Minister Fraser meets with Afghan newcomers  and settlement services organizations in Alberta

Minister Fraser meets with Afghan newcomers  and settlement services organizations in Alberta

News release

March 18, 2022—Ottawa, Ontario – The Government of Canada is working hard to resettle at least 40,000 Afghan nationals as quickly and safely as possible. Canada has now welcomed over 9,400 Afghan refugees, with more arriving every week.

This week, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, travelled to Alberta to meet with Resettlement Assistance Program service provider organizations (RAP SPOs), stakeholders, Afghan newcomers and Afghan human rights defenders. The visit provided an opportunity for Minister Fraser to see first-hand the contributions of key partners who are working to resettle Afghan refugees in their new communities.

While in Calgary, Minister Fraser toured a point-of-entry hotel where Afghan refugees stay when they arrive in Canada, before relocating to communities across the country. There, he did a walk-through of the check-in process and visited a pop-up medical clinic for refugees. He also met with Fariborz Birjandian, Chief Executive Officer at the Calgary Catholic Immigration Society (CCIS), a RAP SPO that has been instrumental in welcoming Afghan refugees in Alberta and providing them with essential services within the first weeks of their arrival. In his discussions with Mr. Birjandian, Minister Fraser heard more about settlement and newcomer outreach services offered by the CCIS, including welcoming refugees at the airport upon arrival, supporting refugee children in the school system and helping refugees secure and retain employment.

In Edmonton, Minister Fraser met with Afghan human rights defenders who arrived in Canada in January 2022. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada launched the human rights defenders immigration stream in July 2021 to complement the Special Immigration Measures for Afghan nationals. Canada is one of the few countries in the world with a dedicated, permanent immigration program for those who protect and promote human rights.

While in Edmonton, Minister Fraser took part in a soccer match with Afghan children and met with newly arrived families.

Photos of previous Afghan arrivals are available in Dropbox for use by media. You can also monitor Canada’s progress on welcoming Afghan refugees to Canada.


“I would like to thank Albertans for their warm welcome and for the opportunity to hear the joys and challenges of the incredible work that communities and businesses are doing to support newcomers to Canada. I was especially happy to have met Afghan newcomers in person and welcome them home, and I was inspired by the stories of how they overcame so many obstacles and are now building a new life in Canada.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • Over 1,600 Afghan newcomers have settled in Alberta between August 2021 and February 2022.

  • In recent days, 294 privately sponsored Afghan refugees arrived in Toronto and 330 government-assisted Afghan refugees arrived in Calgary.

  • The CCIS established a National Afghan Steering Committee with representatives from service providers across the country. They help ensure a safe and efficient integration experience for Afghan arrivals through their Afghan Resettlement Programs.

Associated links


Contacts for media only

Aidan Strickland
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Source: IRCC Source URL: Disclaimer: Unlock Immigration automatically imported this from IRCC for ease of access. We did not edit, curate or amend the content in any way. All rights reserved to IRCC.


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