How to sponsor a refugee – Blended Visa Office-Referred Program

Follow the steps refugees take when they are sponsored under the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program. Learn how refugees are selected overseas and matched with Canadian sponsors.

How to sponsor a refugee – Blended Visa Office-Referred Program

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Transcript: “How to sponsor a refugee – Blended Visa Office-Referred Program”

Video length: 4:49 minutes

NARRATOR : Of the more than 10 million refugees from around the world, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or UNHCR estimates that at least 800,000 of them will eventually need to resettle to another country, like Canada.

Many Canadians want to help!

We see a family, a man and five children, in a bamboo shelter in a Karen refugee camp. The shot dissolves into that of a woman wearing a veil, her back to the camera, walking and dragging large white bags on the ground in a refugee camp in Kenya. Next, we see an African woman cooking in an old pot, surrounded by the makeshift shelters in a refugee camp. The shot changes, revealing several refugees in a Middle Eastern camp.

Next is a shot of a woman in a transition centre in the Middle East, followed by the shot of an airplane landing in Canada.

Fade to black.

A stylistic silver globe appears as it turns and is superimposed on an image of the Canadian flag waving in the wind. The title Journey to Canada: Stories of Refugees appears. The background fades to grey and the title Canadians Sponsoring Refugees appears.

NARRATOR: The Government of Canada has introduced a unique program to help refugees. The Blended Visa Office-Referred program makes it easier for private sponsors to provide support…to refugees in need.

We see a sunset behind a refugee camp, with people moving in the background. The shot dissolves into that of women in the waiting room of a transition centre.

The titles Blended Visa Office-Referred Program and Blended VOR Program appear one after the other, superimposed on the image of a red and grey globe.

We see a couple speaking with a woman; we then see them outdoors, with a street behind them.

REFUGEE: I went to Syria looking for hope for a better life for my family. So, I have been there for four years and this is the miracle that’s done to me, to my family. And there’s a church in Canada, they want to sponsor to me. So, it was great.

Soft background music.
We see the man, speaking to the camera. At the bottom right corner of the screen is a text banner appears with the image of a rotating globe. It reads “Laith Yalda – sponsored refugee” and the Canadian flag waving in the wind. The ribbon disappears.

The bottom of the screen has text that reads “Laith and his family fled Iraq and initially found shelter in Syria… before finally arriving in Canada, their new homeland.”

NARRATOR: Canada has one of the most generous refugee systems in the world. We welcome roughly one in 10 resettled refugees – more than almost any other industrialized country.

Once in Canada, government-assisted refugees receive initial support from the government, while others receive support from private sponsors, like religious, ethno-cultural or humanitarian organizations. These private sponsors provide financial, social and emotional support to help refugees build a new life in Canada.

We see people walking in an airport corridor arriving to Canada, and then a language teacher is giving a lesson using a whiteboard. The shot changes to two students in the class, sitting at a table with their books. The shot changes to a wide shot of the teacher in the classroom with the students.

We then see a teacher interacting with young children, followed by the sponsored couple from the earlier shot, talking. This shot is followed by that of a church, then of a man in a meeting at the YMCA, then of a woman at a Newcomer Information Centre. We then we see the same couple, speaking with a sponsor in front of a church, followed by a close-up shot of a woman smiling.

There is a close-up shot of a woman. At the bottom left corner of the screen is a stylized text that reads “Karen Mahoney – Sponsorship Agreement Holder – Catholic Archdiocese of Ottawa” and the image of a rotating globe and the Canadian flag waving in the wind.

ON CAMERA CLIP WITH SPONSOR: You sign up. You have to be there to help the family or the person that you’ve sponsored. It’s a commitment. So you have to be prepared to make a commitment, know what you’re getting involved in, but also realize what a difference you can make in a person’s life…so you want to make a commitment, but it’s also very rewarding when you see them become such strong people in your community.

We see a man in a kitchen, putting food on the table; then we see his wife, and then their son.

NARRATOR: Under this program, the government and private sponsors enter into a partnership to assist UNHCR-referred refugees.

Here’s how the Blended Visa-Office Referred or Blended VOR program works.

We see a shot of a computer. On its screen is the Government of Canada Refugee Program webpage. The shot reveals Karen sitting in front of a computer in an office, then in a living room, helping Laith fill out documents.

The titles Blended Visa Office-Referred Program and Blended VOR Program appear one after the other, superimposed on the image of a red and grey globe.

NARRATOR: First, refugees are referred for resettlement to Canada by the UNHCR.

We see UNHCR representatives entering a refugee camp’s hut. We see the same people, now inside, speaking with a woman wearing a veil. The on screen text reads “Antonio Guterres – United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.” The text appears over a rotating globe with the Canadian flag waving in the wind behind it.

NARRATOR: Overseas, a Canadian visa officer assesses the refugee. If they are accepted, some of their information is made available to private sponsors in Canada who are looking to sponsor a refugee.

We see a Canadian visa officer reviewing files. The image jumps back to the sponsor filling out documents.

We then see the sponsored couple crossing a street, holding hands.

NARRATOR: Once a match is made, the Government of Canada will provide up to six months of income support. Private sponsors will provide another six months of financial support and up to a year of social and emotional support to the new arrival.

NARRATOR: Canada aims to resettle up to 1,000 refugees by 2015 through the Blended VOR Program.

The couple is in their kitchen together cooking. Laith is seen leaving his home. He appears at work, carrying cases of milk.

Karen is with the constituent group in discussion. Karen shakes hands with a stakeholder. We see the same couple in their neighbourhood, meeting a man with a stroller.

The screen splits into two shots : on the left is the couple with the sponsor in front of the steps of the church; on the right the titles Blended Visa Office-Referred Program and Blended VOR Program appear one after the other, superimposed on the image of a red and grey globe.

The shot returns to the man, in an office, speaking to the camera. At the bottom right corner of the screen is a ribbon that reads “Laith Yalda – sponsored refugee” and the image of a rotating globe and the Canadian flag waving in the wind. The ribbon disappears.

ON CAMERA CLIP WITH REFUGEE: They changed our life…we were someone is dying and someone helps you, save you from the death to the life, from the dark, you can’t see anything, to the light. This is the real, really the sponsor, because they, they want to live a better life for you and your family.

NARRATOR: The Blended VOR program is open to Sponsorship Agreement Holders and their Constituent Groups. Here’s how you can get involved.

The Sponsorship Agreement holders page appears. Karen looks at the screen, then to some quick shots of the YMCA, the Newcomer Information Centre, the Government of Canada Refugee Program webpage—interspersed with shots of a woman filling out a form—and then of the sponsor, working on some files, followed by a Canadian flag waving in the wind.

If you are a Constituent Group, contact your Sponsorship Agreement Holder. A list of over 80 agreement holders is available on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Click on "Sponsor a refugee" to see the list.

If your organization does not have an agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada, information on how to apply for one can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website by clicking on how to become a Sponsorship Agreement Holder.

The Government of Canada is committed to helping persecuted individuals in need of refuge and looks forward to working with you through this program.

We see children, at dusk, in a refugee camp. The shot of the children fades and is replaced by a shot of adults, still in front of the same camp.

Fade to black

The shot returns to the man, in an office, speaking to the camera.

ON CAMERA CLIP WITH REFUGEE: I want to send message for them. Please, there’s many families that are looking for hope to, to help them.

The titles Blended Visa Office-Referred Program and Blended VOR Program appear one after the other, superimposed on the image of a red and grey globe.

NARRATOR:For more information on the Blended VOR Program, visit the CIC website at www.cic.gc.ca

Close-up of the man, smiling. On the screen the text “Change someone’s life – sponsor a refugee.” We see the couple walking hand-in-hand, and the website address www.cic.gc.ca appears onscreen.

Text on screen: Canada Wordmark image

Fade to black.

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