Facilitative measures to support those affected by the crisis in Afghanistan

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

These operational instructions include temporary measures, effective August 23, 2021, for those affected (as per the eligibility requirements) by the escalating situation in Afghanistan.

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Priority processing

Priority processing may be applied to the following:

Priority processing means such requests should be placed ahead of the queue.

Overseas temporary residence applications must be submitted online as per the Ministerial Instructions with respect to the submission of online applications for temporary resident visas and other documents due to reduced processing capacity during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Client identification

Affected Canadian citizens and permanent residents and immediate family members of Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act and permanent residents who apply online have to self-identify through the dedicated mailbox (IRCC.SituationAfghanistan.IRCC@cic.gc.ca) and are required to provide identity documents and documentary evidence substantiating their eligibility (where available).

The email should include

The documentation for Afghan citizens wishing to come to Canada should prove

Examples of documentary evidence include the following:

Photographic evidence may be used as a supplement for the above documents.

Note: Applicants are not required to provide documentary evidence about the general situation. That is, proof is not required of the current situation in Afghanistan.

Processing Afghan citizens who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents

Eligible Afghan citizens who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act, and Canadian permanent residents and who already have a family class application for permanent residence or an application for temporary residence in processing, or submit a new application, are to benefit from priority processing given the quickly evolving situation.

Family class applications

Pending applications for permanent residence of immediate family members being sponsored by Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act and Canadian permanent residents, should be prioritized. Priority processing should be given where the primary applicants are currently residing outside of Canada and are of Afghan nationality; however, in some circumstances, the most expeditious option for these clients may be to apply for an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or temporary resident visa (TRV) in order to be considered for a temporary resident permit (TRP).

Existing applications

Existing complete family class permanent residence applications as per section R10 will be processed on a priority basis while taking into consideration the additional processing guidance outlined further in these instructions.

Use “Afghan Special Measures 2021” to track all applications received from Afghan nationals.

New applications

Applicants submitting a family class paper-based application must label the envelope with “Urgent – Afghanistan priority” to ensure officers process their application on a priority basis.

If a new application is missing supporting documentation (associated fees are required) due to individual circumstances as a result of the crisis in Afghanistan, the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga (CPC-M) may promote the application, and it can be reviewed in 90 days.

Processing staff should frequently verify applications received online to prioritize applications received from Afghan nationals. Applicants will be able to submit a request for priority processing via the dedicated inbox (IRCC.SituationAfghanistan.IRCC@cic.gc.ca).

Officers should associate “Afghan Special Measures 2021” to track all applications received from Afghan nationals.

Offices should exercise flexibility when reviewing applications. Applications found to be incomplete with no explanation provided, or for reasons unrelated to the disruption of services associated with the impacts of COVID-19, may be rejected as per section R10, and all fees associated with the application should be refunded to the applicant. The reason for rejection should be unrelated to the disruption of services.

Temporary residence

Eligible Afghan citizens may apply for a TRV. Processing networks should prioritize the processing of temporary residence applications of Afghan nationals who are outside Canada and are immediate family members of Canadian citizens, persons registered under the Indian Act, Canadian permanent residents and protected persons in Canada who have applied for permanent residence. These measures apply to new and existing applications.

Officers should associate “Afghan Special Measures 2021” to track all applications received from Afghan nationals.

Persons eligible under these measures remain subject to all statutory obligations, including eligibility and admissibility requirements, such as

Processing protected persons permanent residence applications from Afghan citizens

Priority processing should be given to protected persons applications for permanent residence received from Afghan citizens where the family members are currently residing outside of Canada.

Existing applications

Existing protected persons applications will be processed on a priority basis while taking into consideration the additional processing guidance outlined in these instructions.

Use “Afghan Special Measures 2021” to track all applications received from Afghan nationals.

New applications

Applicants submitting a paper-based protected persons application for permanent residence must label the envelope with “Urgent – Afghanistan priority” to ensure officers process their application on a priority basis.

Processing staff should frequently verify applications received online to prioritize applications received from Afghan nationals. Applicants will be able to submit a request for priority processing via the dedicated inbox (IRCC.SituationAfghanistan.IRCC@cic.gc.ca).

Officers should associate “Afghan Special Measures 2021” to track all applications received from Afghan nationals.

Processing of dependants of resettled Afghan refugees

Under the one-year window (OYW) of opportunity provision, non-accompanying family members may be eligible to be processed as dependants of a permanent resident who arrived in Canada as a refugee within the past year, provided they were declared by the principal applicant on the original application for resettlement.

Once the migration officer is satisfied that the applicant is eligible and is not inadmissible, the application can be finalized. The applicant is contacted with travel arrangements, once completed, and may be asked to submit a passport, or IRCC may issue a single journey travel document. Final preparations vary greatly. The IRCC office abroad provides the applicant with more information at this stage.

Use “Afghan Special Measures 2021” to track all applications received.

Fee waivers

As part of the Government of Canada’s response to support those affected by this situation, the Department will waive certain fees for those eligible. This temporary public policy will apply to those who submit an eligible applications between August 25, 2021 and February 28th, 2022.

Fees waived for eligible Afghan nationals, or Canadian citizens/permanent residents in the affected area:

Processing fees are waived for eligible Afghan citizens applying for an extension of authorization to remain in Canada on a temporary basis:

Medical examination

Existing applications with expired medicals may be eligible for a reassessment as per Permanent residence: COVID-19 program delivery.

For new applications or applications where the existing medical cannot be reassessed, the client will be required to undergo their medical exam upon arrival in Canada. Medical instructions should be issued when the client arrives in Canada.

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