Huge drop in refugee arrivals in BC in 2017, but numbers expected to increase

THE number of Government-Assisted Refugees (GAR) that arrived in BC last year – 692 – was about a third of the 1,911 that arrived in 2016. But numbers are expected to increase over the next three years from 900 to 1,200 beginning in 2018, with the African continent likely to be a major source of GAR arrivals to BC, according to the Immigrant Services Society of BC (ISSofBC).

These were among statistics published in the latest “GAR Bulletin” (

While GARs from Syria continued to dominate arrivals in 2017, there was a shift compared to 2016, with Eritrea replacing Afghanistan among the top five source countries. Joining Eritrea among countries on the African continent expected to generate GARs to BC in the months ahead are Somalia, Congo and Rwanda.

Similar to previous years, the City of Surrey was the top final destination with 48% of all GARs settling in that city in 2017.