The Almastou family, selected by Revelstoke for Refugees to become the community’s first Syrian refugees, may not arrive here until sometime this autumn — months later than their anticipated arrival this spring.
“As for anticipating a May arrival date, the processing time of 9 months is an estimate only and may be optimistic,” Gail Hunnisett, a constituency assistant to MP Wayne Stetski (NDP – Kootenay Columbia) said in a recent e-mail to Revelstoke for Refugees. “We know that there are so many applications to sponsor refugees that IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) has stopped accepting applications. Unfortunately at this time there is no way to provide you with a definite date for the family’s arrival.”
Revelstoke for Refugees had been told that the family may be here in May, but the refugee-sponsorship program can be slow.
“As I am sure you know, the application is a two-stage process,” Hunnisett said. “The initial assessment is to ensure that the sponsors meet all the sponsorship requirements . The next stage is to review documents to determine that all members of the family meet IRCC eligibility requirements for sponsored refugees.”
She said Revelstoke for Refugees sponsorship of the Almastou family, who have been in a Jordanian refugee camp, has been finalized and approved.
“The assessment of the application and relevant documents is currently in processing at the Canadian visa office in Amman, Jordan. If additional information or documents are required, the visa office will contact the family directly.”
Revelstoke for Refugees has ready to accept the Almastou family for may months. They have a house and more than $60,000 in the bank to support them. However, the process is slower than expected.