Canada announces the Syrian Family Links initiative


The Government of Canada has recently started a new program to help Syrian refugees unite with their Canadian relatives. Syrian Family Links was launched to help connect Syrian refugees abroad with private Canadian sponsors through the help of the refugee’s family in Canada.

“Our goal, with initiatives like Family Links, is to make it easier for private sponsors to help unite Syrian refugees with their family members here in Canada,” John McCallum, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship said. Through this program, Syrians in Canada can identify family members who are refugees in Lebanon, Jordan or Turkey and help link them with local sponsorship groups in Canada who are seeking someone to sponsor.


Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) partnered with Catholic Crosscultural Services (CCS) to help reunite members of the Syrian community in Canada with family members who are refugees but do not have the means to sponsor them.

Through its Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP), CCS will put sponsors in contact with Syrian refugees. Family members in Canada and potential sponsors will then be responsible for discussing general terms of sponsorship.

Once sponsorship terms are agreed upon, the sponsor will submit an application under the IRCC’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees program. Refugees will be subject to the same screening criteria as all privately sponsored refugees (PSRs).

Both groups can register for the Family Links initiative through the RSTP.