[PSRList] Sponsoring Syrian and Iraqi Refugees - Important Announcement

Joanne Lalonde giraffechef at gmail.com
Wed Sep 23 11:55:51 EDT 2015


Hello Everyone

I would like to make sure that I properly understand the new government
announcement.

I believe that while SAHs (and their constituent groups) were not affected
by the rules that stated that refugees must have 'official (by UNHCR or
country where they have fled) refugee status', *groups of five and
community group sponsors* required that all individuals have documented
refugee status in order for them to be sponsored.

The *removal* of this criteria would open up possibilities for these
alternative groups to sponsor more easily and could relieve the pressure on
SAHs, if other groups could contribute to the refugee support efforts
during this crisis. This of course does not change the challenges with
filling out forms properly so as to minimize processing times AND, most
importantly, avoid rejection of sponsorships.

Hopefully, this is a reasonable interpretation of the new CIC rules and I
will thus be able to bring this information to the OMC congregation.

Cheers,

Joanne Lalonde

Ottawa Mennonite Church RAP Committee
Ottawa

On 23 September 2015 at 11:30, Therese and Donald Smith <
therese.smith at sympatico.ca> wrote:

> 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 <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*
> <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* <nnasir at rstp.ca>
>
> *www.rstp.ca* <http://www.rstp.ca>
>
> *From:* Michael Wills [*mailto:mwills at chartwellconsulting.ca*
> <mwills at chartwellconsulting.ca>]
> *Sent:* September-22-15 4:25 PM
> *To:* Nadine Nasir <*nnasir at rstp.ca* <nnasir at rstp.ca>>
> *Cc:* *psr at list.rstp.ca* <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*
> <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* <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* <416-290-1700%20Ext.%20404> | Toll-free:
> *1-877-290-1701* <1-877-290-1701>  | Fax: *416-290-1710* <416-290-1710>  |
> *nnasir at rstp.ca* <nnasir at rstp.ca>
>
> *www.rstp.ca* <http://www.rstp.ca>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> *PSR at list.rstp.ca* <PSR at list.rstp.ca>
> *http://list.rstp.ca/mailman/listinfo/psr_list.rstp.ca*
> <http://list.rstp.ca/mailman/listinfo/psr_list.rstp.ca>
>
>
>
> --
>
> 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* <mwills at chartwellconsulting.ca>
>
> Skype: chartwellconsulting
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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>
>
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