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A refugee is a person who is forced to leave their home country for fear of persecution. There are 2 types of refugees:

Convention refugee

A convention refugee is a person that is outside of their country of origin and have a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. They have been given permission by the Immigration and Refugee Board to stay in Canada.

If you are a convention refugee, you can receive services free of charge to help you live, learn and work in Peel. See the full list of Settlement Agencies that can help.

Refugee claimant

A refugee claimant is a person that has applied for refugee status while in Canada and is waiting for the Immigration and Refugee Board to determine whether or not refugee status should be given.

If you are a refugee claimant, you can receive services free of charge to help with your immigration process. To find the full list of where you can receive assistance, please check the Settlement Agencies in Peel.

You can learn more about Refugee Programs on the Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Helping Syrian Refugees

There are several ways you can help Syrian refugees settle in Peel. 

Health related resources:

  • Interim Federal Health Program - information sheet from IRCC (formerly CIC) for newly arriving Syrian refugees and sponsors
  • Syrian refugee health care options in Ontario - information sheet about OHIP and how to access other health services
  • Temporary medical clinics in the GTA for Syrian refugees
  • Mental Health Syrian Refugee Support Line (Peel) - 905-363-6131 ext. 1810
  • Refugee Health Line - 1-866-286-4770 - you can call this number to find a health service provider who can help with initial medical assessments and referrals to other health services. This is not an emergency or crisis line.

For more information from the Government of Canada, visit