Immigration Measures For Moroccan Earthquake Victims Announced By Canada

Immigration Measures For Moroccan Earthquake Victims Announced By Canada
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Morocco earthquake victims are getting extensions of their temporary permit applications for free as well as priority processing of any applications they had sent to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) before it happened.

“Effective Oct. 19, 2023, Moroccan nationals in Canada can continue to study, work or visit family by applying for an extension of their temporary status free of charge,” notes the IRCC website.

“These special measures are available to those eligible who were in Canada as of Sept. 8, when the earthquake occurred. These measures will make it easier for Moroccan nationals to extend their temporary status in Canada or move between temporary streams.”

In the aftermath of the 6.8 magnitude earthquake that shook the High Atlas mountains, UNICEF reported at least 100,000 children were affected, 3,000 were killed, and another 5,500 were injured.

“The number of casualties is expected to increase as the search-and-rescue operations continue,” says the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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In Morocco’s Chichaoua and Taroudant provinces, roughly 530 schools and 55 boarding schools were damaged.

“Recognizing that some people may have lost their travel documents as a result of the earthquake, IRCC will waive the requirement to hold a passport or travel document to be approved for a permanent resident visa to come to Canada,” notes the IRCC.

“We are also making it easier for Canadian citizens and permanent residents from Morocco to return to Canada by waiving fees for temporary passports, limited-validity passports and emergency travel documents, as well as Canadian citizenship certificates and permanent resident travel documents.”


The special measures for Moroccans came into effect Oct. 19 and are expected to remain in place until March 12 next year.

The epicentre of the Moroccan earthquake was 71 km southwest of Marrakech, whose population of 840,000 was the most affected as houses collapsed and buildings suffered structural damage.

UN General Assembly President Dennis Francis, deeply saddened, sent condolences to the victims and their families.

Work Permits Issued To Moroccans Soared This Year

“I call on the international community to stand together in support of Morocco in this time of sorrow,” said Francis.

The latest IRCC data reveals Canada welcomed 6,390 new permanent residents from Morocco last year and another 4,185 in the first eight months of this year.

Last year, Canada also issued 4,580 study permits to Moroccans and another 4,085 in the first eight months of this year.

Under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), 860 Moroccans received work permits in Canada last year and another 2,240 received such work permits in the first eight months of this year under the TFWP.

There are a further 2,735 work permits issued to Moroccans last year under the International Mobility Program (IMP) and another 4,650 such work permits under the IMP issued to Moroccans in the first eight months of this year, the IRCC reports.

That means the number of work permits issued to Moroccans has already almost doubled in the first eight months of this year compared to all of last year.

There were 3,595 work permits issued to Moroccans in 2022 and 6,890 such permits had been issued by the end of August this year.

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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.