Minister Mendicino announces new permanent residence pathway for families of Canadian victims of recent air disasters
May 13, 2021—Ottawa—Air disasters have taken the lives of too many Canadians and left too many families across our country without loved ones.
Canada stands in solidarity with all those impacted by air disasters and will continue to support the families of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 tragedies.
On May 12, 2021, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, put in place a new public policy to facilitate immigration procedures for the families who are still grieving. The Government of Canada put special measures in place to help these families come to Canada, and this new measure is an important part of the government’s ongoing support for them.
In-Canada families of victims who were Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals who were found eligible on their permanent residence application can apply for permanent residence under this public policy. The policy will remain in effect until May 11, 2022.
All standard fees and biometric requirements apply under this public policy. Standard admissibility requirements also apply. However, applicants are still eligible even if they have lost their status in Canada.
This public policy applies only to members of victims’ families who are currently in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working on further measures to facilitate permanent residence applications for certain members of victims’ families who are outside Canada, and an announcement will be made once those measures are in place.
IRCC is also extending the original temporary residence public policy for families of victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752. This will allow the individuals who were initially issued temporary resident visas following the disaster, but who did not travel, to continue to benefit from specialized assistance and come to Canada if they wish to. It will also help those who did travel to Canada with a temporary resident visa and who are now eligible to apply for permanent residence under this new public policy, as they will be able to extend their temporary resident status until their permanent residence application is processed.
“All Canadians mourned the loss of those who died in the tragedies involving Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. At the centre of these disasters are the grieving families, who need wide-ranging support from the Government of Canada. This new pathway to permanent residence is one of the ways we are helping families of Canadian victims cope, in the hope that they may build their lives in Canada.”
—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed near the town of Bishoftu, Ethiopia, claiming the lives of 157 people, including 18 Canadians and many others with ties to Canada.
On January 8, 2020, a passenger jet carrying 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, in Tehran. Of the 176 innocent people who died on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, 138 had ties to Canada.
Special Advisor Ralph Goodale’s report on the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was released in December 2020. It underscores how vital it is for the investigation into this air disaster to be transparent and ensure accountability.
In response to the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, IRCC put special immigration measures in place, such as dedicated phone and email channels for immigration support and public policies to facilitate the issuance of temporary resident visas as well as extensions of temporary resident status for those unable to return home because of the ongoing global travel restrictions.
Through the Safer Skies Initiative, Canada is working with international organizations, the civil aviation industry and the International Civil Aviation Organization to enhance the level of safety and security for commercial airlines travelling in higher-risk areas and to prevent future tragedies.
In honour of the victims of air tragedies, such as the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, the Government of Canada designated January 8 of every year as the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters.
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