#WelcomeRefugees: The first 25,000 – Phase 1

Identifying Syrian refugees to come to Canada

Canada worked with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to identify people in Jordan and Lebanon, where they have an extensive list of registered refugees.

To reduce security risks and still provide a new home for refugees, we gave priority to vulnerable refugees who were a low security risk, such as women at risk and complete families. This was in line with Canada’s overall approach to refugee resettlement.

As refugees in Jordan and Lebanon were identified, the UNHCR contacted them by SMS (text message) to see if they were interested in being resettled to Canada. Those who were interested were referred to Canadian officials for processing after the UNHCR confirmed their identity using an iris scan.

We used a similar process in Turkey, where refugees are registered with the state and not the UNHCR.

Several thousand applications we had in queue for privately sponsored refugees and government-assisted refugees were processed as part of this initiative.

UNHCR outreach activities

By the end of 2015, the UNHCR:

During the same time period:

Security and health screening

Each Syrian refugee went through robust, multi-layered screening before they came to Canada. This included collecting biometrics.

Find out more about security and health screening.

Sponsor Syrian refugees

There are a few ways to sponsor refugees. Find out which way works best for you.

I am a refugee – Edy

A student and violinist, Edy and his family are looking forward to starting a new life in Canada.

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