Frequently Asked Questions
The Refugee Centre's main mission is to create long-lasting, self-sustainable, and creative solutions to refugee integration. You can read more about our aims and objectives and how we work to fulfill them here.
The Refugee Centre has a core organizational team, a legal team and a consistently growing team of interns and volunteers. You can meet our passionate and dedicated employees here.
The Refugee Centre is a registered non-profit organization and not a charity therefore we are not a 501c3.
Since we are not a 501c3, we are unfortunately unable to provide tax receipts for the donations that we receive.
There are three (3) ways to claim refugee status in Canada. First, you will have to register with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) office in your country. They will register you and will be able to help you in your resettlement, if possible. Second, you can get a tourist visa in your country at the Canadian embassy to be able to travel to Canada. Once you land in Canada, you can claim refuge at the border, in the airport. Third, you can get privately sponsored by a group of Canadian citizens in Canada. They will pay for your resettlement if your case is accepted by the Canadian government.
Unfortunately, we do not help asylum seekers and refugees get to Canada. We only provide services to those who are already in Montreal, Canada.
According to the Immigration and Refugee Board, the wait time can go up to 21 months.
The Quebec Selection Certificate (certificat de sélection du Québec), or CSQ, is a document issued by the Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion declaring that the holder has been selected to settle in Quebec. With a CSQ, the applicant can apply for Canadian permanent residence. This document is not a permanent residence visa. The CSQ is valid for 24 months or until Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) makes a decision on a Canadian permanent residence application. For more information and to apply, consult this page.
A permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada, but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries. A person in Canada temporarily, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident. Refugees who are resettled from overseas become permanent residents through the Government-Assisted Refugee Program or the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program.
Someone who makes a refugee claim in Canada does not become a permanent resident at that time. To become one, the Immigration and Refugee Board must first approve their claim. Then, they must apply for and get permanent resident status. For more information and to apply, consult this page.
The Safe Third Country Agreement between Canada and the United States (U.S.) is part of the U.S.–Canada Smart Border Action Plan. Since 2004, under the Agreement, refugee claimants are required to request refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they qualify for an exception to the Agreement. This Agreement applies to refugees claims made at the Canada-U.S. land border crossings, by train or at airports.This means that you must claim refuge in Canada if you arrive in Canada first, or in the U.S. if you arrive there first. This also means that if the U.S. has rejected your request for refugee protection, you cannot claim refuge in Canada. However, there is a loophole. Irregular crossings are not included in the Agreement. This is why we are seeing many asylum seekers crossing Canada from the U.S., in between official ports of entry.
Yes, we offer French, English and IELTS classes. In addition to these, we also have English and French conversation circles. You can find more details about the classes on this page.
Our classes are for refugees, asylum seekers, students at Concordia University and new immigrants. If you correspond to one of the above, there is only a deposit to pay at the beginning of classes that you will get back if you attend all classes. If you do not correspond to one of the status above, there is a fee of 50$ to attend some of the classes. You can have more information on this page.
We can help you with that. You will need to book an appointment here. One of our personnel will contact you by email or by phone as soon as possible to set up a meeting and discuss your situation.
To apply to a bursary, you will need to fill out some forms and send us a few documents by email. Consult this page for more details about the steps to take and to access the forms. Please note that our bursaries are reserved to refugees living in Montreal and who are applying to Concordia University. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No, but we can help you in finding where you can do so. In order to help you, you will have to book an appointment with us. To book an appointment with an academic adviser, click here.
Asylum seekers can definitely sign up to any of our classes. There is a deposit to pay at the beginning of classes that you will get back if you attend all classes.
Unfortunately, we do not accept clothes and furnitures as donations, since we do not provide housing services as of now. You can contact the Salvation Army, YWCA or Renaissance for these kinds of donations. However, we do accept school books as donations, to give to refugees who are going back to school. Please contact email@example.com.
We are always looking for new collaboration opportunities with community members! There are a few ways to collaborate. First, we can collaborate on one of our events. We can discuss partnership or sponsorship possibilities for our fundraiser, hackathon and other community events. Second, we could work together on one of our classes or workshops. As a partner or a sponsor, you could help us offer one of our language classes, our employability workshops or our coding bootcamp. For further details, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are always looking for new collaboration opportunities with our fellow community organizations. There are many ways we can collaborate, be it through the organization of an event, a workshop or a class. To discuss how we can collaborate, please contact email@example.com.
We can certainly help you in your job search. There are a few ways we can help you. First, you can sign up to our employability training program, that will help you understand the job market in Montreal and create a CV. Second, you can fill out this form in order to get an appointment with one of our personnel in this field.
If you are an asylum seeker in Canada, you will need a work permit in order to hold a job. If you are not sure if you need one, consult this website.
There are two types of work permits. First, there is the employer-specific work permit, which allows you to work according to the conditions listed on your work permit. These conditions include the name of the employer you will work for, the duration of your employment and the location of your workplace.
The second type is the open work permit. This permit allows you to work for almost any employer in Canada. You can consult this website to verify your eligibility for an open work permit. If you are unsure about the kind of work permit you need, you can answer a few questions here to find out.
You can apply for a work permit online or by mail. To learn how to apply, you can consult this website and follow all of the steps. As easy as that!
Since we are not a 501c3, we are unfortunately unable to provide tax receipts for the donations that we receive.
We do help entrepreneurs understand the market in Montreal and build their own businesses. We are partners with the social innovation catalyst DevBloc, which helps entrepreneurs like you get started in Canada. For more information about DevBloc and to book an appointment to discuss your situation, visit this page.
Mental health is one’s psychosocial state and overall sense of wellbeing. It is equally important to physical health, yet often not given the same amount of time and energy. Someone with good mental health would seldom experience stress, anxiety, depression, or other negative thought patterns or distress. Mental health should not negatively impact one’s everyday life. However, mental health can go up and down depending on your situation and state of mind. It is important to take care of our mental health because it can impact our productivity, our relationships, and our overall quality of life.
At an individual wellness support session, expect an open and safe environment where you can talk freely about your mental wellbeing and any challenges you may be having. Staff will not treat or diagnose you - we are simply here to listen, provide strategies to help with common challenges, and connect you to professionals if you wish.
Practicing self-care is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. Ensure you are sleeping enough, eating well, and setting boundaries between your work life, family life, and personal life. Develop a strong support circle and do not be afraid to reach out for help. Examples of simple things you can do to help your mental health could be taking a walk in nature, exercise, meditation, journal, baking, or reaching out to a friend.
If you find yourself struggling in your day to day life because of stress, anxiety, sadness, isolation, feelings of being overwhelmed or fearful, then you might need professional support. If you feel as though your mental health is impacting your day-to-day life, and you are periodically in periods of crisis or distress, then it is better to reach out for support and speak to someone rather than waiting for things to get worse.
It would be our pleasure to meet you. Please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, explaining who you are, your mission, and the reason you would like to meet us. We will discuss how we can collaborate.
To book an appointment with our lawyer, click here.
To book an appointment with an academic adviser, click here. Be sure to present yourself at the date and time you signed up for.
To book an appointment to discuss employment orientation, click here. Be sure to present yourself at the date and time you signed up for.
You can find details on how to opt out here.
We offer programming workshops in partnership with DevBloc. For information about the workshops and schedule, you can consult this website. We also offer an employability training program, which will help participants understand the job market in Montreal, develop new skills and build their CV. For information about the program and schedule, you can consult this page.
We host different events throughout the year. In the summer, we hold our annual fundraiser, which is 3 on 3 basketball tournaments. In autumn, we hold a hackathon that is focused on hacking social causes. For instance, last year we collaborated with UNHCR Canada to host our hackathon. During wintertime, we host a career fair in Concordia’s EV atrium.
There are many ways to contribute to these events. First, you can team up with your friends and sign up a team to our basketball tournaments or our hackathon. Second, you can become a sponsor by providing material or monetary support to these events. Third, you can become our partner and organize events with us. For more information about ways to contribute to our events, you can email email@example.com.