Temporary public policy for the resettlement of Afghan nationals from within Afghanistan identified by Frontline Defenders and Protect Defenders


The complete withdrawal of international forces has created significant risks with respect to security in Afghanistan. Security concerns in Afghanistan are increasing as the Taliban reassert their political influence, as well as their control over border crossings, making it very difficult for individuals to leave. Certain Afghan nationals within Afghanistan are at increased risk of violence from the Taliban including women, children, members of the LGBTI community, human rights defenders and individuals associated with allied forces.

The Temporary Public Policy for the Resettlement of Afghan Human Rights Defenders and other vulnerable individuals from within Afghanistan, relevant to the referral of cases by Front Line Defenders and ProtectDefenders.eu, recognizes the high vulnerability and elevated risk faced by Afghan human rights defenders and vulnerable individuals in Afghanistan, as well as their accompanying family members. Human rights defenders and vulnerable individual identified above are at higher risk of violence inside Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s ideology and practice of impunity regarding human rights generally and particularly in the cases of women, LGBTI and minority populations. Consequence to these individuals have included execution, torture, imprisonment as well as ongoing harassment to themselves and their family members by the Taliban.

This new temporary public policy will facilitate the immigration of, up to a maximum of 900, Afghan nationals and their family members from inside Afghanistan identified by Front Line Defenders and ProtectDefenders.eu as members of the Convention Refugee Abroad Class of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (“the Regulations”).

I hereby establish that, in light of the foregoing, there are sufficient public policy considerations to justify granting exemptions, pursuant to section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“the Act”), to the requirements of the provisions of the Act and Regulations listed below for certain Afghan nationals, who apply for a permanent resident visa as members of the Convention Refugee Abroad Class and meet the conditions set out below.

Conditions (eligibility requirements) applicable to certain Afghan nationals:

Delegated officers may grant an exemption from the requirements of the Regulations identified below when a foreign national (principal applicant) complies with the following conditions (eligibility requirements):

  1. The foreign national is an Afghan national and was living in Afghanistan when their application was submitted; and
  2. The foreign national is referred to the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada by Front Line Defenders or ProtectDefenders.eu.

Requirements of the provisions of the Act and Regulations for which an exemption may be granted:

Other statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements:

Foreign nationals eligible under this public policy including all accompanying family members are subject to all other applicable statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements not addressed by this temporary public policy, including the requirement not to be inadmissible on criminal, security and health grounds.

Applicants intending to reside in Quebec are subject to the Province of Quebec’s selection criteria further to subsection 70(3) of the Regulations, and cannot be granted permanent residence unless Quebec determines that they meet such criteria.

Coming into effect and expiration

This public policy takes effect on the date of my signature and it may be revoked at any time. This public policy ends on December 31, 2023. All applications received up until this time will be processed to completion under this public policy.

The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 30th day of September, 2021

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