Family Reunification

The Community Refugee Fund addresses Family Reunification as a model for offering support to refugee claimants and their families. Below is a diagram that shows how Family Reunification works and the costs involved, detailing a true refugee claimant experience. This family reunification took seven years (from when the mother first arrived in Canada until her spouse and three children joined her in Canada).
  • Total cost for this family’s reunification $40,230.00
  • The mother was working and able to pay $30,350.00
  • The SNJM Community Refugee Fund paid $9,880.00
<strong>Police Certificates:</strong><br>Canada requires a criminal records check for each person over 18 from each country where the applicants have resided  for more than six months. <strong>Passports:</strong><br>Immigration Canada requires a current passport from their country of origin for each family member coming to Canada. Sometimes this requirement is waived when it is too dangerous for family members outside of Canada to return to their homeland country. <strong>Phone Cards:</strong><br>Extremely important to ensure instructions are fully understood by the family members overseas, for completing their  Immigration Canada forms and gathering all the required documentation.  Also, it is very important to maintain regular, frequent  emotional connection between parents and children when separated for long periods of time <strong>Application Fees:</strong><br>For this family the fee was $550 each (for a refugee woman in Canada, and spouse outside of Canada ) and $150 each (for their three children). <strong>Courier Services:</strong><br>Reliable service to send valuable documents, medical and DNA results, certified photos etc.,  is extremely important.  Postal service within some countries (particularly outside of large cities) is not reliable. <strong>Acquiring documents:</strong><br>A fee paid to obtain certified copies of documents needed. <strong>Interpreters:</strong><br>Needed to read instructions re: applications, medicals, etc. were not needed by this family, but can be by others. <strong>Medicals:</strong><br>Immigration medicals are required for spouse and/or dependent children to be granted entry to Canada.  Often, the refugees need to travel by train, bus or plane in their country of residence  to get to the doctors approved by Canada Immigration for these medicals. <strong>DNA Tests:</strong><br>Immigration Canada now requires this test to verify parent-child biological relationship. <strong>Translations:</strong><br>For documents (birth and marriage certificates, etc.) that are not in English or French were not  needed for this family, but may be for others. <strong>Air Fare:</strong><br>the Community Refugee Fund paid for four plane tickets to bring  these family members to Canada. <strong>Food and Other Basic Needs:</strong><br>The mother sent money each month to help pay for food, rent and school costs for her children. Immigration deems dependent children eligible to bring to Canada if proof of full-time attendance at a government  approved school in their current country of residence.


The Community Refugee Fund is currently held 'In Trust' by the Sisters of the Holy Names in Windsor, Ontario.