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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