Temporary public policy for the resettlement of certain locally engaged staff of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
The withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan created significant risks with respect to security in the country. Afghan nationals in Afghanistan who worked with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) face an increased risk of being targeted for attacks and assassination campaigns as they supported a western military organisation.
In that context, NATO evacuated locally engaged staff and their family members to host countries in anticipation of resettlement to member states. At the request of NATO, the majority of those individuals are being hosted by Kosovo.
NATO Member States have committed to, and subsequently have begun to resettle, agreed upon numbers of locally engaged staff and their families. In recognition of Canada’s status as a Member State, as party to the North Atlantic Treaty, as well as the enduring relationship with NATO, Canada has also committed to the resettlement of locally engaged staff who effectively operated for the benefit of all Member States.
The Temporary Public Policy for the Resettlement of Certain Locally Engaged Staff of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization recognizes the high vulnerability and elevated risk faced by individuals who worked with a western military organisation. This new temporary public policy will facilitate the immigration of individuals identified by NATO for their potential resettlement in 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 Regulations listed below for Afghan nationals who were locally engaged staff of NATO, 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.
Conditions (eligibility requirements) applicable to Afghan nationals associated with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization:
Delegated officers may grant an exemption to a foreign national from the requirements of the Regulations identified below who meets the following conditions:
- The Afghan national is included on a list (“the List”) submitted to the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (Department) by NATO which conforms to the parameters set out in the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department and NATO.
Requirements of the provisions of the Regulations for which an exemption may be granted:
- paragraph 139(1)(g) of the Regulations– the requirement to be able to become successfully established in Canada;
- subsection 140.3(1) of the Regulations – the requirement to submit a referral from a referral organization with their permanent resident application;
- subsection 140.3(4) of the Regulations – the requirement to submit their permanent resident application to the immigration office that serves the foreign national’s place of residence;
- paragraphs 151(b) and (c) of the Regulations – the requirement to meet the conditions of these paragraphs to be issued a temporary travel document; and,
- section 307 of the Regulations – the requirement to pay the application processing fee for examining circumstances under subsection 25.2(1) of the Act.
Other statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements:
Foreign nationals eligible under this public policy are subject to all other applicable statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements not addressed by this temporary public policy or otherwise exempted.
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 resettlement to Canada for 150 foreign nationals have been approved. All applications received on or before the expiry or revocation date will be processed under this public policy.
The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 19th day of September, 2021
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