Federal departments and agencies involved in Syrian refugee resettlement:
Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)
Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces (DND/CAF)
Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)
Public Safety Canada and Emergency Preparedness (PS)
Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
Transport Canada (TC)
Phase 1: Identifying Syrian refugees to come to Canada
- United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) oversees the registration of refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. Canada will work with the UNHCR to identify and prioritize vulnerable refugees who are a low security risk, such as women at risk and complete families.
- Once refugees are identified, the UNHCR will contact them via SMS/text message to ask if they are interested in being resettled in Canada. If they say yes, the UNHCR then confirms their idenity using an iris scan. Once that is complete, they are treferred to Canadian officials for processing.
- Canada will also be working with the Government of Turkey, where refugees are registered with the state and not the UNHCR, on a similar process.
* According to the Citizenship and Immigration website, Canada also has several thousand applications in processing for privately sponsored refugees (PSRs) and government-assisted refugees (GARs) under way which will continue to be processed as part of the 25K initiative.
Phase 2: Processing Syrian refugees overseas
- Interested refugees will be processed in dedicated visa offices in Amman and Beirut, while processing capacity in Turkey will also be enhanced to support the process in that country.
- The government has deployed about 500 officials to staff these offices.
- Interviews are scheduled with visa officers, and while not all applicants interviewed will be selected, their application may be re-considered in the future.
- Full immigration medical examinations, including screening for communicable diseases such as tuberculosis
- Security screening which entails collecting biographical information, as well as biometrics such as fingerprints and digital photos.
- All information is checked against immigration, law enforcement and security databases.
- Once screening is successfully completed, refugees will be given permanent resident visas and begin preparing for their journey to Canada.
Phase 3: Transportation to Canada
- All refugees will be screened by Canada Border Services Agency officers before they depart for Canada.
- For the most part, they’ll be transported by privately chartered aircraft, with military aircraft assisting if the need arises.
- All refugees will arrive in either Montreal or Toronto for processing.
Phase 4: Welcoming in Canada
- Once again, all refugees will be screened by CBSA officials as part of the final identity verification process.
- Screening for illness as per the Quarantine Act will also take place, and treatment provided for any illnesses detected.
- At this point, privately sponsored refugees (PSRs), will continue on to the community where their privater sponsor is located.
- Most government assisted refugees will also (GARs) will also continue on to their new home communities.
- Some GARs will not yet have been assigned to a community, and they will be provided with temporary accommodation until officials determine the most appropriate place for them.
Phase 5: Settlement and community integration
- The fifth and final phase involves providing refugees with the supports they need to successfully settle in their new country.
- This includes providing orientation to life in Canada, access to healthcare, permanent housing, counselling, language services, schooling and other federal, provincial, territorial and municipal support services.