Iranians seeking safety in Canada by fleeing the brutal crackdown in Iran will have an easier time getting extensions to their temporary visas allowing them to study, work or visit family in Canada starting March 1.
“Canada will not stand idly by in the face of these aggressions as the Iranian regime continues its ongoing human rights violations,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser in a statement.
“Our government is continuing to stand up for the people of Iran by making it easier for Iranians who wish to extend their stay here in Canada to be with their families and allowing them to continue to work and study in safety.
“We will continue to work closely with the Iranian-Canadian community who is resolved to shed light on the repressive actions of the Iranian regime.”
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Open work permits will also be made available for Iranians already in Canada and applications from Iranians in Canada are being processed on a priority basis.
Ottawa is waiving many of the processing fees for Iranians who wish to extend their stay in Canada and will also waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Iran who wish to leave.
Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson made the announcement about this new help for Iranians in Canada for immigration minister on Thursday, Feb. 23.
“No matter why you are here, during this time of great uncertainty for the Iranian people, Canada remains committed to supporting the Iranian Canadian community,” said Wilkinson.
“With these new measures, we hope to ease the hardship they’re currently facing by making it easier for them to stay longer in a place where it is safe to live and work. And perhaps, one day, call home.”
Ottawa blasted the current Iranian regime as one that engages in gross and systemic human rights violations and terrorism in early October last year and banned senior officials from that country from coming to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
IRCC To Post Details Of New Measures On Its Website Starting March 1
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) are pledging to provide more information about how to apply for these new measures on its website as of March 1.
Three resettlement streams are currently in place for refugees who are outside their home country and who cannot return.
Those include the following:
- Government-Assisted Refugees (GAR) program;
- Private Sponsorship of Refugees (PSR) program, and;
- Blended Visa Office-Referred (BVOR) program.
Through the GAR, refugees are referred to Canada for resettlement by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) or another referral organization and get:
- up to one year of support from the date they arrive in Canada, or;
- support until they are able to support themselves (whichever happens first).
Through the PSR program, private groups sponsor eligible refugees abroad, usually for a period of up to one year, and offer:
- start-up costs, such as furniture and clothing;
- on-going monthly costs for basic necessities, including housing, food, and public transportation, and;
- social and emotional support.
Private Citizens Can Sponsor Refugees
Groups that can sponsor refugees must have entered into sponsorship agreements with Ottawa to help support refugees when they come to Canada.
The BVOR program allows Canadians and permanent residents to become private sponsors and get matched with refugees identified by a referral organization, like the UNHCR.
Private sponsors commit to providing six months of financial support and 12 months of social, emotional and settlement support. The federal government then provides the other six months of financial support.