Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia

ISANS provides and coordinates opportunities for the community to contribute to welcoming and settling Syrian refugee in Nova Scotia.

For Government Assisted Refugees:

 Arrival Activities: 
- Meet and greet client at airport.
- Arrange transportation to temporary accommodations.
- Provide basic hotel orientation.
- Conduct initial RAP interview.
- Provide orientation on federal and provincial Programs.
- Provide cultural orientation on topics such as personal hygiene, social interaction and expectations of client.
- Explain financial entitlement to client.
- Escort client to CIC Halifax for financial Interview.
- Conduct financial orientation session, including escorting client to bank to open bank account.

Permanent Accommodation Activities:
- Make arrangements for apartment viewings.
- Provide information session on apartment leasing/renting and connecting utilities.
- Accompany client when signing apartment lease.
- Provide information session on shopping for furniture and other household needs.
- Escort client from temporary accommodation to permanent accommodation.
- Assist client in the purchasing of furniture and grocery shopping. - Establish client in apartment and provide orientation on apartment living. -
Referral to ISIS case worker who will assist client in applying for NS health card, social insurance number, Canada child tax benefit and any other appropriate federal or provincial programs.

Client Referrals:
- Provide detailed orientation on apartment living.
- Book an appointment for Canadian Language Benchmark Assessment (CLBA) and escort client to appointment.
- Provide detailed orientation on neighbourhood, transportation, youth services, recreation, religious facilities and other services available in the community.

Assessment and Exit Interview:  
- Meet with client to develop an action plan for when RAP income support ends.
- Make referrals to other ISANS programs and settlement services including child care, orientation, employment services, education and training.
- Make referrals to other community resources.
- Have the client complete a client satisfaction questionnaire

For Private Refugee Sponsorship

There is a well-documented need for Private Refugee Sponsorship in Nova Scotia, now more than ever. Private Refugee Sponsorship is a commitment by a group of individuals to sponsor and support persons, determined to be refugees within international and Canadian criteria, as permanent residents of this country.

This support includes accommodation, clothing and food, as well as emotional and significant settlement assistance. In recent years, the submission of applications through ISANS private sponsorship program has grown from 11 applications in 2011 to 89 applications in 2014.

The humanitarian crisis in Syria has seen the majority of resettled Syrian refugees come to Canada through private sponsorship. ISANS work with the Canadian-Syrian community in Nova Scotia has expanded to include one-on-one meetings with sponsors and tailored workshops. As this community is new to the roles and responsibilities of refugee sponsorship, they require greater levels of support in order to bring their relatives out of the conflict zone.

The Private Refugee Sponsorship program provides information, resources and support to groups and individuals interested in the sponsorship of refugees and builds awareness in the community. Information is provided through individual intake meetings as well as in group training sessions and public presentations.

Clients are referred to this program through: former clients, partners from faith and ethno-cultural groups, ISANS staff, volunteers, interpreters and life skill workers, as well as Pro-Bono law students, other Sponsorship Agreement Holders (SAH) and community agencies such as the ARIS Salvation Army Project and the Halifax Refugee Clinic.

The program coordinator also collaborates with SAHs in Nova Scotia and across Canada in the sharing of
allocations, resources, referrals and information.
Activities include:
• community presentations on Private Refugee Sponsorship (PSR)
• workshops on either Refuge Sponsorship or Refugee Resettlement
• Submission of family-linked application for approximately 50 people
• Submission of Visa-Office Referred (VOR) applications for approximately 5 people
• new intake meetings with relatives interested in PSR
• follow-up meetings with relatives interested in PSR
• meetings with individuals and groups interested in VOR sponsorship
• Settlement support to newly arrived families / individuals and their sponsors
• Establishment of new Constituent Groups
• Monitoring and providing support for applicants overseas, including: monitoring and updating files, providing
information and support to NS relatives, maintaining contact with overseas partners
• Support for other sponsorship cases (including JAS, secondary migrants and other SAHs).

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