The Committee was just advised that the applications have cleared the first major hurdle. Here is what the notification said:

Visa Office: Beirut

Expected Final Destination: Ottawa, ON

 Dear Sponsors and Principal Applicant,

This email confirms that your sponsorship application under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program has been approved. In other words, the sponsors have proven they have the financial and settlement support capacity to sponsor.

The file will now be transferred to the appropriate visa office overseas where a decision will be made on the refugee’s application for permanent residence.

There is no indication of how long this next step will take but this is major progress and the timing is so important as the family in Beirut were becoming very discouraged. This will buoy the family spirits and hopes hugely.  Everyone is hopeful that the next step will be shorter that this one has been.

In the interim the ITC is proceeding with fundraisers to support the family in Beirut while they wait for clearance.  The  Art and Photo Sale will take place on December 16th and has grown to over 50 pieces, many from well-known local and professional painters and photographers.

The ITC is also seeking 50 people who will donate $5.00 weekly for 12 weeks for a total of $3000.00, enough to cover rent for the family of 7 for a period of 3 months. Hopefully, by then they will be on their way to Riverview Park!