as an apartment, house or hotel. Depending on what your sponsor has arranged, this may be a temporary place for you to stay for your first weeks in Canada or a place where you may stay for a much longer period. They will also give you food and clothing.

Your sponsor will answer questions about life in Canada and help you with things such as

Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. This means that the rules private sponsors in Quebec must follow are different from the rest of Canada. If your sponsor is from Quebec and you have questions, contact Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion. This is the part of the Quebec provincial government that deals with immigration.


My sponsor isn’t providing me with the support you said I should receive. What should I do?

Your sponsor is responsible for supporting you during your first year in Canada or until you can support yourself, whichever comes first.

Support may include direct financial support, but the sponsor may also give you things, such as furniture, household goods and clothing.

Find out more about what sponsors are responsible for.

If you are not getting this kind of support from your sponsor, you should tell us right away so that we can look into your situation. To do so, contact our Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100.

Quebec has its own process to sponsor refugees. This means that the rules private sponsors in Quebec must follow are different from the rest of Canada. If your sponsor is from Quebec and you have questions, contact Immigration, Diversité et Inclusion. This is the part of the Quebec provincial government that deals with immigration.


How many privately sponsored refugees does Canada accept each year?

The number of privately sponsored refugees who can arrive in Canada each year is set out in the Annual Immigration Levels Plan.

The department also sets a cap each year on the number of applications that we will accept from Sponsorship Agreement Holders.


How many applications for privately sponsored refugees does Canada accept each year?

There is an annual cap on the number of new sponsorship applications that Sponsorship Agreement Holders can submit each year.

This cap does not affect the number of refugees we admit each year. That number is set out in the Annual Immigration Levels Plan.

Before 2012, we did not limit the number of new applications that sponsors could submit. As a result, we received more applications than we could process in a given year. This created large inventories and increased processing times.

In 2012, we began limiting the number of new applications we will accept each year. This is meant to reduce wait times, and visa offices are working through these large inventories.

Caps are set out annually and are shared directly with Sponsorship Agreement Holders so that they know how many applications they can submit.


What is a government-assisted refugee?

"Government-assisted refugees" are refugees from the Convention Refugees Abroad Class. The Government of Canada or the Government of Quebec supports their initial resettlement in Canada.


Why does Canada resettle refugees?

Canada resettles refugees to save lives and to provide stability to those fleeing persecution with no hope of relief.

Through its refugee protection system, Canada offers a safe haven to:

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) leads and coordinates international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its main purpose is to protect the rights and well-being of refugees.

As part of its activities, the UNHCR refers refugees to Canada when resettlement is the best solution.

Learn more about the refugee system in Canada and our tradition of humanitarian action


What kind of support do government-assisted refugees get?

The Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) gives government-assisted refugees immediate and essential supports for their most basic needs.

Support services include:

Canada provides income support under the RAP to eligible refugees who cannot pay for their own basic needs. Support can include a:

The level of monthly financial support is generally based on the prevailing provincial social assistance rates in the province where the refugees settle. Financial support can last up to one year after a refugee arrives in Canada, or until they can support themselves, whichever occurs first.


Do refugees get the same support across Canada?

Support services under the Resettlement Assistance Program are the same across Canada. The monthly income support varies slightly from province to province, since it is based on provincial social assistance rates. The monthly amount is meant to cover food, shelter and transportation.

In most cases, the first month's income support payment is larger because it includes a one-time payment to cover the basic costs of setting up a household.


Do large and small families get the same amount of money?

The amounts for household start-up and monthly support vary by family size. Other special allowances may be provided, depending on circumstances.


What special allowances may refugees get?

The special allowances include:


How long does the support for government-assisted refugees last?

Financial support can last up to one year after a refugee arrives in Canada, or until they can support themselves, whichever occurs first.

Special needs clients selected under the Joint Assistance Sponsorship Program may get Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP) income support for 24 months. Most government-assisted refugees, however, receive financial help for 12 months or less.

Refugees receive RAP support services within the first six weeks of arriving in Canada.


Does government provide all the support to government-assisted refugees?

No. Organizations across Canada provide initial support services for government-assisted refugees, with funding from the federal government and other sources, such as provincial or municipal governments, and non-profit organizations. The Government of Canada also:

Provinces also fund organizations to provide services for permanent residents and Canadian citizens.

Note: The province of Quebec provides money and support services to government-assisted refugees in Quebec.


Do in-Canada refugee claimants get resettlement assistance?

No. In-Canada refugee claimants are not permanent residents. They have not been selected for resettlement and so they are not eligible for resettlement assistance.


Do government-assisted refugees get more income support and benefits than Canadian pensioners do?

No. Refugees do not get more financial help from the federal government than Canadian pensioners do. A widely circulated email makes this false claim. The email mistakenly includes the one-time start-up payment as part of the monthly payment. The amount of monthly financial support that government-assisted refugees get is based on provincial social assistance rates. It is the minimum amount needed to cover only the most basic food and shelter needs.

Many refugees selected for resettlement to Canada have been forced to flee their country because of extreme hardship. Some may have been living in refugee camps for many years. When they arrive in Canada, they must start their lives again in a country very different from their own.

In keeping with Canada’s proud humanitarian traditions, individuals and families get immediate and essential services and support to help them become established in Canada.


What forms do I need to make a refugee claim in Canada?

As of December 15, 2012, if you make a refugee claim from in Canada, there is a new process and new forms to complete.


I already made a refugee claim. What will happen to it now that the new system has started?

If your claim is referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) before December 15, 2012, your case will proceed according to the legislation that was in force immediately prior to December 15, 2012. You do not need to do anything new.

Find out more about processing asylum claims.


Can my refugee claim be rejected based on what I write in the Basis of Claim form?

No. This form will be used to gather information from you about your claim so the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada can prepare and conduct the hearing properly.


I’m from a designated country of origin. Will my refugee claim be automatically rejected?

No. If you are an eligible asylum claimant, you will still get a fair hearing before the IRB based on your case.


Is legal assistance available to asylum claimants?

If you are eligible to make a claim for refugee status, you may be able to get a lawyer to help you.  Each province and territory has a legal aid contact. Please contact them for more information.

You can also find legal aid offices in the area where you live by looking in the telephone book under Legal Aid. An immigrant-serving organization will also be able to tell you where and how to obtain these services.


I am a refugee and I need to travel outside Canada. What documents do I need to travel?

You need to get a Refugee Travel Document from Passport Canada. It is recognized in all countries as a valid travel document. However, you cannot use it to travel to the country that you are a citizen of or the country of claimed persecution.

If you are a:

you will need a Refugee Travel Document.

To apply, you will need to give Passport Canada proof of your status in Canada. You will need either:

If you are a Convention refugee, you should have a letter from the IRB. If you need to replace a lost letter, please contact the IRB.

If you are a protected person who was selected overseas and resettled as a refugee in Canada, you should have either a Confirmation of Permanent Residence document, or a Permanent Resident Card. If you need to replace an expired, lost or stolen Permanent Resident Card, you can apply for a new one.

If you are a protected person with a positive Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) decision, you should have a VOS. If your PRRA result was before December 17, 2012, and you did not get a VOS, or if you lost it, you can apply for a new one.


What can I use to prove my status in Canada as a refugee or protected person?

If your claim for refugee protection is accepted by the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB), you will get a formal letter or document that you can use to prove your status.

If you are a protected person who was selected abroad and resettled as a refugee in Canada, you will get a document called a “Confirmation of Permanent Residence.” Later, you will be sent a Permanent Resident Card (also called a PR card).

If you are a protected person because you got a positive Pre-Removal Risk Assessment, you will get a document called a “Verification of Status.”

Each of these documents can be used to prove your status in Canada.


If I have an immigration loan, how can I make my payments?

You can pay:

Cheques, postal orders and money orders must be made payable to the “Receiver General for Canada.”


My last payment does not appear on my immigration loan statement. Why is that?

Payments made during the month will appear on the next month’s statement. It generally takes Citizenship and Immigration Canada seven to 14 business days to process payments.


I no longer receive immigration loan statements. Why is that?

This may happen if you changed your address and you didn’t update your information with us. If you moved, you must contact CIC-Finance within 10 days to give your new address.

If your address has not changed and you are no longer receiving statements, please contact CIC-Finance.


Where do I find my PAYEE number on my immigration loan statement?

Your PAYEE number is a 14 digit number located on the bottom right section of your statement of account.

Sample of Statement of Account

In the image above, the red arrow points to the PAYEE number.

If you still have trouble finding the PAYEE number, contact CIC-Finance.


What happens if I do not make my loan payments?

Most importantly, you should know that you will not be removed from Canada if you miss a loan payment.

However, if you do not make your payments, interest will continue to grow on your loan. If the situation continues, CIC can direct your case to a private collection agency, use your income tax refunds to repay your loan or take other legal measures.

It is especially important to make your payments if you are planning on sponsoring a family member.

Because of this, if at any time, you are having difficulty repaying your loan, contact CIC-Finance to discuss potential arrangements.


Who can sponsor a refugee?

These people or groups can sponsor a refugee:

You can find out more about each group in the Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.


Can I make a refugee claim from within Syria?

To make a refugee claim, you must be outside your home country. Refugee claims cannot be made at the Embassy of Canada.

Find out how you can make a refugee claim in Canada or how you can resettle to Canada from abroad.


How can Canadians help in our response to the Syrian crisis?

Canada has a rich history of supporting those in need of protection and safety. This is a time for Canadians to come together as we open our hearts and communities to welcome refugees to their new home.

You can help make a difference in their lives in a number of different ways:

Visit How Canadians can help for more information.


How do I find a refugee to sponsor?

There are two ways to achieve a match between a sponsoring group and a refugee.

Canadians can identify refugees in need of sponsorship through local family members, community groups, churches or ethno-cultural groups. Refugees in need may have been identified from an overseas contact, a friend, a relative of a member of the organization or elsewhere.

Refugees may also be identified in a three-way partnership among the Government of Canada, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and private sponsors. Under the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program (BVOR), CIC works to find a private sponsor to match with the refugee identified initially by the UNHCR.

The Government of Canada has expanded the BVOR program so that Sponsorship Agreement Holders, Groups of Five and Community Sponsors can all access Syrian refugee files currently in the inventory as part of this program.

Visit Sponsoring a refugee for more information.


How do I find a SAH I can volunteer to work with or otherwise contribute to?

A list of the SAHs in Canada is updated regularly to reflect all groups/organizations which have signed sponsorship agreements with the Government of Canada.


Does this means that Syrians and Iraqi from anywhere in the world can be resettled to Canada as refugees?

The refugees Canada will resettle will primarily come from those who are currently in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. However, there will also be some Syrians and Iraqis who will be resettled from outside the Middle East.


What are the responsibilities of a sponsoring group?

A group sponsoring a refugee must perform the following tasks.

Find more information in CIC’s Guide to the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.


Who is eligible for sponsorship under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program?

To be eligible for sponsorship, a refugee applicant must:

Two classes of refugees are eligible under the program:

Find out more about resettlement from outside Canada.


Who decides if a refugee can be sponsored and resettled?

Sponsorship

The sponsor will present the name of a refugee or refugee family it would like to sponsor. One of our officers will decide if a group has set up the supports it needs to be a sponsor.

Resettlement

The United Nations Refugee Agency, other referral organizations and private sponsorship groups identify and refer refugees to be resettled in Canada.

A Canadian visa officer will then decide if the person identified


Who cannot be sponsored under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program?

The following people do not qualify for private sponsorship:


Where can I find more information about applying to sponsor a refugee?

For more information:


Are there any fees for applying to sponsor a refugee?

No, there are no processing fees for private sponsorship applications. Applications forms are also available for free online.


How is the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program different from the regular Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program?

Under the Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program, refugees are referred to Canadian visa offices abroad directly by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Many of the refugees sponsored under this program will be travel-ready and will arrive in Canada quickly, normally within 1-4 months.

The Government of Canada will generally provide up to six months of income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program, while private sponsors will provide another six months of financial support and up to a year of social and emotional support. Refugees are also covered under the Interim Federal Health Program for the duration of the sponsorship (one year), in addition to provincial health coverage.


What is a government-assisted refugee?

"Government-assisted refugees" are refugees from the Convention Refugees Abroad Class. The Government of Canada or the Government of Quebec supports their initial resettlement in Canada.


Why does Canada resettle refugees?

Canada resettles refugees to save lives and to provide stability to those fleeing persecution with no hope of relief.

Through its refugee protection system, Canada offers a safe haven to:

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) leads and coordinates international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its main purpose is to protect the rights and well-being of refugees.

As part of its activities, the UNHCR refers refugees to Canada when resettlement is the best solution.

Learn more about the refugee system in Canada and our tradition of humanitarian action


Should I book flights to Canada for refugees I’m sponsoring?

We will issue permanent resident visas to refugees who we accept to be resettled to Canada.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) usually arranges commercial flights to Canada, as they first need to get any exit permits required by the host country.

You should not book flights from countries that require exit permits. The IOM is our recognized partner and is best placed to complete this process.

The IOM also gives an orientation to Canada and will give Canadian border services details about the refugees and their flights. This makes the refugees’ arrival in Canada go more smoothly.


Why can’t you fly Syrian refugees to Canada faster?

When we resettled the first 25,000 Syrian refugees, we chartered flights to bring them here quickly.

That effort taught us that refugees need time to get their affairs in order after their interview and health/security screening. This helps them be ready to leave.

We also learned that refugees benefit from orientation information before they leave. We give this standard information to most refugees to prepare them for life in Canada.

The new timeframe lets us do both of these things. We no longer need government-organized charter flights.

We expect Syrian refugees with private sponsorship applications received before March 31, 2016 to arrive about 3-6 months after the interview.

This is a reasonable amount of time to complete all steps set out above. We must also factor in time to get exit permissions and for travel documents to be in order.

This plan addresses refugees’ needs and gives sponsors a predictable pace of arrivals.


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