Welcoming Syrian privately sponsored refugees (PSR) for applications received by March 31, 2016

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Welcoming Syrian privately sponsored refugees to Canada infographic (PDF, 281.26KB)


Refugees are most often identified by family or friends already in Canada. Sponsorship applications are submitted to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

All completed PSR applications submitted before March 31, 2016 have been processed by the Centralized Processing Office in Winnipeg and have been sent overseas for processing.

Immigration Interview

Identity is confirmed and refugees are interviewed by Canadian immigration officials. Protection and special needs are determined. Many interviews for this group have already been completed. Those that are remaining will be completed in the coming months.

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

Applications finalized

Final processing is completed and the 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 (in most cases).
  • Refugees prepare and pack for their flight.

Leaving for Canada

Private sponsors are advised generally 10-business days in advance of the arrival of their sponsored refugee(s).


  • Refugees arrive in Canada and become permanent residents upon arrival.
  • Privately sponsored refugees are supported by their sponsors who help them adjust to life in Canada.

General timeline for arrival in Canada

  • Security screening/medical exam (concurrent): 1-2 months
  • Final processing: 1-2 months
  • Transportation/Leaving for Canada: 1-2 months
  • Total time: 3-6 months

Processing times can vary as each case is unique. Cases where there is a need for additional security or medical screening may take longer.

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