Temporary public policy for Afghan nationals in Canada applying for a work or study permit
Over the past few months, IRCC has put in place a number of public policies to support vulnerable Afghan nationals inside and outside of Canada. These public policies included the Temporary Public Policy for Afghan Nationals in Canada and Outside of Canada, which provided a fee exemption to all Afghan nationals seeking to renew their temporary resident status, work or study permits from within Canada. However, this existing public policy does not provide an exemption from the requirement to pay associated fees to work or study permits to Afghan nationals arriving in Canada under a temporary resident status and who are, in most cases, in a vulnerable situation.
Public policy considerations
The intention of this public policy, in light of Government of Canada efforts to respond to the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, is to exempt all eligible Afghan nationals with valid temporary resident status in Canada from the requirement to pay the fees associated with their work and/or study permit applications and, where applicable, the fees for the provision of services in relation to the collection of biometric information.
The granting of theses exemptions would support those who were evacuated to Canada by reducing the financial barriers for seeking authorization to work or study. It will also support other Afghan nationals in Canada who may face issues in obtaining access to their financial means from Afghanistan in these unprecedented circumstances. By facilitating access to the labour market and studies, Afghans who are in Canada under a temporary status would be better able to meet their basic needs and access education while waiting for their permanent residence in Canada or until the situation in Afghanistan stabilizes.
These special measures would also align and complement the public policy that provides an exemption from the requirement to pay fees for those Afghan nationals who may seek to renew their temporary resident status, work or study permits in Canada.
Therefore, I hereby establish that there are sufficient public policy considerations that justify the granting, pursuant to section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, of exemptions from the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (Regulations) listed below to foreign nationals who meet the conditions set out below.
Conditions (eligibility requirements) applicable to Afghan nationals in Canada:
Based on public policy considerations, when processing an application for a work or study permit, delegated officers may grant an exemption from the requirements of the Regulations identified below when a foreign national meets the following conditions.
The foreign national:
- is a national of Afghanistan;
- does not hold a work permit or study permit;
- has submitted an application for:
- a work permit under subsection 200(1); or
- study permit under section 216 of the Regulations; and,
- is in Canada with valid temporary resident status and had that status when the work or study permit application described in 3 was submitted.
Provisions of the Regulations for which an exemption may be granted:
- Subsection 299(1) - the requirement to pay an application processing fee for a work permit;
- Subsection 300(1) - the requirement to pay an application processing fee for a study permit;
- Subsection 303.2(1) – the requirement for certain persons to pay a fee for the rights and privileges conferred by an open work permit;
- Subsection 315.1(1) – the requirement to pay for the provision of service in relation to the collection of biometric information;
- Subsection 315.1(3) – maximum fee for biometrics collection for a family.
Other Admissibility and Selection Criteria
Foreign nationals eligible under this public policy are subject to all other applicable eligibility and admissibility requirements unless otherwise exempted.
Effective Date and Expiration
This temporary public policy will take effect on the date of signature and will expire on December 31, 2022. This temporary public policy may be revoked at any time. Applications pending or submitted on or after the day this temporary public policy takes effect, until the day it is revoked or expires, will be processed under the temporary public policy.
The Hon. Sean Fraser, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 23 day of December 2021
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