“Canada continues to call for an end to violence in Sudan and stands with the Sudanese people as they strive for peace,” said Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.
“Many Sudanese nationals currently in Canada can’t return home due to the dangerous and volatile situation in their home country. That’s why we’re taking steps to help them extend their stay here, so they can remain with their families, continue with their studies or find work in safety.”
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is offering free open work permits that provide access to the labour market and greater flexibility for Sudanese nationals to support themselves while they are in Canada.
These measures, which took effect on Apr. 30, were anticipated as the immigration minister had already alluded to them last week but had not at that time divulged the full details.
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On Saturday, those details were released. In a statement, the immigration department explained that some permanent residence applicants outside Canada might not have access to their Sudanese travel documents.
“We are therefore waiving the requirement to hold a passport or travel document to be approved for a permanent resident visa to come to Canada,” notes that statement.
“These measures complement the fee waivers for passports and travel documents for Canadians and permanent residents of Canada in Sudan, and the prioritization of completed applications already in our system for temporary and permanent residence from people in Sudan for when it is safe to travel.”
Canadians in Sudan are advised to check travel.gc.ca as often as possible for updates and to sign up with the federal government’s Registration of Canadians Abroad service to receive direct updates.
Canadian citizens, permanent residents and family members who want to leave Sudan can contact Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre
- by calling +1 613-996-8885
- by text message at +1 613-686-3658
- via WhatsApp at +1 613-909-8881
- via Telegram at Canada Emergency Abroad
- by email at [email protected]
CBSA Halts Removal Of Sudanese Nationals From Canada
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has also issued a temporary halt on removals to Sudan. This measure is being taken in recognition of the increasing violence, armed conflict, civil unrest and the volatile security situation.
“Canada has a proud and longstanding tradition of providing protection to vulnerable people around the world and we are deeply concerned for the well-being of people in Sudan, including Canadians and their family members,” said Fraser.
“We are monitoring the situation closely, and are working to provide support for those seeking safety in Canada.”
In the Sudan, the Canadian immigration department will deploy additional officers to help those already on the ground support immigration-related operations.
Fighting erupted in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital city and other sites across that country, in April as two rival military factions began their battle for control of the eastern African nation
News reports peg the number of civilian deaths so far at 411 people and the number of wounded at more than 4,500.
Khartoum is now the front line in this civil war between Gen. Abdel Fattah Burhan, the commander of Sudan’s military, and Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo, who leads the powerful paramilitary group known as the Rapid Support Forces.
As the two wrestle for control of Sudan, thousands of foreigners, including diplomats and aid workers in the country, have been left stranded. The United Kingdom, United States, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states are reportedly closing their embassies.
It’s a step Canada is also taking. On Sunday, Apr. 23, Global Affairs Canada announced it was suspending all its operations in Sudan.
Global Affairs Canada Pulls Ambassador Out Of Sudan
“After consulting with Canada’s ambassador to Sudan, the decision has been made to temporarily suspend our operations in Sudan,” noted Global Affair Canada in a statement.
“Canadian diplomats will temporarily work from a safe location outside of the country. They will continue working with the government of Sudan, neighbouring countries, as well as with like-minded governments and the international community to coordinate the response to this crisis and to support Canadians still in the country.”
Global Affairs Canada has also put out a call for an immediate ceasefire and the start of mediation efforts supported by regional partners in Sudan.
“The Canadian embassy will resume operations in Khartoum as soon as the situation in Sudan allows us to guarantee proper service and the safety and security for our staff,” noted Global Affairs Canada.
“While operations are suspended in Khartoum, limited consular services continue to be provided. Officials in Ottawa are in regular contact with Canadians affected, providing them information and advice as the situation develops. Canadian officials in our missions in nearby countries also stand ready to help.