Canada's IRCC is committed to helping the crisis in Afghanistan and has implemented expedited, special immigration for Afghanis. Canadian evacuation flights from Afghanistan began August 4, and have relocated more than 1,100 people out of Afghanistan to Canada this month. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said 40 families who were evacuated before the Taliban reached Kabul have completed their COVID-19 quarantine periods in Canada.
Canada is committed to providing safe passage and refugee protections for vulnerable Afghanis. Canada has implemented "special immigration measures" to expedite evacuation from Afghanistan including:
- waived passports
- waived covid tests
- moving biometric screening to a third country
"We have seen 12 flights out and over 1,100 people evacuated. That is remarkable work on the part of our armed forces.
The situation on the ground is volatile, it's precarious. And so we're staying in constant contact with all the people we're trying to help, and we've given full operational discretion to the armed forces to make whatever calls they need to get those people on flights, and as you seen, we've made some progress but there's more work to do."
- Marco Mendicino
Canada's Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
Canadian rescue efforts in Afghanistan were halted for several days due to the Taliban's presence at the airport in Kabul. Canada’s evacuation flights resumed on August 19.
Afghani Refugees in Canada
On August 13, Canada agreed to accept 20,000 refugees from Canada if they:
- assisted the Canadian government
- are vulnerable and do not have a third country to move to
This 20,000 is not an increased refugee goal: Afghani resettlement is included in Canada's existing 2021 refugee goal. Canada does not have a military presence in Afghanistan. “The last time the Canadians had a military operation in Afghanistan was 10 years ago, our last armed forces member left seven years ago,” said Mendicino.
Canada is accepting Afghani refugees who are:
- women leaders
- human rights defenders
- persecuted minorities
- LGBTQI members
- family of previously resettled interpreters
Special Measures for Afghans Currently in Canada
As part of Canada's initiative to aid vulnerable Afghanis, IRCC has put into place special facilitative measures for Afghans currently in Canada.
Extended Visas for Afghani Temporary Residents in Canada
Afghan nationals who are already in Canada can apply to extend their temporary resident status:
“Afghan nationals already living in Canada can apply to extend their temporary resident status if they’re here as a temporary worker, student or visitor,” said an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) official.
Afghan Family Reunification
IRCC's family reunification programs will prioritize applications to sponsor immediate family members who are still in Afghanistan or overseas if you are a:
- Canadian citizen
- permanent resident in Canada
- protected person in Canada
Are You An Afghan Who Needs Immigration Assistance?
During the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, an experienced immigration lawyer can help Afghans with issues included extending their temporary resident status, family reunification, temporary work permits, or study visas.
Ackah Law is headquartered in Calgary with offices in Vancouver and Toronto. Contact Ackah Law today at (403) 452‑9515 or email us directly at [email protected].