Two hands hold aa cardboard sign with the words "Families belong together" written on it in black.

What is Family Reunification and the One Year Window (OYW) program?

Many refugees have been separated from family members for years and are eager to be reunited. It is a longstanding principle of Canadian immigration that families should be together, and Operation #NotForgotten works with refugees wherever possible to ensure that family members (even those who are not able to travel to Canada with the refugee) are included as part of the application.

If family members are not able to accompany the refugee when they come to Canada, for example, the refugee was detained on Manus or Nauru but his family remained in the country from which he fled, then there may be the possibility for eligible family members to apply to Canada through the “One Year Window” provision. Eligible family members include a spouse or common-law partner (including same-sex partners) and any dependent children aged 22 or under at the time the application is submitted. Unfortunately, married children, siblings and parents are not considered eligible family members under Canadian law. The details of all eligible family members must be listed on the refugee’s application (they will be listed as “non-accompanying”). After the refugee arrives, MOSAIC will apply as soon as possible for eligible family members to be brought to Canada, with Canadian immigration allowing up to one year for that application to be submitted.

Syrian refugee family reunification
Syrian Family Reunification

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