Communities across Canada invited to apply to show how they can welcome and support Government-Assisted Refugees

News Release

February 5, 2016 – Ottawa, ON – In response to the Government of Canada’s commitment to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees, many municipalities have expressed an interest in welcoming Government-Assisted Refugees, and integrating them into their communities. Communities outside the traditional network of cities and towns that welcome GARs are being invited to develop a Community Partnership Settlement Plan, which prepares them to welcome Government-Assisted Refugees.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), in cooperation with provinces and territories, has established criteria for communities wishing to become welcoming communities for GARs. The application process will open in the coming weeks and be available on IRCC’s website.

Municipalities that wish to welcome and integrate Government-Assisted Refugees must develop a plan that demonstrates that they have the necessary services in their communities to help refugees settle, integrate, and ultimately thrive in their new home towns. Municipalities will work with employment, housing, educational and other partners within their community to create a plan.

Plans will be validated by the respective provincial or territorial government, and submitted to IRCC.

The process will be open to communities outside the province of Quebec, which is responsible for its own refugee resettlement program. For more information visit Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion.


“I am proud of the outpouring of support I have seen from communities across this country. I am pleased that we will be able to welcome Government Assisted Refugees to even more communities.”

Hon. John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • Communities that wish to welcome Government-Assisted Refugees must have, among other things, a broad set of settlement services, available permanent housing and employment, and established partnerships with stakeholders.
  • Between November 4, 2015, and February 3, 2016, 16,215 Syrian refugees arrived in Canada, of which 9,491 are Government-Assisted Refugees.

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Media Relations
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Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure the safety and security of Canadians, while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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