Canada continues humanitarian effort for people in the Americas

News release

New humanitarian pathway for Colombian, Haitian and Venezuelan foreign nationals launches today

November 17, 2023—Ottawa—The world is facing an unprecedented migration crisis. With record numbers of people displaced internationally, Canada recognizes the need to take action and is working to support vulnerable individuals by providing them with safe and regular migration pathways. This is why Canada is providing an alternative to irregular migration by welcoming 15,000 people from the Western Hemisphere through a family-based humanitarian pathway in addition to our existing programs.

The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced that the dedicated humanitarian pathway to provide permanent residence to Colombian, Haitian and Venezuelan foreign nationals is now open for applications.

To qualify for the pathway, the principal applicant must be a child (regardless of age), grandchild, spouse, common-law partner, parent, grandparent or sibling of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who agrees to support them and their family members as an anchor for one year.

Those coming to Canada through the new humanitarian pathway will receive pre‑arrival services, including an employment skills assessment and a referral to a settlement service provider organization in their community. They may also be eligible for transitional financial assistance from the Resettlement Assistance Program.

Canada is also already welcoming people from the Americas by

  • bringing in an additional 4,000 people through Canada’s existing temporary worker programs, including the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program
  • leveraging Canada’s existing refugee labour mobility pathway, the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot

These measures are meant to alleviate migration pressures in the Western Hemisphere. The new humanitarian pathway provides an alternative to irregular migration northbound through Central America for some of those who are displaced due to political, social and economic instability. IRCC will continue to monitor the progress of the pathway and adjust as required toward these goals.


“We are determined to uphold our humanitarian tradition and support those in need. Providing safe, legal pathways for displaced people to start new lives in Canada not only delivers on that commitment, but also strengthens our country through the profound contributions newcomers make in their communities, including growing our economy and filling labour market gaps.”

– The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • There has been a significant increase in irregular migration through Central America. This has led to a corresponding rise in migrant smuggling, physical insecurity and exploitation of those crossing through the region.

  • To apply, you must submit your application using the online IRCC portal. You will need to provide a signed statutory declaration from your anchor confirming that they are willing to support you in Canada.

  • You must plan to live outside Quebec to be eligible to apply, as Quebec has chosen not to participate in the program.

  • In addition to this commitment, Canada is increasing its assistance for capacity-building efforts in the region by investing $75 million over six years for projects across Latin America and the Caribbean to strengthen asylum capacity and better integrating migrants and refugees into local communities and labour markets.

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Contacts for media only:

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

Media Relations
Communications Sector
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

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