Refugees - Frequently Asked Questions
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Refugees - Frequently Asked Questions

Who are the refugees?

There are different kinds of refugees. In this situation Windsor is expecting both Government Assisted Refugees (GARs) and Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs). GARs are financially supported by the federal government for their first year in Canada and PSRs are supported through private groups or individuals. Upon arrival, they become permanent residents in Canada and are able to access all services and programs.

What is the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program?

The Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) Program matches refugees referred for resettlement by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) with private sponsors in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), in consultation with the Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) community, will identify the populations that can be sponsored through the BVOR Program.

The goal is to engage in a three-way partnership between the government of Canada, the UNHCR and private sponsors.

Under the BVOR Program, the government of Canada will provide up to six months of income support through the Resettlement Assistance Program (RAP), while private sponsors will provide another six months of financial support, start-up costs and up to a year of social and emotional support.

If a group decides to sponsor a refugee, they must send an email to the Matching Centre ( and copy the Refugee Sponsorship Training Program ( The Matching Centre will give the sponsor the necessary information to fill out the Undertaking/Application to Sponsor (IMM 5373).   

Where will they be coming from?  

They will be coming from United Nations camps in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan where initial personal and health screenings are already underway. From there they will come to Toronto and Montreal; then they will travel to their respective new homes.

Who is leading this operation in Windsor Essex?

The integration of the Syrian refugees will be shared across many agencies and organizations including the City of Windsor and the County of Essex. The lead agency for initial orientation of refugees through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is the Multi-Cultural Council. Other settlement agencies in Windsor and Essex County will also be engaged.

Where are settlement agencies located in Windsor Essex?

To help you find where settlement agencies are located, try our new
MappMyCity app, which allows you to view all settlement agencies in Windsor Essex County. When the map has loaded, please select the "Settlement Agency" layer at the top of the menu on the left side of the page.
A list can also be found at

Which other cities in Canada are helping?

The Canadian government has pledged to take in up to 25,000 Syrian refugees across Canada. They will be integrated into 36 cities and towns across the country.

While decisions are not finalized, a map released by the federal government shows a representation of communities where private sponsors have put forth an application for a Syrian refugee.  See map showing PSRs.

Have the refugees been vetted for security concerns?

Yes. There have been several screening checkpoints first in the United Nations camps and then by the federal government.

Have the refugees been vetted for health concerns?

Yes, they have and will be vetted in the United Nations camps and again in Toronto and Montreal.

What will the refugees do when they get here?

To ensure a successful transition, the first several months are very important. They will receive an orientation to the community, the culture and transportation. In addition, there will be language assessments, integration into the community and connection to local family and friends, and children will be placed in school. Primarily their time will be spent  learning about their new home.

What will the refugees need in the way of food and clothes, toiletries?

The following items are very important when setting up a new home:

  • Dishes (plates, bowls, mugs, glasses, cutlery)
  • Basic kitchen utensils (e.g., knives, can opener, measuring cups, etc.)
  • Pots and pans and fry pans
  • Small kitchen appliances such as toaster, kettle, coffee maker
  • Cleaning items
  • Bedding for single and double beds 
  • Warm blankets
  • New pillows  

All of these items should be very gently used or new.

Most have left their home with nothing, so they will need clothes, toiletries, toys, etc. - anything a Canadian who has nothing would need.