#WelcomeRefugees: Security and health screening

Protecting the safety, security and health of Canadians and refugees was a key factor in the resettlement of 25,000 Syrian refugees.

We focused on identifying vulnerable refugees who are a lower security risk such as women, complete families and people at risk due to membership in the 2SLGBTQI+ (Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and additional sexually and gender diverse) community.

Each Syrian refugee that Canada welcomed went through robust, multi-layered screening before they came to Canada, including the collection of biometrics.

Refugee identification before referral to IRCC

Canada worked with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Jordan and Lebanon and the government of Turkey, to prioritize vulnerable refugees who were a lower security risk, such as women at risk and complete families.

Immigration and security interview by experienced visa officers

The interview was an important part of the process. It was used to validate the applicants’ information before they could be selected. Not all applicants were selected as part of this plan but may be reconsidered in the future.

Identity and document verification; biometric and biographic collection

Applicants had their identity and documents verified through all stages of processing, with support from law enforcement and intelligence partners as needed, before they were accepted to come to Canada.

Officers abroad collected biographical and biometric information, including fingerprints and digital photos. We conducted security screening of the refugees, including checking immigration, law enforcement and security databases.

Refugees had to pass all security checks and medical screening before we issued a permanent resident visa.

Health screening

We conducted a full immigration medical exam, including screening for contagious diseases (such as tuberculosis) as part of the immigration process before arrival in Canada.

Identity confirmation prior to departure

Before they left for Canada, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) confirmed the identity of each refugee.

Identity verification upon arrival and final health check

Once in Canada, border services officers welcomed and processed all refugees for admission into Canada in the same manner as any other person seeking to enter Canada. They reconfirmed that everything was in order, including a final check of identity.

In addition, we screened all refugees for signs of illness when they arrived in Canada, and anyone who was ill was treated. Refugees also received the health services they needed if they were temporarily housed before moving onto to their new community.

Syrian refugees: the second flight

Emotions were high as the second flight of Syrian refugees was greeted by sponsors, family members and volunteers in Montreal.

Sponsor Syrian refugees

There are a few ways to sponsor refugees. Find out which way works best for you.

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