Operational Bulletin 668 (expired) – January 16, 2020

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. For current information, please refer to the Special measures related to Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752.

Effective date Expiry date, if any
January 10, 2020
Modified: February 7, 2020
June 30, 2020

Summary

This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides special operational instructions related to temporary special measures for Canadian citizens, permanent and temporary residents of Canada, as well as foreign nationals directly affected by the crisis situation resulting from the crash of Ukrainian Airlines flight PS752 in Iran on January 8, 2020. The crash resulted in a total loss of life onboard, which included 176 passengers, of whom 57 were Canadian citizens and 29 were permanent residents, with a total of 138 passengers en route to Canada.

Note: From this point forward, references to “the crisis situation” in these instructions refer to the crash of flight PS752.

Background

Canadian citizens, permanent and temporary residents as well as foreign nationals (who have not already obtained temporary resident status) who lost members of their family as a result of this crisis situation may be required to travel urgently to the affected area and/or to Canada to deal with the aftermath of the crisis, including the repatriation of remains, funerals, final wills and testaments, etc. Families of these victims may require expedited travel-related documents such as electronic travel authorizations (eTAs), temporary resident visas (TRVs), permanent resident cards (PR cards) or travel documents, citizenship certificates, passports and other emergency travel documents.

Due to the crisis situation, and as part of the Government of Canada’s response to support those affected, special measures have been implemented and the Minister has established a public policy to waive fees, for temporary documentation, under section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, for affected persons.

Eligibility

The special measures are extended to eligible applicants for new or replacement documents required to facilitate travel for those affected as a result of the crisis. The special measures in this crisis include new applications due to the nature of the crisis and the fact that affected individuals may be required to have travel documents, even where they may not have had such documents already, to deal with the aftermath of the crisis.

Affected persons and self-identification

The persons impacted by this crisis who are eligible for the special measures include Canadian citizens, Canadian permanent residents, temporary residents and foreign nationals (who have not already obtained temporary resident status) who are directly supporting families of the victims of flight PS752 and who are required to travel to deliver this support. The special measures also include, pursuant to a public policy, foreign nationals who are a member of the family of a victim of flight PS752 who have been directly and personally affected by the incident, and persons responsible for settling the victim’s personal affairs. In this context, it is not limited to immediate family, but includes other relatives and individuals considered to be like family, whether or not related by marriage, common-law partnership or any legal parent-child relationship.

To identify as an affected person, applicants must provide an explanation of their situation in a signed letter or email with their application. Proof of a family member’s death could include a verbal statement, flight manifest information, media report linking the family members, notice from the airline, correspondence from a lawyer, DNA results etc.

These special measures do not limit the authority of officers and all applications are to be dealt with compassionately and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Priority processing of applications

To be eligible for consideration under the special measures, crisis-related applications (including requests for replacement documents) must be submitted between January 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020. All requests and new applications will be considered in an urgent, compassionate and flexible manner on a case-by-case basis.

As they are not related to travel, new applications for permanent residence status as well as new applications for work or study permits are not covered by these special measures.

Canadian citizens

Canadian passports: Special assistance measures for passports (including emergency travel documents) are the following: 

What to submit

For more information contact the Passport Program.

Citizenship certificates: To request a citizenship certificate (proof of citizenship), affected Canadian citizens should follow the process outlined here: Application for a citizenship certificate. Information on how to apply urgently can be found here: Urgent processing of a proof of citizenship application. The proof of citizenship application fee ($75) is not to be charged to the applicant. However, if a person applies using the online proof application, they will have to pay the fee in order for the application to be accepted into processing. The fee will be reimbursed. Grant applications submitted by affected individuals that are currently in process or submitted during the special measures time frame will not be considered for a fee waiver, but may be considered for expedited processing if related to travel in and out of Canada.

Permanent residents

As these are not related to travel, note that permanent residence applications submitted by affected individuals that are currently in process or submitted during the special measures time frame will not be considered for a fee waiver, but will be considered for expedited processing if they can enable travel in and out of Canada.

Permanent resident cards (PR cards)

Applicants don’t need to pay the $50 fee to replace their PR card. Follow these steps for urgent processing of a PR card:

If an applicant applied on or after January 10, 2020, and paid the fee but did not self-identify as a family member, they should contact IRCC about getting a refund.

Permanent resident travel document (PRTD): Affected permanent residents who have travelled outside Canada without their PR card because it was lost or destroyed must obtain a PRTD before they return to Canada by following the processing outlined here: Permanent resident travel document. Requests for PRTDs are to be processed on a priority basis at Canadian visa offices abroad, and the application fee to replace or issue a PRTD ($50) is not to be charged to the applicant.

PRTD applications made at a visa application centre (VAC): Affected applicants who paid application fees during the effective period of the special measures that are indicated in these special measures as “not to be charged to the applicant” or as waived under these special measures can request a refund via the dedicated email address according to the Contacting IRCC section of these instructions. However, VAC service charges cannot be waived and will not be refunded. VACs are third-party service providers and VAC service charges are governed by a formal contract with the Government of Canada. Applications can be made at any VAC.

Temporary residents

Extension of status: Affected persons who are temporary residents as of January 10, 2020 and whose status expires before June 30, 2020, must follow steps to apply for an extension of their temporary residence status.

The public policy authorizes officers to grant an exemption from paragraphs 181(1)(a) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) to allow additional time for affected foreign nationals to extend their temporary status if an application is submitted between January 10 and June 30, 2020 and waiving the fee in the submission of an application for renewal or extension prior to the expiry of the present document.

Restoration: Affected persons who were out of status on January 10, 2020 must follow steps to apply for restoration of status. There are no special measures affecting the duration of the standard 90-day restoration period. The 90-day restoration period requirement remains in effect. Affected applicants who were out of status on January 10, 2020, must apply for restoration of status within their 90-day restoration period. However, affected applicants are not required to pay for restoration of status under subsection R306(1) for restoration applications made between January 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020.

The special measures do not waive the requirement of section R52 for foreign nationals to hold a valid passport or applicable visa. There are no special measures allowing them to submit their application for restoration or an extension before receiving their replacement passport or travel document.

Foreign nationals

Affected persons who are not in Canada can apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to travel to Canada. Find out what document(s) you need to travel to Canada.

Subject to officer discretion, if approved, applications for TRVs should be granted multiple entry which will expire in 6 months.

eTA parameters will remain unchanged; eTAs are valid for multiple entries for a period of 5 years.

Fee waivers

Under the public policy signed by the Minister, the following fees for temporary residents or foreign nationals are waived:

There are no provisions to waive any eTA-related fees, but refunds should be issued post-processing. Also, VAC service charges cannot be waived and will not be refunded. VACs are third-party service providers and VAC service charges are governed by a formal contract with the Government of Canada.

Refugees seeking/obtained protection in Canada

To mitigate the risks to the person the Department does not recommend that any person who has obtained refugee protection in line with A95(1) and is a protected person as described in A95(2) travel to their country of origin (persecution).

For this reason, the department is not developing any special instructions to facilitate the travel of refugees to their country of origin or persecution. In line with existing policy and instructions, refugee travel documents are not to be issued to facilitate travel to the country of origin or persecution.

Submission method

Paper applications: 

For in-Canada applications, affected persons who submit paper applications should indicate “URGENT: Flight PS752” on the outside of the final envelope (e.g. if the application is sent by courier, write the statement on the courier envelope); it is also recommended that this be indicated on the first page of the application.

For applications submitted overseas at a VAC, applicants should self-identify to the VAC agent at the time of submission that they are connected to a PS752 victim.

Applications made online: 

Affected persons who submit electronic applications should immediately send a follow-up email to: operationPS752@cic.gc.ca, see instructions in the Contacting IRCC section below.

If applying for an eTA, applicants can include the time and date of travel to Canada for urgent processing. Applicants can also indicate in the final text box on the online application form “URGENT: Flight PS752”.

Refund requests

Applications made between January 10, 2020 and June 30, 2020, should not include any fee payments. Online applications are to be marked “fee exempt” under the special measures as a request that the fee not be charged in the appropriate section of the online application.

Affected applicants who submitted their application and paid the applicable fee (or a biometric fee) to IRCC on or after January 10, 2020 will be issued a refund automatically under consideration of the special measures.

Contacting IRCC

As of 9 a.m. EST on January 10, 2020 the number to call in Canada or the U.S. is 1-833-864-2831 and from anywhere else in the world, 1-438-843-2029.

Individuals can email IRCC at operationPS752@cic.gc.ca.

Hours of operation (subject to review based on demand)

Weekends: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET 

Monday to Friday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Notification will be given if/when these coordinates change or cease.

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