Temporary public policy for the resettlement of Afghan nationals in Afghanistan

Background

The withdrawal of international forces, which began on May 1, 2021, and now virtually complete, has created significant risks with respect to security in the country. Security concerns in Afghanistan are increasing as the Taliban reassert their influence, now controlling up to 75% of the country, as well as a number of significant border crossings, making it very difficult for individuals to leave.

Afghan nationals in Afghanistan with a significant and/or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada will face an increased risk of being targeted for attacks and assassination campaigns due to the perception by insurgents that they have supported “western interests”.

The Temporary Public Policy for the Resettlement of Afghan Nationals in Afghanistan recognizes the high vulnerability and elevated risk faced by individuals in Afghanistan associated with the Government of Canada, as well as their accompanying family members and certain other members of their family, as specified below. This new temporary public policy will facilitate the immigration of individuals with a significant and /or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada and their family members to Canada 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 Afghan nationals in Afghanistan who are or were associated with the Government of Canada, and the accompanying members of their family or household members, who apply for a permanent resident visa as members of the Convention Refugee Abroad Class and meet the conditions set out below, as well as all admissibility requirements as set out in the Act.

Part 1: Conditions (eligibility requirements) applicable to Afghan nationals associated with the Government of Canada:

Delegated officers may grant an exemption from the requirements of the Regulations identified below when the following conditions are met:

  1. The Afghan national is included on a list (“the List”) submitted to the Department of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) by Global Affairs Canada. The Afghan nationals included on the List are referred to IRCC on the basis of an assessment performed by Global Affairs Canada, which confirms their significant and/or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada; or
  2. The Afghan national is included on a list (the List) submitted to IRCC by the Department of National Defence. The Afghan nationals included on the List are referred to IRCC on the basis of an assessment performed by the Department of National Defence, which confirms their significant and/or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada; and
  3. The Afghan national was in Afghanistan at the time that their application for resettlement to Canada was submitted; and
  4. IRCC received a completed application from individuals on the List on or before January 31, 2022.

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

Part 2: Condition (eligibility requirements) applicable to members of the family or certain other household members of the family of the principal applicant or their family members:

Delegated officers may grant an exemption from the requirements of the Act and Regulations identified below to a member of the family or household member of the principal applicant if:

  1. The foreign national meets the definition of a “family member” in subsection 1(3) of the Regulations and is a “family member” per this definition of a principal applicant who meets the conditions set out in Part 1 of this public policy;
  2. The foreign national meets the definition of a “de facto dependent” as per the operational procedure 5 subsection 6.13 (Annex A) and is a “de facto dependent” of a principal applicant who meets the conditions set out in Part 1 of this public policy; or
  3. The foreign national resides within the same household as the principal applicant who meets the conditions set out in Part 1 of this public policy and is a father, mother, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, grandfather, grandmother, grandchild, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, cousin or legal guardian of child who resides in the household.

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 and 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 temporary public policy takes effect on the date of my signature and it may be revoked at any time. The public policy ends on January 31, 2022, or once applications for 2,500 individuals have been received for resettlement to Canada, whichever comes first. All applications received prior to the deadline will be processed to completion under the requirements and exemptions outlined within this public policy.

The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 22nd day of July 2021

Annex A

IRCC’s Operational Procedures 5 subsection 6.13

De facto dependents (who may or may not be blood relatives) do not meet the definition of family members. The officer must be satisfied that these persons are dependent on the family unit in which membership is claimed and cannot apply as a family member. The dependency may be emotional or economic and will often be a combination of these factors. Such persons would normally, but not exclusively, reside with the principal applicant (PA) as members of the same household.

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