Canada welcomes Afghans through new humanitarian partnership

News release

May 26, 2023—Toronto—Strong humanitarian partnerships to navigate complex geopolitical realities are crucial in bringing Afghans to safety in Canada. The Government of Canada continues to work with like-minded countries, partners in the region and non-governmental organizations to facilitate the safe movement of Afghans destined for Canada.

As part of a growing partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today that the Government of Canada has reached an agreement with the UAE, which will increase safe passage options for Afghans destined for Canada. As part of this partnership, Canada will resettle up to 1,000 Afghan nationals who were evacuated from Afghanistan following the fall of Kabul and are currently in the UAE.

With today’s charter flight into Toronto, over 650 Afghan nationals have already arrived in Canada under this cooperation. Today’s arrivals are destined to over 15 communities across Canada, including Kingston, St. Catharines, Toronto and Vancouver.

In 2022, also through cooperation with the UAE, Canada welcomed 3 flights of Afghan nationals, bringing our total arrivals from the UAE to over 1,500 to date.

Despite the ongoing challenges and the difficult work ahead of us, we remain on track to achieve our goal of resettling at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghans by the end of 2023. To date, we have welcomed nearly 32,000 individuals to Canada.

The Government of Canada thanks the UAE for their significant efforts and partnership to help facilitate the safe passage of displaced Afghan nationals to Canada and other resettlement countries around the world.


“Safe passage from Afghanistan remains a challenge unlike any other the Government Canada has faced in a humanitarian resettlement program. The success of our mission would not be possible without partners like the United Arab Emirates, and I am incredibly grateful for their cooperation. Canada will not waiver in its commitment to resettle at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghans.”

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

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada’s commitment to resettling at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghans by the end of 2023 is one of the largest commitments around the world. Find the data on our Key figures web page.

  • The first charter flight under this partnership arrived in Toronto on May 19 with 317 Afghan nationals on board.

  • With the support of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Canada welcomed 3 flights from the UAE in 2022, carrying more than 300 Afghan refugees each.

  • The Government of Canada recently introduced amendments to the Criminal Code. Bill C-41 supports Canada’s Afghan commitment by enabling the safe movement of IRCC applicants out of Afghanistan to third countries where immigration processing may be completed and onward travel to Canada can be arranged. These amendments will also help us expand our work with non-governmental organizations and other organizations who operate in the region.

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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