Syrian Outcomes Report

Research and Evaluation Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

June 2019

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Syrian Outcomes Report (PDF, 1.4MB)

We’ll post an accessible PDF version in October 2019.

Executive Summary

The Syrian Outcomes Report provides a thematic overview of the outcomes of the Syrians who were resettled in Canada between November 2015 and December 2016. This report provides a comprehensive overview of Syrian integration outcomes to date for this group of newcomers.

Information and data have been compiled from various sources including Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) settlement service data system (iCARE), a 2018 Departmental Settlement Outcomes Survey, Statistics Canada data and research by academics and settlement service providers.

These data sources tell a story about the settlement of this population, with overall results showing that Syrian integration outcomes have been steadily improving since their arrival in Canada. Syrians are getting the help they need. They feel welcome in their communities. Their employment prospects are getting better. And as they spend more time here, they’re enhancing their language skills and settling in their new home. Key highlights include:

  • Syrians are integrating into their communities by making friends, volunteering and building ties which have contributed to a strong sense of belonging. Overwhelmingly, Syrians felt their community was welcoming to newcomers.
  • Syrians accessed federally-funded settlement and support services at a higher rate compared to other resettled refugees who arrived in Canada during the same period.
  • A large portion of Syrians have accessed federally-funded language services. Most Syrian survey respondents reported being able to complete day-to-day tasks (such as going shopping, visit doctors) in English without help while a lower ability was reported for completing tasks in French.
  • While Syrians had lower initial incidence of employment compared to other resettled refugees, they appear to be catching up, and on a similar trajectory as other resettled populations. Average employment earnings have also increased for Syrians with more time in Canada.
  • Syrian survey respondents reported having enough information to conduct their day-to-day lives. However, food security continues to be a concern.
  • A lack of language skills, understanding of health services, and the stigma around mental health were identified as the main factors preventing some Syrians from accessing healthcare. But despite these barriers, most surveyed Syrians reported having a doctor or healthcare provider.
  • While a large majority of Syrian children are reported as enrolled in school, some Syrian students are still facing social and linguistic barriers.

While a majority of integration outcomes are positive or showing positive trends, (e.g., sense of belonging, increasing labour market participation, language usage and accessing settlement services), some challenges remain. But it is important to remember that many of these challenges are common difficulties for all resettled refugees and recent newcomers, and are not unique to the Syrian experience. Overall, the integration outcomes of Syrians are in line with those of other resettled refugee populations that have arrived in Canada.

As Syrians are at relatively early stages of their integration journey, their settlement story will continue to evolve.

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