The Matching Process

Have you ever wondered how refugees end up living in different parts of Canada?

The Resettlement Operations Centre in Ottawa (ROC-O) works with IRCC visa offices abroad to learn about the background and unique needs of government-assisted refugees coming to Canada.

Working closely with IRCC's regional and local offices, the ROC-O decides which city will best suit each refugee's needs, based on such things as:

  • the language they speak;
  • where family and friends live in Canada;
  • ethnic, cultural and religious communities in the area;
  • medical needs;
  • availability of settlement services.

Refugees come to Canada fleeing hardship and persecution in search of safety and a chance to start a new life. ROC-O will find a community that will let these people connect with a support network that can help them adjust to life in Canada.

Based on the total number of refugees that it will resettle that year, IRCC consults with the provinces and territories to determine the number of refugees each will take. Government-assisted refugees go to any of 23 cities in Canada outside the province of Quebec (which manages its own program under the terms of the Canada-Quebec Accord).

Once a city has been chosen, the ROC-O informs the visa office, and travel arrangements for the refugee are made, usually by the International Organization for Migration. Final arrival details are then shared with the ROC-O, who shares them with local IRCC offices, ports of entry, service-providing organizations and sponsoring groups (if applicable) to help officials prepare for the refugee's arrival.

The highest number of government-assisted refugees are resettled in Ontario, followed by Quebec and Alberta.

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