Accelerated process for welcoming blended visa office-referred Syrian refugees to Canada


The Blended Visa Office-Referred program matches refugees identified for resettlement by the United Nations Refugee Agency with private sponsors in Canada. The Government of Canada will provide up to six months of income support, while private sponsors will provide another six months of financial support and up to a year of social and emotional support.


  • Syrian refugees are identified by the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR and contacted.
  • Resettlement eligibility and interest in going to Canada is assessed.
  • Identity is confirmed by iris scan.
  • UNHCR refers Syrian refugees to Canada.

Immigration interview

  • Refugees complete their application for resettlement.
  • Identity is confirmed and refugees are interviewed by Canadian immigration officials.
  • Protection and special needs are determined.

Information Sharing

Cases suitable for the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program are made available to potential sponsors in Canada.

  • Potential sponsors in Canada review the list.
  • Sponsors submit their application to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Thorough Security Screening

  • Interviews
  • Biometric and biographic collection
  • Database checks

Comprehensive Immigration Medical Exam

  • Medical history
  • Health exam
  • Lab tests for some communicable diseases
  • X-rays to check for tuberculosis
  • Complete medical file is reviewed and finalized by immigration health officials

Final processing is completed and visa is issued by Canadian officials


  • Officials from the International Organization for Migration secure exit permits from host governments and finalize all remaining paperwork for the flight to Canada.
  • Refugees prepare and pack for their flight

Canadian officials complete final security screening.

Refugees go through airport security screening and begin their journey to Canada.


  • Syrian refugees arrive in Canada and become permanent residents upon arrival.
  • Refugees are met at the airport by their sponsors.

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