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Support for Afghan Refugees

Canada’s Ongoing Support for Afghan Refugees

On March 5, 2024, the Canadian government reaffirmed its commitment to aiding Afghan refugees seeking refuge in the country. Since February 1, 2023, Canada has embraced 2,060 Afghan refugees, bringing the total number of arrivals to 49,070. Among them, 20,550 individuals and their families submitted applications under the Special Immigration Measures Program, specifically designed for those who assisted the Canadian government in Afghanistan. Of these applications, 14,140 have been processed, while 23,075 Afghan nationals were admitted under the Humanitarian program. Moreover, 3,355 individuals were admitted through a pathway tailored for extended family members of former interpreters.

Supporting Afghan Nationals: Overview of Special Programs

The Canadian government has implemented various special programs and measures to support Afghan refugees:

  1. Special Immigration Measures Program: This initiative targets Afghan nationals and their families who assisted the Government of Canada in Afghanistan.
  2. Special Humanitarian Program: Focused on resettling vulnerable Afghans, this program aims to provide a haven for those facing persecution or danger.
  3. Pathway for Extended Family Members: Designed for the relatives of former interpreters, this pathway offers a route to permanent residence in Canada.
  4. Special Program for Sponsorship: This program facilitates sponsoring Afghan refugees without refugee status from the UNHCR or a foreign state.
  5. Extended Family Members of Advisors: Afghan individuals who are extended family members of former language and cultural advisors also receive support under special measures.
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Special Measures for Afghan Applications

Given the evolving situation in Afghanistan, special measures were implemented for certain types of applications, including:

  • Prioritizing Processing: Applications for family reunification, permanent residence as a protected person, permanent residence as a dependant of a resettled Afghan refugee, and temporary residence were given priority.
  • Fee Waivers: Fees and certain requirements for citizenship documents, passports, and travel documents for Afghan nationals approved for permanent residence in Canada were waived. Additionally, temporary residence applications for Afghan nationals accompanying their immediate family members who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada were exempted from fees.

These special measures were effective until December 31, 2023, and are no longer effective.

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As Canada continues its efforts to support Afghan refugees, these programs serve as crucial pathways for those seeking safety and security in a new homeland. Stay tuned to Canada Immigration News for further updates on immigration initiatives and developments nationwide.

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