2.B Sponsors: From Mobilization to Engagement
B.6 What steps do sponsors need to take to prepare for the refugees’ arrival?
(ii) When and how are sponsors notified of the refugees’ date of arrival?
How Canada Does It
The Government of Canada aims to provide sponsors with at least ten working days’ notice of the refugees’ travel and arrival details. Canada sends a Notice of Arrival to the sponsoring group as well as the local immigration office where the refugees will resettle. The Notice of Arrival provides the date of arrival and flight details of the refugees, as well as other details including the names of sponsors, onward travel arrangements to final destinations, and any special needs (e.g., wheelchair required).
The Notice of Arrival contains sensitive personal information that should be treated appropriately if shared with external partners (e.g. other levels of Government, third-party service providers, etc.). See 2.A.2(vii) for more information about Canada’s policies on sharing data between actors.
Issuance of the Notice of Arrival depends on when the travel arrangements are finalized, which can be difficult to control or predict. Canada and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) coordinate to ensure that sponsors receive a minimum of ten days’ notice of the refugees’ arrival date so that they have sufficient time to make final preparations to welcome sponsored refugees in their new communities. In some cases – e.g. large movements to Canada – it may be difficult for Canada and IOM to meet the ten-day goal due to increased pressures on processing resources.
Because refugee processing can be lengthy and complex, it is important to provide sponsors with the most accurate information possible to ensure they can make appropriate arrangements. For example, if notice is provided too early, sponsors may arrange for accommodation that remains vacant for many months prior to the refugees’ arrival. Conversely, with too little notice sponsors can be caught unprepared to welcome sponsored refugees.