Canada Immigration for Afghan Refugees

Canada Immigration for Afghan Refugees

Canada expands the resettlement program to bring more Afghans to safety.

Does Canada Accept Refugees from Afghanistan

Ottawa, August 13, 2021—The Government of Canada continues to be deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the risks it poses for many vulnerable Afghans. Canada’s special immigration program has already brought many Afghans to Canada—and their teams there, here, and across the world are working around the clock to bring as many people as possible to safety.

As the Taliban continues to take over more of Afghanistan, Afghans’ lives are under threat—and many have already fled the country. To help address the growing humanitarian crisis, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, and the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada will resettle 20,000 vulnerable Afghans threatened by the Taliban and forced to flee Afghanistan.

Canada will continue to implement the special immigration program for Afghan refugees who contributed to Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan.

Canada Immigration for Afghan Refugees

In addition, Canada will introduce a special program to focus on particularly vulnerable groups that are already welcomed to Canada through existing resettlement streams, including women leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, persecuted religious minorities, LGBTI individuals, and family members of previously resettled interpreters.

The program will welcome government-supported and privately sponsored refugees, along with those sponsored by families already in Canada.

By welcoming these Afghans, Canada will help ease the burden that Afghanistan’s neighbors are shouldering and offer these individuals a permanent home here.

Canada will be engaging with its international and domestic partners, private sponsors, and settlement organizations to begin implementing the new program. While applicants must meet all the usual admissibility requirements, processing timelines will be expedited.

As with previous large-scale resettlement efforts, they will welcome the support of the many Canadians who want to lend a hand.

For example, they’re expanding their partnership with the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation to resettle hundreds of persecuted Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.

Over the past few weeks, they have seen an outpouring of goodwill from Canadians across the country, who are eager to open their homes and their hearts. This enthusiastic support will continue to guide their efforts as they welcome more Afghan refugees to safety in Canada.

Canada Accepting Refugees from Afghanistan

“Offering refuge to the world’s most vulnerable speaks to who we are as Canadians, particularly in times of crisis. As more Afghan refugees continue to seek shelter in Canada, we’re redoubling our efforts to help 20,000 Afghans refugees—who remain vulnerable wherever they go—find safety here. The situation in Afghanistan is heartbreaking, and Canada will not stand idly by.”

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“Canadians are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan. People around the world know they can count on Canada to support them in times of need, and Canada will be there for vulnerable Afghans. Women leaders, human rights defenders, journalists, religious minorities, LGBTI individuals, and others covered by this program will be safe here in Canada, and I look forward to welcoming them to our country.”

– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, P.C., M.P., Minister of National Defence

“As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I am following the situation in Afghanistan very carefully. I remain in close contact with allies as well as our Ambassador in Kabul, and continue to monitor the security situation carefully. Afghans have put their lives at great risk to support Canada in helping Afghans achieve significant democratic, human rights, education, health and security gains over the past twenty years. We owe them a debt of gratitude and we will continue our efforts to bring them to safety.”

– The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Canada welcomes first Afghan refugees resettled through the special immigration program

Ottawa, August 4, 2021 – The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement:

“Today, the Government of Canada is welcoming the first of a number of flights carrying Afghan refugees who provided crucial support to Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. This first group is now beginning their new life in Canada, and we welcome them with open arms. More flights will be arriving in the coming days and weeks. We committed to do right by the Afghans who supported Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. With the arrival of the first resettled Afghan refugees in Canada, we are making good on that promise.

The Government has been seized with the urgency on the ground and is working as quickly as possible to resettle Afghan nationals who put themselves at great risk to support Canada’s work in Afghanistan.

We have been working around the clock to identify individuals eligible to come to Canada under this special immigration program. This work is well underway, and a team has been on the ground in Afghanistan, including support staff who are assisting clients in submitting their applications and requested documentation.

We are doing everything we can to get every Afghan refugee out as swiftly and safely as possible, but we recognize that the security situation can change rapidly.

All those arriving under this special immigration program have met Canada’s requirements concerning eligibility, admissibility, and security screenings. The Afghan refugees were tested for COVID-19 on arrival and will follow all quarantine and testing requirements to protect the health and safety of those in Canada.

These refugees are coming to Canada as government-assisted refugees. To help the Afghans adjust to life in Canada, service provider organizations in communities across Canada are preparing to welcome them.

Settlement organizations will help them to find permanent housing, language training, a job, and connections with established immigrants and Canadians and provide them with the information that they need about life in Canada, and the community in which they will settle. All of these services will help Afghans settle into their new home.

To protect the safety of those being evacuated and the security of this operation, further operational details will not be released, including information on where Afghans will be resettled in Canada.

We would like to thank those working at Global Affairs Canada, the Department of National Defence, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency who have been working tirelessly to facilitate this process. We would also like to thank all of the advocacy groups across the country who have worked so hard to make this possible.”

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