[PSRList] Sponsoring Syrian and Iraqi Refugees - Important Announcement

Therese and Donald Smith therese.smith at sympatico.ca
Wed Sep 23 11:30:59 EDT 2015


As everyone knows, acceptance for resettlement to Canada depends on the visa officer’s determination of the applicant’s eligibility (i.e. being a refugee under the UN Convention or Canada’s Country of Asylum Class), admissibility (no criminal or medical impediments) and the lack of a durable solution in the country of asylum (a no brainer for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey).  

Virtually every Syrian refugee who fled Syria since 2012 should be eligible under the “country of asylum” class  (seriously and personally affected by civil war, armed conflict or massive violations of human rights).   Again this should be a no-brainer and really puts in question the Minister’s statement that the process has been streamlined by reducing the requirement for UN documentation.

I imagine that for the visa officer, the problem will be establishing admissibility with  respect to criminal antecedents, particularly given this government’s concerns about terrorist threats.  And to determine whether or not there are any issues with criminality, I imagine that the refugee will need to produce appropriate identification.  

Does anyone have any idea how much time the visa officer spends verifying the refugees eligibility vs his/her admissibility?

And from our perspective as sponsors, the better the job we do assembling the refugee’s ID documents, the easier we will make it for the visa officer.

Don

Donald Smith
Chair, Refugee Working Group
The Anglican Diocese of Ottawa

From: PSR [mailto:psr-bounces at list.rstp.ca] On Behalf Of Nadine Nasir
Sent: 22-Sep-15 5:52 PM
To: 'Michael Wills' <mwills at chartwellconsulting.ca>
Cc: psr at list.rstp.ca
Subject: Re: [PSRList] Sponsoring Syrian and Iraqi Refugees - Important Announcement

Hello Michael,

This is a great question. Before the September 19 announcement by Minister Alexander, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) required that all refugee applicants sponsored by Groups of Five or Community Sponsors must already have been granted “refugee status” by either the UNHCR or a foreign government (such as the government of the country where the refugee is currently living), and have proof of this status submitted with the sponsorship application. Even though these refugee applicants already have “refugee status,” the Canadian government still conducted their own assessment of the refugee applicant to determine if he/she meets the definition of a refugee as per the two classes in Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Convention Refugee Abroad Class and Country of Asylum Class). 

The September 19th announcement states that, for Syrians, Canadian “visa officers will be able to presume those fleeing the conflict meet the definition of a refugee”. Therefore, Canadian visa officers have been encouraged to consider Syrians as refugees, unless there is evidence to the contrary, and will “focus their interview process on security, criminality and medical screening”.

Additionally, Syrian and Iraqi refugees can be sponsored by Groups of Five and Community Sponsors, even if they do not already have “refugee status” and proof of this status issued by either the UNHCR or a foreign government.

Please see the Government of Canada’s website for more details: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1017119


Best regards,
Nadine Nasir  | RSTP Trainer | Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP)
Catholic Crosscultural Services| 55 Town Centre Court, Suite 401, Scarborough, ON M1P 4X4
Tel: 416-290-1700 Ext. 404 | Toll-free: 1-877-290-1701  | Fax: 416-290-1710  | nnasir at rstp.ca <mailto:nnasir at rstp.ca>  
www.rstp.ca <http://www.rstp.ca> 


From: Michael Wills [mailto:mwills at chartwellconsulting.ca] 
Sent: September-22-15 4:25 PM
To: Nadine Nasir <nnasir at rstp.ca <mailto:nnasir at rstp.ca> >
Cc: psr at list.rstp.ca <mailto:psr at list.rstp.ca> 
Subject: Re: [PSRList] Sponsoring Syrian and Iraqi Refugees - Important Announcement

Thanks Nadine. As I understand it, even before this announcement Canada did not accept a UNHCR registration as evidence of a valid refugee status, but instead made its own determination. So on balance (since Canada will still be making its own determination) do you think this will change anything? Perhaps, before, Canada required UNHCR status even though it was not enough to ensure recognition by Canada? My church will be asking me, hence the question.
Thanks!
Mike

On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 3:16 PM, Nadine Nasir <nnasir at rstp.ca <mailto:nnasir at rstp.ca> > wrote:
Dear PSR list members,
 
The RSTP would like to inform you of a new change in the Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program that the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, announced on Saturday, September 19, 2015.
 
Citizenship and Immigration Canada has temporarily exempt Syrians and Iraqis from the requirement to provide proof of refugee status in order to be sponsored by a Group of Five or Community Sponsor. If you want to sponsor a Syrian or Iraqi refugee through a Group of Five or Community Sponsor, you can submit these applications, even if these refugee applicants do not have a refugee status recognition document.
 
Please note that refugees must still be living outside of their country of origin.
 
For more information on this announcement, Groups of Five, Community Sponsors, application forms, and more, please visit our website <http://www.rstp.ca/en/refugee-sponsorship/latest-policy-program-update/changes-for-sponsoring-syrian-iraqi-refugees/> . If you have any questions about this announcement, you can also feel free to contact us at info at rstp.ca <mailto:info at rstp.ca> . Please note that we are currently receiving an exceptionally high number of inquiries, and may not be able to respond immediately.
 
Best regards,
Nadine Nasir  | RSTP Trainer | Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP)
Catholic Crosscultural Services| 55 Town Centre Court, Suite 401, Scarborough, ON M1P 4X4
Tel: 416-290-1700 Ext. 404 <tel:416-290-1700%20Ext.%20404>  | Toll-free: 1-877-290-1701 <tel:1-877-290-1701>   | Fax: 416-290-1710 <tel:416-290-1710>   | nnasir at rstp.ca <mailto:nnasir at rstp.ca>  
www.rstp.ca <http://www.rstp.ca> 
 
 

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-- 
Michael J. Wills
The Chartwell Consulting Group Inc
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Tel: +416 485 4074
Website: chartwellconsulting.ca <http://chartwellconsulting.ca> 
Email: mwills at chartwellconsulting.ca <mailto:mwills at chartwellconsulting.ca> 
Skype: chartwellconsulting

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