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through the eyes of a refugee UNHCR Outreach Activities (as of Dec. 21, 2015) Activity by Country


Text messages sent to potential applicants to see if they were interested in coming to Canada


Phone calls made to invite refugees to the UNHCR Centre for more information on coming to Canada


Refugees who went to the UNHCR Centre to obtain additional information on coming to Canada


Refugees referred to IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada)


Second—Request sent by text and another review


Using those databases, UNHCR then sent text messages reaching out


to refugees asking if


identification and interview process with a UNHCR refugee protection officer.


Third—Referral to Canada and another screening process


If the candidates passed the interviews and clearances set by UNHCR,


the file was sent to a Canadian visa


officer. UNHCR’s role is usually complete at this point as the referring country (in this case, Canada) then performs its own interviews, security clearances and medical exams. Canada has three programs to accept refugees:


Government-sponsored Plan in which the Canadian


government gives up to one year of financial support to a refugee family.


Syrian refugees landed in Canada since Nov. 4, 2015


Refugee category Government-Assisted Refugees


Blended Visa-Office Referred Refugees


Privately Sponsored Refugees TOTAL


Number of refugees


14,921 2,207 8,792


25,920 UNHCR / 23 they wanted their


case referred to Canada. When those interested people came to UNHCR offices,


they went through another


Jordan Lebanon 45,729 15,662


60,109 9,666 15,647 8,212 11,005 5,000


Private Sponsorship Plan, in which a group of Canadians volunteer to financially support a refugee family for one year, or until the family is financially independent.


Blended Visa Office-Referred Plan, which is essentially a combination of both of the above, with the government and a private sponsorship group each sharing six months of support for a refugee family.


When all is said and done—very few refugees actually get resettled in another country


One of the biggest myths is that refugees can simply indicate that they want to be resettled in another country, and it will generally happen, says Michael Casasola, UNHCR Canada’s resettlement officer.


“The reality is that there is a huge gap between the few spaces offered and the demand for


resettlement,” he


says. “Every year each UNHCR office goes through an exercise to identify the number of refugees who need resettlement; of this population UNHCR identifies the most vulnerable.”


In 2014, UNHCR referred 103,890 refugees out of 14.4 million people to the resettlement process—less than one per cent.


In that context, would-be resettlement candidates


don’t just show up to a UNHCR office; instead UNHCR proactively canvases the refugee population and selects people who require resettlement the most and who fit the criteria of the countries offering spaces. «


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