A West Kelowna couple says their efforts to save a young Syria family by getting them into Canada on a one-year tourist visa are being blocked by immigration officials who don't believe the family will return to the war-torn country.

Jim Scorgie and Wendy Porteous Scorgie say their friend Marway Saffaf and her young family have been trapped in the city of Aleppo in the strife of Syria’s continuing civil war.

"People are dying and there is a chance to save the lives of three little boys and a family basically," said Scorgie.

"We actually know people that've been shot and killed," said Scorgie.

He says the situation for their Syrian friends is desperate.

"As I said they were shooting within her building, basically, so she's got three little kids and they are just basically laying on the floor hiding," said Scorgie.

Canadian Embassy in Beirut rejects application

The couple met Marwa Saffaf a decade ago, when they worked as teachers at an international school in Aleppo, Syria.

Scorgie said the family has applied for a one year tourist visa, but the Canadian Embassy in Beirut rejected the family's application, citing a belief the family would stay in Canada after the visa's expire.

"It's been really hard for us to know that they are in such a desperate situation and we want to help them and now we've been told, sorry they can't leave," said Scorgie.

Scorgie and Porteous have asked their Member of Parliament for Okanagan-Coquihalla, Dan Albas and Jason Kenney, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism to intervene.

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  • A Syrian boy who fled with his family from the violence in their village, cries as he waits to fill water at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian baby cries as he lays on a swing attached to a tree at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian boy who fled with his family from the violence in their village, stands next to a tent at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian boy who fled with his family from the violence in their village, carries water bottles at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian girl who fled with her family from the violence in their village, rests at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian girl who fled with her family from the violence in their village, washes clothes at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian girl who fled with her family from the violence in their village, washes clothes at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian boy who fled with his family from the violence in their village, sits on a swing at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria. Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • Syrian girls who fled from the violence in their village, wash their clothes at a displaced camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • Tow Syrian girls who fled with their family from the violence in their village, sit in front of a fire next to their tent at a camp, in the Syrian village of Atma, near the Turkish border with Syria, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)

  • A Syrian boy holds remains of a mortar and shells which are allegedly fired by Syrian Army as mourners carry the coffin of 13-year-old Ahmad bin Muhsin Qarush during his funeral on March 24, 2012 who was reportedly killed two days earlier in shelling by regime forces in the northwestern city of Sermin. (Ricardo Garcia Vilanova/AFP/Getty Images)