Over the past couple of years, Canada has introduced several temporary immigration measures to assist those affected by humanitarian crises across the globe, such as the war in Ukraine, the political situation in Iran, and the earthquakes in Turkiye and Syria. Last week, Canada introduced similar immigration measures to help those impacted by the crises in Gaza and Sudan.
Measures to help Israelis, Palestinians, and family members of Canadians and permanent residents from the region
Canada has introduced three different programs as part of its efforts to support family members of Canadians and permanent residents from the region, as well as Israelis and Palestinians already in Canada:
- Israeli and Palestinian passport holders, who are currently in Canada with valid temporary resident status, may now apply for fee-exempt study or open work permits that can be valid for up to three years. The deadline to apply is June 12, 2024.
- Similarly, immediate family members, (spouse, common-law partner, dependent children, or dependent grandchildren), regardless of citizenship, of Canadian citizens or permanent residents who left Israel or the Palestinian Territories on or after October 7, 2023, and who are in Canada with valid temporary resident status, may now apply for fee-exempt study or open work permits that can be valid for up to three years. The deadline to apply is June 12, 2024.
- Starting January 9, 2024, foreign nationals in Gaza and who are extended family members (spouse, common law partner, child (regardless of age), grandchild, parent, grandparent or sibling) of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be able to apply for Temporary Resident Visas to come to Canada. There will be a cap of 1,000 applications. If individuals are able to exit Gaza, they will need to complete all admissibility and eligibility requirements before they can be approved to come to Canada.
Additionally, the processing of all existing and new permanent residence applications for Palestinians within family-based streams will be prioritized.
Immigration pathway for people affected by the conflict in Sudan
To continue its support for those affected by the armed conflict that began in Sudan April 15, 2023, Canada will launch a family-based humanitarian permanent residence program. Starting February 27, 2024, Sudanese and non-Sudanese nationals who:
- Resided in Sudan when the conflict began on April 15, 2023,
- Are the child (regardless of age), grandchild, parent, grandparent, or sibling of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who is living in Canada and will agree to support them,
- Cannot reasonably return to their home country or resettle in another country, and
- Meet certain other eligibility and admissibility requirements,
will be able to apply for permanent residence in Canada. This program will end one year after taking effect or once 3,250 applications (principal applicants) have been accepted for processing, whichever comes first. Additionally, the temporary measures that are already in place for Sudanese nationals in Canada who want to apply for study permits or open work permits have been extended to October 27, 2024.
To discuss if you or your loved ones may be eligible for any of the programs, please contact us.