ARCHIVED – Notice - Important information on priority processing measures in Haiti

N.B.: Contact information that is inaccurate or no longer in use has been removed from this page.

January 18, 2010 — The special immigration measures recently announced for people in Haiti only apply to family members, including spouses, common-law and conjugal partners, dependent children (including a child adopted abroad) parents, grandparents and orphaned family members (brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews or grandchildren under 18) of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Priority will also be given to the processing of Haitian family members of protected persons applying for permanent residence in Canada. The Canadian family member must sponsor the application. Our current immigration priorities are:

  • Children (adopted or unaccompanied dependents of Canadian citizens or permanent residents and orphaned family members including brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews or grandchildren under 18)
  • Spouses and dependent children
  • Parents and grandparents
  • Dependents of principal applicants who have applied for permanent residence as protected persons.

Sponsors in Canada are asked to notify CIC.


The Embassy of Canada has been damaged by the earthquake and services are extremely limited. CIC has set up a unit in Canada of approximately 10 people, more staff may be added as needed. The unit is supporting CIC’s office in Haiti by identifying and expediting existing adoption and family class sponsorship applications.

The Embassy cannot take new visa applications for the time being. We do not have the capacity at the moment to process applications. In exceptional circumstances, close family members accompanying Canadian citizens being evacuated may be granted a visa.

In addition, we are working to restore services at an alternate location to serve Haiti and the area, and will soon provide information on where people should go to submit applications or follow-up questions.

Adoptions already in process

We understand that adoptive parents are anxious to unite their families in Canada and we are working as fast as possible to assist them.

All adoptive parents, at any stage of the process, are asked to contact CIC regarding their case. This includes prospective adoptive parents who have not yet reached the immigration stage of the adoption process and are still working with the province or the Government of Haiti to finalize the adoption.

Canada normally accepts between 100 to 150 adoptions from Haiti each year.

New adoption cases

International adoption is a complex process. In some parts of the world, children are abducted or otherwise unlawfully taken from their parents, or sold by intermediaries to institutions or agencies which handle international adoption for the purpose of personal financial gain. Bribery and fraudulent documentation are also sometimes factors in the international adoption process. Under all circumstances, CIC must make sure that the best interests of children are protected. Canadians planning to adopt a child from another country must follow their province or territory’s regulations for international adoptions and abide by the laws of the child’s country of origin – in this case, Haiti.

It is international policy and practice to try to first find homes for children who have been orphaned in their own country before placing them in a foreign country.

More information on international adoptions is available on the CIC Web site.


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