By: Valerie Johnston

Canada’s immigration sponsorship policies are by and large very welcoming, according to research surveys conducted by the CIC. During the course of 2016, immigrants from Syria and other areas around the world were asked about their experiences coming to Canada. While there were some shocking – and illegal – practices brought to light, the overwhelming majority of refugees reported that they felt a deep connection to both their sponsor family, and to the nation of Canada.

One concerning fact was the report that around 23% of Syrian refugees paid their sponsor or sponsor family to help them get into the country. This practice is illegal, and none of the reports mentioned how much any refugee family paid to any private sponsorship group. Immigration spokespeople stated that ongoing investigations were happening to take a closer look at the matter.

Syrians are not the only refugee group who had been asked to pay, according to the survey. About 19 out of 451 respondents from other nations reported the same experience. However, the remainder of the survey results were largely very positive. More than 90% of immigrants surveyed were very pleased with their ability to become self-sufficient in Canada in a short period of time, after their initial 12 months of government aid expired.

Of those who were not so pleased, the majority were between the ages of 18 to 21, who had not been able to complete basic education due to their life in Syria, and who felt that they were too old to continue education in Canada. This group is a specific concern going forward with new immigration and support policies according to the study released by the CIC.