Canada was one of the founding members of IOM in 1951. Since then, IOM has worked in close collaboration with the Canadian Government, and Canadian organizations and institutions to analyze migration legislation and migration assistance in Canada.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Canada’s interest surrounding issues of migration governance grew and IOM, in conjunction with the Government, worked to promote a comprehensive approach to migration. Between 1952 and 1989, IOM provided assistance to mobilize more than 460,000 people to Canada.
At the end of 2015, the Government of Canada requested IOM to support the Prime Minister’s commitment to admit 25,000 Syrian refugees from the Middle East. IOM quickly deployed logistics and operational staff from around the globe to complete the humanitarian operation which spanned three-months from December 2015 through February 2016. IOM worked closely with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), other relevant government counterparts, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and various implementing partners to register, process and move refugees from Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.
During the operation, IOM arranged for 97 charter flights bound for Canada, arriving at points of entry of Montreal and Toronto. In total, more than 26,000 Syrians travelled under IOM auspices.
Today, IOM has one office in Ottawa, Canada, with principal responsibilities relating to Canada’s Refugee and Humanitarian Resettlement Program.