Temporary Public Policy to facilitate the resettlement of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus [REDACTED] as part of Operation Afghan Safety
[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 and 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]
Public Policy Considerations
[Redacted] This will also support the Department’s commitment to prioritize Afghan nationals who are persecuted religious minorities as part of Operation Afghan Safety.
The new Temporary Public Policy to Facilitate the Resettlement of Afghan Sikhs and Hindus [Redacted] as part of Operation Afghan Safety will facilitate the resettlement, through the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program, of up to 300 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus (individuals) [Redacted], as members of the Convention Refugee abroad class or the Country of Asylum class, if these foreign nationals comply with the eligibility requirements (conditions) described below.
The Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation will be the Sponsorship Agreement Holder and will be responsible for: issuing a referral letter; submitting both sponsorship and permanent resident applications; and providing income and settlement support as the Sponsorship Agreement Holder identified for the 300 individuals for the duration of one-year to all principal applicants and their family members who will have been facilitated immigration 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 of 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 for Principal Applicants (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 under the Convention refugee abroad class or the country of asylum class 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);
- A sponsorship undertaking (as defined in section 138 of the Regulations) has been 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. The sponsorship undertaking is in writing and indicates that, the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation agrees to provide, for one-year, in the form of a payment and not a loan, income support equivalent to Resettlement Assistance Program rates, which cannot be replaced in full through in-kind contributions or other forms of support, but which can be supplemented through eligible in-kind contributions or other forms of support (outlined in Appendix A: Financial Guidelines from Guide 5413 - Sponsorship Agreement Holders to privately sponsor refugees). In the context of this undertaking, the Foundation also commits to provide lodging and other basic necessities in Canada to the principal applicant and their eligible family members;
- The foreign national is [Redacted] at the time when their application for permanent residence and their sponsorship application described in condition 4 above and undertaking described under condition 5 above are submitted, as well as when the decision on their applications is rendered;
- The application is accompanied by a referral letter signed by the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation indicating that they have determined that the principal applicant and their family members may be eligible under this temporary public policy as, in their opinion, these foreign nationals meet the above conditions (eligibility requirements) of the temporary public policy. The final assessment pertaining to the eligibility of such foreign nationals under this temporary public policy will be done by delegated officers;
- A Memorandum of Understanding as part of Operation Afghan Safety between IRCC and the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation must be in force.
Eligibility requirements (conditions) applicable to the family members
Family members of the principal applicant eligible for immigration to Canada under this temporary public policy can be granted the same exemptions as the principal applicant if:
- Family members comply with the definition of “family member” in subsection 1(3) of the Regulations, as assessed by a delegated officer, and has been included as an accompanying family member in the principal applicant application for permanent residence.
- The principal applicant is eligible under this temporary public policy and the exemptions outlined below are granted to the principal applicant.
Criteria and obligations of the 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 or otherwise exempted.
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 or when the Memorandum of Understanding between the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation referred above is in effect, whichever comes into effect the latest.
This temporary public policy ends on December 31, 2023, or when 300 individuals have received exemptions pursuant to this public policy, whichever comes first.
However, if the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration or the Manmeet Singh Bhullar Foundation terminates the Memorandum of Understanding, the temporary 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 Sean Fraser, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 8 day of April 2022
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