Welcoming Afghan refugees
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Welcoming Afghan refugees

The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan has forced thousands of people to flee the country in recent weeks. In response, the federal government has adopted a special program to protect and resettle Afghan nationals who made a significant contribution to Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan.

People evacuated from Afghanistan by Canada and its allies will arrive in Québec as government-assisted refugees.

Québec’s involvement

The Québec government announced its commitment to the international solidarity effort. At the moment, Québec has received confirmation of a first cohort that could include 300 government-assisted Afghan refugees. The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration (MIFI) is working closely with the federal government to accelerate and facilitate the arrival of refugees in Québec. These people will be welcomed by six cities across Québec where Afghan communities are already present, based on each family’s profile and needs. Other cohorts will follow.

Afghan refugees will first arrive in Toronto where they will have to observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine. In accordance with the measures implemented by Health Canada, they will undergo two COVID-19 screening tests. They will also receive a first dose of the vaccine.

During their stay in Toronto, organizations partnered with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will coordinate the services offered. Québec is working very closely with these organizations to help in welcoming Afghan refugees, providing them with information about Québec and facilitating their arrival in Québec.

Receiving and integrating Afghan refugees in Québec

As soon as they arrive in Québec, Afghan refugees will be received by one of 14 organizations that receive refugees and participate in Québec’s government-assisted refugee program. These organizations have developed expertise in receiving and supporting refugees.

Government-assisted refugees receive a range of integration services specific to their needs as well as financial and material support. Among other things, they receive furniture, appliances, clothes as well as household products and basic food items. Partners of the Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Francisation et de l’Intégration also provide sustained support in finding housing, accessing healthcare, learning French as well as job integration.

Support during settlement

On arrival

  • The MIFI’s airport reception service supports refugees from the time they get off the plane, gives them the necessary documents for their settlement, recovers their baggage with them and escorts them to the transportation service that will take them to their destination city.
  • The reception organization will receive the refugees taken over by the State upon their arrival in their destination city.

During the temporary accommodation period

The organization:

  • informs the people about the steps to take during the first days and the financial and material assistance that can benefit them (settlement package).
  • presents the refugee welfare and physical health evaluation service and organizes the first appointment with the health clinic of the locality that will perform their checkup.

Support and follow-up of approaches

Throughout the first 12 months, the reception organization will follow up regularly with the refugees to ensure the success of their approaches. It will provide them with the necessary encouragement and support to follow them, such as support for financial management, home follow-up visits and conflict mediation.

The first week after arrival, the organization will offer support for the following steps:

  • Opening an account with a financial institution
  • Payment of the settlement package
  • Applying for last resort financial assistance
  • Taking photos and steps to obtain a Québec health insurance card
  • Applying for your social insurance number
  • Applying for the permanent resident card
  • Looking for permanent housing
  • Providing convenience or first aid items, as needed
  • Essential trips related to the first settlement steps.

Moving into permanent housing

The organization:

  • helps with receiving and assembling furniture and household appliances, as needed
  • installs the accessories and puts away the items and household products in the appropriate places
  • presents the features of the dwelling (for example: safety tips, heating, apartment intercom, keys, operation of household appliances)
  • identifies the resources closest to the dwelling.

After moving in

The organization:

  • helps register children for school
  • supports people for the purchase of basic food and clothing products
  • refers people to French courses and other integration services of the Gouvernement du Québec and helps with registration for these courses and services
  • helps complete the forms (Québec family allowances, Canadian tax benefits, Canadian child allowance, GST refund, etc.).

Participating in the solidarity effort

Many Quebecers have manifested their solidarity for Afghan refugees. Individuals, associations or companies wishing to contribute to the reception efforts by offering, for example, housing or a job opportunity can write to the following address: AideRefugiesafghans@mifi.gouv.qc.ca.

The Red Cross has set up a Relief Fund for the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. To make a donation, visit the organization's website.

Useful links

For more information: consult the information webpage of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada devoted to the federal government’s response to the situation in Afghanistan. Also check if special measures for Afghanistan apply to you.

Family reunification: if you have questions or need assistance with the program, contact IRCC.SituationAfghanistan.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.

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Last modification : 2021-10-25
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