Temporary Public Policy to facilitate the resettlement of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus [REDACTED]
[Redacted] appears where sensitive information has been removed in accordance with the principles of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
Afghan Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, a country with a Muslim majority, face deep-rooted widespread discrimination and have suffered deadly attacks from Daesh affiliates. Their community has been declining for years and many have fled Afghanistan to seek asylum in other countries.
[Redacted] The Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation, the Gurdwara Guru Amardas Darbar Sikh Society and one Group of Five had submitted applications under the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program for these cases. [Redacted]
Public Policy Considerations
The new Temporary Public Policy to Facilitate the Resettlement of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus [Redacted] recognizes the need for these individuals to immigrate to Canada. This new temporary public policy will facilitate the resettlement, through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, of up to 36 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus (principal applicants) [Redacted], along with their family members, as members of the Convention refugee abroad class or the country of asylum class, if these foreign nationals comply with the below described eligibility requirements (conditions).
The Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation will be the primary implementing partner and will be responsible for: issuing a referral letter; providing income and settlement support – as the Sponsorship Agreement Holder identified for the 36 cases – for the duration of one year to all principal applicants and their family members who will have immigrated to Canada under this temporary public policy.
I hereby establish that there are sufficient public policy considerations justifying granting exemptions, pursuant to section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act), from the criteria and obligations in the Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (the Regulations) listed below when the foreign national complies with the eligibility requirements (conditions) set out below.
Eligibility requirements (conditions)
Based on public policy considerations, delegated officers may grant an exemption from the criteria and obligations listed below, when a foreign national (principal applicant) meets the following eligibility requirements (conditions):
- The foreign national is a national of Afghanistan;
- The foreign national is Sikh or Hindu;
- The foreign national did not acquire [Redacted] citizenship;
- An application for permanent residence and a sponsorship application as per paragraph 153(1)(b) of the Regulations were submitted by the foreign national or on behalf of the foreign national to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) prior to June 30, 2020;
- A new sponsorship undertaking (as defined in section 138 of the Regulations) must be submitted, which lists the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation as the Sponsorship Agreement Holder responsible for privately sponsoring the principal applicant and their eligible family members where with this sponsorship undertaking in writing to the Minister, the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation will agree to provide, for one year, in the form of a payment and not a loan, income support equivalent to Resettlement Assistance Program rates, which can be supplemented through in-kind contributions or other forms of support. In the context of this undertaking, the Foundation will also commit to provide lodging and other basic necessities in Canada to the principal applicant and their eligible family members;
- A referral letter signed by the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation indicating that they have determined, in accordance with subsection 25.2(4) of the Act, that the principal applicant and their family members are eligible under this public policy as, in their opinion, these foreign nationals meet the above conditions (eligibility requirements) of the public policy. The final assessment pertaining to the eligibility of such foreign nationals under this public policy will be done by delegated officers;
A Memorandum of Understanding between IRCC and the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation must be in force.
Family members of the principal applicant eligible for immigration to Canada under this temporary public policy will be granted the same exemptions as the principal applicant if the latter is eligible under this public policy and the below exemptions are granted to the principal applicant.
Definition of family members
Family members are defined as persons who meet the definition of “family member” in subsection 1(3) of the Regulations as assessed by a delegated officer.
Criteria and obligations from the Act and Regulations for which an exemption may be granted
- Paragraph 139(1)(d) of the Regulations – that there be no reasonable prospect of a durable solution in a country other than Canada;
- Paragraph 139(1)(g) of the Regulations – be able to become successfully established in Canada;
- Subsection 140.3(4) of the Regulations – to submit an application to the immigration office that serves the foreign national’s place of residence; and,
- Section 307 of the Regulations – to pay the application processing fee for examining circumstances under subsection 25.2(1) of the Act.
Other statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements
Principal applicants and their family members eligible under this temporary public policy are subject to all other statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements not exempted under this temporary public policy.
Provincial selection criteria (Quebec)
Principal applicants and their family members, eligible under this temporary public policy, 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 the applicable selection criteria of the province.
Start date and end dates
This temporary public policy takes effect on the date when it is signed. Operationalization of this temporary public policy will start when the MOU with the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation is in force.
IRCC will accept a maximum of 36 applications for permanent residence as described above under this temporary public policy.
This temporary public policy ends when IRCC has rendered a final decision on up to 36 cases, or on June 30, 2022, whichever comes first.
However, if the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, or the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation terminates the Memorandum of Understanding, the public policy will end on the date of this termination. In such a scenario, IRCC will only process applications under this temporary public policy that were received prior to, or on the date of termination.
The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this day of 2021 28th May
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