Canada announces support for Iranian temporary residents 

News release

February 23, 2023—Vancouver — Canada is committed to protecting Iranians already in Canada, and to helping Iranian families stay together. In light of the gross and systematic human rights violations being committed by the Iranian regime during its brutal crackdown on protestors, some may wish to prolong their stay in Canada rather than return home at this time.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced new measures to support Iranian temporary residents in Canada.  

Effective March 1, 2023, these measures will make it easier for Iranians who wish to extend their temporary status in Canada and to move between temporary streams, allowing Iranians to continue studying, working or visiting family by applying for a new permit from inside Canada. An open work permit pathway will be made available for Iranians already in Canada as well. Applications from Iranians in Canada will also be processed on a priority basis.  

In addition, the Government of Canada is waiving certain processing fees for Iranians who wish to extend their stay in Canada, and will also waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Iran who wish to leave.

Canada continues to explore changes to other programs, like the Human Rights Defenders stream, 1 of the few programs in the world with a dedicated, permanent immigration program for those who protect and promote human rights.

These measures build on our previous actions against the Iranian regime’s flagrant suppression of Iranian people’s freedoms and human rights.

We are closely monitoring the ongoing needs of Iranians and will adapt our response as needed.


“Canada will not stand idly by in the face of these aggressions as the Iranian regime continues its ongoing human rights violations. Our government is continuing to stand up for the people of Iran by making it easier for Iranians who wish to extend their stay here in Canada to be with their families, and allowing them to continue to work and study in safety. We will continue to work closely with the Iranian-Canadian community who is resolved to shed light on the repressive actions of the Iranian regime.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“No matter why you are here, during this time of great uncertainty for the Iranian people, Canada remains committed to supporting the Iranian Canadian community. With these new measures, we hope to ease the hardship they’re currently facing by making it easier for them to stay longer in a place where it is safe to live and work. And perhaps, one day, call home.”

– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

Quick facts

  •  On October 7, 2022, the Government of Canada announced measures that included designating the Iranian regime as one that engages in gross or systematic human rights violations and terrorism, rendering senior officials of that regime inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

  • These new facilitative measures are in effect and individuals can apply as of March 1, and until February 28, 2024.

  • More information about how to apply for these new measures will be available on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website as of March 1, 2023. 

  • Canada offers 3 resettlement streams for refugees who are outside their home country and who cannot return: the Government-Assisted Refugees Program, the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program.

Associated links


Contacts for media only:

Bahoz Dara Aziz 
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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