Canada’s Humanitarian Pathway for Colombians, Haitians and Venezuelans Opens

Canada's Refugee System Strained By Surge in Airport Asylum Claims
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Canada Immigration Minister Marc Miller has announced that applications for a new humanitarian pathway to permanent residence are now open for certain citizens of the Americas.

This directive, aimed at immigrating Colombian, Haitian, and Venezuelan foreign nationals, comes in the midst of a globally “unprecedented migration crisis” caused by record displacements.

Herein, the rise in irregular migration has caused a correspondent rise in migrant smuggling, physical insecurity, and exploitation of those crossing through the region in question.

The webpage on the news release said that “Canada recognizes the need to take action and is working to support vulnerable individuals by providing them with safe and regular migration pathways.”

“This is why Canada is providing an alternative to irregular migration by welcoming 15,000 people from the Western Hemisphere through a family-based humanitarian pathway in addition to our existing programs.”

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The qualification requirements for the program are that the principal applicant must have one of the following relations to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who agrees to support them and their family members as an anchor for one year:

  • Child (regardless of age)
  • Grandchild
  • Spouse
  • Common-law partner
  • Parent
  • Grandparent
  • Sibling

Applications require a submission through the IRCC portal, and the provision of a signed statutory declaration from the anchor confirming their support for the immigrant.

However, applicants must plan to live outside of Quebec, as the French-Canadian province has chosen not to participate in the program.

Those coming to Canada through this pathway will receive pre-arrival services, including employment skills assessment and a referral to a settlement service provider organization in their community.

Additionally, they may be eligible for transitional financial assistance from the Resettlement Assessment Program.

Canada is also welcoming people from the Americas by:

  • Bringing in a further 4,000 people through the temporary foreign worker programs, which includes the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
  • Leveraging the country’s existing labor mobility pathway, the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot.

As per the website, the measures mentioned above are aimed at alleviating migration pressures caused by socio-politico-economic instability in the Western hemisphere. The new pathway is an additional means of facilitating the same.

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Additional to the commitment, Ottawa is bolstering its support for capacity-building efforts in the region through an investment of $75 million over six years for projects across Latin America and the Caribbean. This is aimed at strengthening asylum capacity and better integrating migrants and refugees into local communities and labor markets.

“We are determined to uphold our humanitarian tradition and support those in need,” said Miller.

“Providing safe, legal pathways for displaced people to start new lives in Canada not only delivers on that commitment, but also strengthens our country through the profound contributions newcomers make in their communities, including growing our economy and filling labour market gaps.”

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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.