A Look at Refugee Sponsorship Barriers and Other Challenges Syrian Refugees Face
Canada has been a leader in Syrian refugee sponsorship. Both federal and private sponsorship programs worked to settle thousands of refugees since 2015. Since the U.S. doesn’t have a private sponsorship program, many Americans are asking Canadians to help them sponsor Syrian refugees. Despite the efforts to help refugees settle in Canada, there are still many challenges facing refugees. Limits on sponsorship and barriers to employment and integration into Canadian society are just two examples of such challenges. For assistance with refugee applications and information on the immigration process, contact a refugee law office.
Private sponsors are responsible for filing applications, raising money, finding housing, seeking volunteers, and forming support networks. They work to make the transition to Canadian life easier for refugees. However, Canada’s limits on private sponsorships and a backlog in the system have made it difficult for private sponsors (including those who are working with Americans) to settle the refugee families they have been working with. This is causing uncertainty for both sponsors and refugees waiting to come to Canada for a chance at a better and safer life.
It's important to note that many refugees are successful in their application and transition. There are, however, still many who have arrived in Canada yet are still facing challenges as they integrate into Canadian society.
Privately-sponsored refugees are having a better time with the transition, including finding employment, and this success may be due to the social support network that private sponsors provide—social networking, improving language skills, housing assistance, job opportunities, access to services and information, and an overall greater sense of community.
Some refugees are having trouble with the transition from the federal sponsorship program to provincial welfare programs. The language barrier poses a challenge for adult Syrians who are having trouble learning English or French. These language barriers make it difficult to secure sufficient employment or any employment. For those who have found jobs, these jobs are often low-paying in the service or construction industries. The lack of affordable housing is another concern, with many refugees relying on low incomes to support entire families.
Canada’s social benefits (including the Canada Child Benefit) may be among the few things helping many struggling refugees get by. Hopefully, once the sponsorship backlog is handled, the limit on private sponsorships will be lifted. This will let more refugees to settle in Canada with a strong social support network to help with the difficult transition. For those who wish to apply for refugee status or sponsorship in Canada, contact a Canadian refugee law office.