Info for Asylum Seekers

We’re thrilled to share some major news with you –
VIVE HAS OFFICIALLY MOVED TO OUR BRAND-NEW HOME AT 1500 MAIN ST, STARTING TODAY, 12/15/2023!

Our journey from 50 Wyoming Ave to this fantastic new location wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible support and energy from each and every one of you. Thank you for being an integral part of this amazing adventure! Together, we’ve created a space that truly reflects the vibrant spirit of Vive.

Here’s to new beginnings, endless possibilities, and the incredible community that makes Vive truly special!

Welcome to Vive

We are a shelter (located in Buffalo, NY) that houses refugee claimants waiting for appointments/interviews with the Canada Border Services Agency and asylum seekers wishing to apply for U.S. asylum.

Vive is currently at capacity

Please do not plan to come to the shelter unless you’ve spoken with a staff member to confirm availability first.

If you wish to come to Vive, please contact us first at 1-716-892-4354 or vivelegal@jrchc.org.

Please take a moment to look through our website and all the information provided.

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Actualmente, Vive tiene capacidad para las personas que se hospedan en el refugio. Por favor, no planee venir a Vive.

i llegas a Vive, te dirán que debes ir a otro lugar.

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Vive ezali sik’oyo na makoki mpo na bato oyo bafandi na esika ya kobombama. Svp bo planifier koya na Vive te.

Soki okomi na Vive, bakoyebisa yo il faut okende esika mosusu.

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Vive est actuellement à pleine capacité pour les personnes séjournant au refuge. S’il vous plaît, ne prévoyez pas de venir à Vive.

Si vous arrivez à Vive, on vous dira que vous devez aller ailleurs.

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Vive está atualmente em capacidade para pessoas que ficam no abrigo. Por favor, não planeje vir para o Vive.

Se você chegar ao Vive, será informado de que deve ir para outro lugar.

How Can Vive Help Me?

To inquire about availability at Vive, please contact us first at 1-716-892-4354 or vivelegal@jrchc.org.

Vive provides temporary housing for individuals and families while assisting Canada-bound refugee claimants who have a qualifying family member according to the Safe Third Country Agreement by scheduling an appointment with the Canada Border Services Agency.

Canadian Claimants

To inquire about availability at Vive, please contact us first at 1-716-892-4354 or vivelegal@jrchc.org.

Vive provides temporary housing for individuals and families while assisting Canada-bound refugee claimants who have a qualifying family member according to the Safe Third Country Agreement by scheduling an appointment with the Canada Border Services Agency.

For Canadian claimants we will:

  • Request an appointment on your behalf with the Canada Border Services Agency
  • Assist in gathering documentation to support your claim and proof of qualifying family member
  • Provide an orientation about entering Canada to make a refugee claim
  • Provide taxi services to the Canadian border (please refer to the Fee Schedule page)
  • Answer your questions to the best of our ability, but we cannot give Canadian legal advice.

US Asylum-Seekers

Vive also provides temporary housing for individuals and families filing for asylum in the United States.
Information on US asylum-related relief and benefits is available at https://uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-and-asylum/asylum
Immigration forms are available at: https://uscis.gov/forms/all-forms

For US Asylum-Seekers we will:

  • Assist with communication with ICE officers to maintain good standing on your case.
  • Review the circumstances of your current legal case and help refer to outside legal counsel.
  • Refer to case management organizations if you qualify for additional assistance as a survivor of human trafficking, intimate partner violence, or torture.
  • Assist families with minor children enroll in Buffalo Public Schools
  • Connect you with free medical care with Jericho Road Community Health Center.
  • Upon gaining your work authorization we will assist your transition into community living with education, employment, and housing support.

Fee Schedule

Food and lodging are provided to residents free of charge.

Taxi Fee: $30 per person, regardless of age. Payment is due prior to departure. (This is for transportation to the Canadian border on the day of your appointment/interview, if you are making a claim to enter Canada. This does not apply to those working on American asylum cases.)

Suggested Documents

During your appointment, you will be asked to provide documentation to the Border Officers.

It is our recommendation that you (and your family members) have the following:

  • Birth certificate AND passport or national/country identity card
  • Photo identification
  • Marriage certificate
  • Common Law proof (proof of co-habitation for at least one year)

For Your Anchor Relative:

  • Birth certificate
  • Proof of relationship (for instance, if the anchor relative is your uncle, we suggest having a copy of your mother’s birth certificate)
  • Evidence of status in Canada

Click here to learn more about the Safe Third Country Agreement.

Everyone staying at Vive must abide by our house rules.

COVID-19 Safety Policies

In order to keep our residents, staff, and volunteers healthy and safe, Vive follows rigorous COVID-19 policies.

  • All new residents at the shelter must complete a COVID-19 test. Every new resident will be required to quarantine until they receive a negative result on their test.
  • If a resident tests positive at arrival or at any point during their stay at Vive, the resident and all their family members will need to stay in isolation for up to 10 days to ensure all residents stay safe. Isolation may be in our building or may be in another location. Any resident who violates the isolation rules will be asked to leave Vive and not return.
  • All new residents over 5 years old are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 or become vaccinated within two weeks of arriving at the shelter.
  • All residents over 4 years old must wear a mask at all times while in Vive. The only exceptions are while eating in the cafeteria and while sleeping.

Special Information for Children

In addition to identifying documents, a child under the age of 18 traveling with one parent should have permission from the absent parent to travel and enter Canada.

Adoptive parents, legal guardians, or persons separated or divorced are advised to keep all legal documents to clarify custody rights.

If you are under the age of 18 and traveling alone and unmarried, you are considered an unaccompanied minor. This is a separate exemption and can be used to enter Canada under the Safe Third Country Agreement.

Special Information for Children

In addition to identifying documents, a child under the age of 18 traveling with one parent should have permission from the absent parent to travel and enter Canada.

Adoptive parents, legal guardians, or persons separated or divorced are advised to keep all legal documents to clarify custody rights.

If you are under the age of 18 and traveling alone and unmarried, you are considered an unaccompanied minor. This is a separate exemption and can be used to enter Canada under the Safe Third Country Agreement.

Other Important Information

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