Resettlement of Syrians from Lebanon to Canada Passes 8,000


Lebanon - IOM Lebanon, in conjunction with the Governments of Canada and Lebanon, UNHCR and other implementing partners, has moved over 8,200 Syrian refugees to Canada as part of an ongoing resettlement operation.

The Government of Canada announced their decision to resettle 25,000 Syrians to Canada in December 2015. IOM offices in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have all been involved in movement operations.

The resettlement process involves several steps, all of which require close coordination between IOM, the Governments of Canada and Lebanon and other implementing agencies.

Most people are registered by UNHCR as refugees and then are referred to IOM for resettlement. Others are privately sponsored by a close relative already living in Canada.

For both types of resettlement applicants – UNHCR referred and privately sponsored refugees – the Canadian Government carries out thorough interviews and background checks before issuing visas.

IOM organizes the movement of refugees from cities outside Beirut to the processing center for the UNHCR referred cases. It also organizes the logistics of the flights to Canada for all the refugees.

Severe winter weather in the past week has made it particularly difficult for IOM to transport refugees across the mountains from eastern Lebanon to Beirut for processing. It has also exacerbated medical conditions that affect refugees’ ability to travel.

IOM resettlement operations in Beirut are set to continue through February.

“We would like to thank the Government of Canada for the way they have treated us, and we ask that they keep taking people in. This is a very important program,” said Khaled, a refugee from Aleppo, who will be resettled in Montreal.

“My brothers and sisters are living in Canada, and we will be joining them. That will make life a bit easier. I will be able to offer a brighter future to my children,” said Siba, who is being resettled in Canada with her two children.

For more information, please go to Read more stories of resettlement to Canada at For further information, please contact Jennifer Sparks at IOM Cairo, Tel: +20 1024938965, Email:

Syrian refugees collect Canada culture kits on arrival. Photo: Government of Canada