Canada Immigration And Citizenship Document Relief Extended For Wildfire Victims 

Canada Immigration And Citizenship Document Relief Extended For Wildfire Victims
Canada immigration free assessment

The relief period for those whose immigration and citizenship documentation has been lost or damaged as a result of the massive wildfires in Canada has been extended.

“We are extending these temporary, special measures until Nov. 30,” tweeted the IRCC.

Under the temporary policy, Canadian immigration officials are replacing documents for Canadians, permanent residents and temporary residents directly affected by the wildfires for free.

The documents that are being replaced free of charge include permanent resident cards, Canadian citizenship certificates, Canadian passports and other travel documents that are lost, damaged, destroyed or inaccessible due to wildfires.

“We will continue to be there for those people across the country who are facing extreme wildfires,” said then-Immigration Minister Sean Fraser earlier this year.

Read More Canada Immigration News

Alberta Express Entry Draw Targets Healthcare Sector
Newfoundland And Labrador Employers Can Recruit Foreign Workers Via Virtual Fairs
Canada’s PGWP Break For International Students Extended To December 2023

“These new measures will make it easier for Canadians, permanent residents and temporary residents to replace lost documents. They will also help make sure temporary residents are not unduly penalized and are there to help rebuild our communities.”

International studentsTemporary Foreign Workers (TFW) and visitors who have been directly affected by the wildfires and whose status will expire by Nov. 30 this year will also be eligible to apply, restore or extend their status in Canada free of charge.

This means temporary workers who are unable to work because their workplace is closed due to the fires don’t need to worry. They will be able to extend their status and stay in Canada until their workplaces reopen.

International students can also extend their study permits if their classes are delayed or cancelled. That will allow them to finish their studies without penalty.

The special measures, which kicked off June 9 were to be in effect until Sept. 30 but have been extended for another two months.

Watch Video

On its website, the IRCC provides the details of these special measures.

Those who want to replace a lost, damaged or destroyed citizenship certificate online can do so and will be refunded the fees they have to pay. Those who go through the same process with a paper application can do so for free.

Passports which have been lost, damaged or destroyed can also be replaced for free if the passport was still valid for more than six months and the applicant isn’t changing the name, date of birth, place of birth or sex on the new passport.

The new passport will then have the same expiration date as the original.

Permanent resident cards issued in the last five years are also being replaced for free – sort of. Applicants do not need to pay the processing or biometrics fees but do need to pay for the photograph for the card.

School Closures Due To Wildfires Considered To Authorized Leave For Students

The lost, damaged or destroyed immigration documents that can be replaced for free include:

  • visitor visas;
  • visitor records;
  • study permits;
  • work permits;
  • records of landing, and;
  • confirmations of permanent residence.

Since records of landing and confirmations of permanent residence cannot be reprinted, immigration officials will provide applicants with Verification of Status (VOS) documents which contain the applicant’s complete immigration history.

Visitors and temporary foreign workers can also extend their statuses under certain conditions.

“You can extend or restore your visitor status for free if your status was valid on May 6 and will expire before Nov. 30. You need to apply for a visitor record to extend your visitor status,” notes the IRCC on its website.

TFWs who want to extend their status will also be able to do so for free provided that status was valid on May 6 of this year and will expire before Nov. 30 this year.

International students whose colleges or universities were closed due to the wildfires are being considered by the IRCC to be on authorized leave during that time if those were Designated Learning Institutions (DLI).

“You can pause your studies or progress towards a degree without a penalty, still be able to work off-campus if your study permit lets you work, and still be eligible to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit (PGWP),” the IRCC noted earlier this year.

Canada immigration free assessment
Previous articleCanada Will Raise Francophone Immigration Targets, Marc Miller Says
Next articleHumanitarian Immigration Pathway For Colombians, Haitians And Venezuelans Launched By Canada
Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.