A Refugee Law Office Takes a Closer Look at Our Government’s Plan
The Canadian government has committed to welcoming 25,000 Syrian refugees, displaced by a civil war in their home country, by the end of February 2016. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has developed a process consisting of five phases, in order to quickly provide protection for these refugees, while simultaneously ensuring the safety of Canadian citizens. As of this writing, 2,393 refugee applications have been finalized, and 1,869 Syrian refugees have arrived in Canada. Here, a refugee law office takes a closer look at the five phases that the government has outlined.
Phase 1: Selecting the Syrian Refugees Who Will Come to Canada
Refugees are being selected to come to Canada in one of two ways: by private sponsorship, or the government’s program. All those selected must be Syrian nationals or stateless people living outside of Syria, and it is mandatory that they be registered as refugees with the Turkish government or the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Government-assisted refugees will be selected in conjunction with these two parties, while private groups can select candidates according to certain required parameters.
Phase 2: Overseas Screening
All selected refugees will undergo interviews with visa officers, medical exams, and security screenings overseas. During these interviews, biographical information, fingerprints, and photos are obtained, among other information. Refugee law offices note that this information is then verified against immigration and police databases. Once this process is complete, permanent visas are issued and flight plans are made.
Phase 3: Travel to Canada
Syrian refugees will travel to Canada on private chartered planes—or military aircrafts, if needed—landing in Montreal and Toronto. The identities of each refugee will be verified by Canadian border agents before boarding, at which point they will also undergo a visual health check.
Phase 4: Arrival in Canada
Upon their arrival, all refugees will be processed by Canadian border agents for admission to Canada. This process includes another identity verification and a second health screening. Citizenship and Immigration Canada has made medical treatment available on-site in the event that any of the refugees appear to be ill.
Phase 5: Community Integration
Privately-sponsored refugees will be transported to the communities in which their sponsors live. Government-assisted refugees will be transported to one of several other communities across the country. Refugee law offices explain that these communities have been identified as having proper supports to help these refugees integrate into the community and start to build their new lives. Those who don’t yet have accommodations arranged have the option of staying at military bases.
Refugees will be provided with immediate financial assistance for essential items such as clothing, household items, and food, as well as long-term support to ensure their successful integration into Canadian society.
If you have any questions about Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s resettlement plan, contact a refugee law office today.