ARCHIVED - Temporary public policy to facilitate the sponsorship of Afghan refugees by groups of five and community sponsors

We are no longer accepting new applications under this public policy.


The Government of Afghanistan collapsed in August 2021. After the withdrawal of international forces, the Taliban took power and remains unrecognized as the Government of Afghanistan by the international community. This volatile situation has created significant security and persecution risks. With Afghans already constituting one of the largest refugee populations worldwide, the existing humanitarian crisis in the country has been further exacerbated, resulting in mass refugee displacement to neighbouring countries.

In line with Canada’s longstanding humanitarian tradition of offering protection to the world’s most vulnerable, the Government of Canada committed to welcome at least 40,000 refugees and vulnerable Afghans to Canada, including a humanitarian commitment to resettle vulnerable Afghans as privately sponsored refugees.

Public policy considerations

Under the Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees program, Groups of Five and Community Sponsors are required to submit a Refugee Status Determination document, issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or a foreign state, with their sponsorship application. Because of the close ties between Canada and Afghanistan, many Canadians and permanent residents have expressed the desire to help support Afghan refugees. However, as displaced Afghans face significant obstacles in obtaining this document, these sponsors are limited in their ability to participate in the resettlement of this cohort.

This temporary public policy recognizes the vulnerability of Afghans who have fled Afghanistan due to the collapse of the government of Afghanistan and the close ties that exist between the people of Afghanistan and Canada, and aims to facilitate the resettlement of 3,000 Afghan refugees under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program.

This new temporary public policy will allow more Afghan refugees to be sponsored by Canadians and permanent residents by waiving the requirement to provide the Refugee Status Determination document previously referenced, thus facilitating the sponsorship of Afghan refugees by Groups of Five and Community Sponsors.

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 Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) listed below, for Afghan nationals and their accompanying family members who apply for the Private Sponsorship of Refugees program and meet the conditions (eligibility requirements) set out below.

Conditions (eligibility requirements) applicable to the principal applicant:

Delegated officers may grant an exemption from the requirements of the Regulations identified below, where a foreign national (principal applicant) meets the following conditions:

Provision of the Regulations for which an exemption may be granted:

Other eligibility and admissibility criteria

Foreign nationals eligible under this public policy and all family members included in the application for protection are subject to all other applicable regulatory and legislative eligibility and admissibility requirements not otherwise exempted by this temporary public policy, including the requirement not to be inadmissible on criminal, security and health grounds.

Coming into effect and expiration

This temporary public policy takes effect one month after my signature and may be revoked at any time. Applications 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.

This temporary public policy expires one year after coming into effect, or once applications for 3,000 individuals (principal applicants and their family members) have been accepted into processing by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, whichever comes first.

The Honourable Sean Fraser, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 17th day of September, 2022

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