Immigrant Welcome Centre

 

Free Professional Services for Immigrants & Newcomers

What the Immigrant Welcome Centre Does: 

Experts in immigrant services since 1992, the Immigrant Welcome Centre assists newcomers to Canada to successfully settle in our communities by offering help with housing, access to government and local services, education, and employment as well as assistance in navigating the path to Citizenship.  We also coordinate several initiatives that address diversity and inclusiveness including the annual Walk Away From Racism and the Welcoming Communities Coalition.

 

 

 

 

The Immigrant Welcome Centre is not directly involved in bringing immigrants or refugees to our communities. Once refugees or other immigrants arrive, we can directly assist them with their settlement needs. We are also collaborating with refugee sponsoring groups and supporting them.

 

It is important to note that at this time, we don’t know how many refugees will arrive in our area, when they will arrive or exactly what their needs will be. We expect this information will unfold over the next few months.

 

The Government of Canada recently announced its commitment to welcome 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by the end of February 2016. These refugees will be resettled to Canada either as Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs),Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs), or Blended Visa Office-Referred Refugees (BVORs).

  • PSRs are sponsored by community groups or small groups of private citizens and permanent residents, resettling to the communities where their sponsors live. Sponsors provide income support for 12 months from the sponsored refugees’ arrival in Canada or until they become self-sufficient, whichever comes first.
  • GARs are supported through their first year of integration by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP). GARs are provided with income support for up to one year after arrival, or until they become self-sufficient – whichever comes first.   They are destined to communities that have specialized supports in place to help refugees adjust to life in Canada. There are currently 23 communities with IRCC-funded service provider organizations (SPOs) in place to provide the services refugees need (outside of Quebec) upon arrival.
  • BVORs are refugees identified for resettlement by UNHCR and are matched with private sponsors in Canada by Canadian Visa Officers. BVORs receive start-up and up to six months of income support from their sponsoring group, and the remaining six months income support from IRCC through the Resettlement Assistance Program.

 

Local Refugee Support Groups:

 

Campbell River Syrian Refugee Support Committee  

A private refugee sponsorship community group, or constituent group, has partnered with a local family originally from Syria to try to bring 13 members of their extended family as refugees to safety in Canada. The committee must raise $150,000 as part of its sponsorship commitment. It also must help the refugees with their basic needs upon arrival including housing, education, transportation, medical needs, etc. They are also looking for in-kind donations and volunteers. Contact them at:

 

Mary Cook

Phone:  250-923-0252

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Campbell-River-Syrian-Refugee-Support-Committee-512325562260041/

 

Comox Valley Refugee Support Committee

A private refugee sponsorship community group, or constituent group, is working to bring a Syrian family to the Comox Valley.  Contact them at:

 

Caron Mulgrew

Phone: 250-338-4136

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/syrianrefugeesupportcommittee/

 or

Valerie Macdonald

Phone: 250-339-0280

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Sign up to donate goods or volunteer:

You can contact one of the local groups listed above to make donations or offer help. Alternatively, to help manage a potentially large volume of calls, we have set up an online database to collect information. Please note that this information may be shared with other immigrant/refugee serving organizations in our region.

 

It is important to understand that at this time, we don’t know how many refugees will arrive in our area, when they will arrive or exactly what their needs will be. We expect this information will unfold over the next few months. It may be some time before you are contacted regarding your offer of help.

https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form?EQBCT=f06a733ced694aa4827eed6a21cf9f67

 

More information about refugees: 

Understanding the refugee settlement process:
http://issbc.org/prim-corp-nav/our-work-with-refugees/Refugees-big-picture   cic syrian refugees

 

Information on sponsoring refugees:

 

AMSSA (Affiliation of Multicultural Societies and Service Agencies of BC)