Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question we haven’t answered, please send us an email.

When will the family get here?

This chart shows what happens after the application is submitted to Immigration, Citizenship, and Refugees Canada (IRCC). If the family’s application is accepted, and they pass all the screening, they will likely be here by the spring of 2021. But this is unpredictable. They could arrive later, or as early as summer 2020.

1. Application Acceptance

IRCC assigns a file number, and reviews the application for errors or omissions

2. Application Review

Application is sent to the visa office where the family is living

The application is reviewed to see if the refugee claim is valid

The family's story is checked against known information about the situation in the home country

We may have to send additional documentation

3. Family Interview

The family is called into the visa office

They are asked detailed questions about their application

A decision is made on acceptance to Canada or not

4. Medical and Security Screening

The family is seen by a doctor to ensure they pose no medical risk and/or have no health needs to address during travel

Security services take biometric data and do a final, thorough background check

5. Travel to Canada

The International Organization for migration will:
- arrange exit visa
- get the family flights to Canada
- guide them through immigration upon arrival

Team Sooke greets them at the Victoria airport

 

All through this process we will be keeping in touch with the family to help them keep their spirits up, work on their English, and learn a little about Canada.

Why does it take so long?

IRCC reports that at any given moment there are approximately 40,000 private sponsorship applications in the queue. They are working to speed up the process, and have a goal to process private sponsorships within 18 months. We have heard of some recent cases coming through a year earlier than expected.

Can you tell us more about the family?

For the sake of the family's safety and privacy, we cannot tell you any details that might make it possible to identify them. But we can tell you about the situation in Sudan that forced them to flee, and why they cannot return.

Since 1983 the successive governments of Sudan have defined the country as a Sunni Muslim and Arab nation with a constitution based on Sharia law. According to reliable sources such as the United Nations, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Médecins Sans Frontières, this has meant decades of marginalization, persecution, and genocide for minority religious and ethnic groups, including:

  • Generalized prejudice regarding opportunities for work and education
  • Illegal arrest, detention, torture, and murder
  • Targeting of civilians in retaliation for rebel activities--specifically bombing and ground attacks of rural villages and refusing to allow humanitarian aid agencies access to those in need

The family we hope to sponsor has suffered brutal treatment at the hands of the authorities due to their faith and ethnicity, and have been caught in the cross-fire of civil war. What they have experienced has been compared by some to the Rwandan genocide. The family would literally be facing a death sentence if they returned to Sudan.

The family are now living as refugees in Egypt in relative safety, but have no future. They can never settle as citizens, they may only work in the lowest-paying domestic jobs, and their children have no access to public education.

In early April 2019, protests against mis-management of the economy and corruption lead to a military coup in Sudan. Widespread civil unrest throughout the country has followed. With Sudan even less stable than it was before, there is little chance of peace or an improvement in the human rights situation any time in the near future.

For the sake of the family’s safety and privacy, we cannot tell you any details that might make it possible to identify them. But we can tell you about the situation in Sudan that forced them to flee.

The president of Sudan has publicly stated his desire to create a Sunni Muslim and Arab nation with a constitution based on Sharia law. The treatment of ethnic and religious minorities under his leadership has led him to be charged by the International Criminal Court with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.

The following have been well-documented by UNHCR, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and a host of other respected organizations:
- Generalized prejudice regarding opportunities for work and education for ethnic and religious minorities
- Illegal arrest, detention, torture, and murder of religious and ethnic minorities
- Targeting of civilians in retaliation for rebel activities, specifically bombing and attacking rural villages

The family we hope to sponsor had to flee Sudan because of their faith and ethnic background. They are now living as refugees in Egypt, where they face similar discrimination.

Will they stay in Sooke?

We hope so. But we always remember our purpose is to help the family gain back what they have lost: the ability to live freely and determine their own future. One thing we know for certain from our first sponsorship is that the warm welcome our communities give to newcomers is a solid base from which to begin their new lives. We are still in touch with the first family we sponsored and they continue to thank us for the support they received here.