ARCHIVED – Notice – Update: priority processing measures for Haiti (as of June 26, 2010)

The Government of Canada is committed to reuniting families affected by the earthquake that struck near Port-au-Prince on January 12, 2010, as quickly as possible.

CIC is focussing its efforts on processing Haiti Special Measures (HSM) family sponsorship applications. HSM family class refers to applications for permanent residence under the Family Class, Humanitarian and Compassionate Class, Refugee Dependants Abroad, and In Canada Refugees categories.

Processing Commitments

July 7, 2010CIC has committed to making a decision, by June 30, on all family class applications received before April 1 (including pre-earthquake applications). Those received more recently (after April 1) will have a decision within 12 weeks of the end of the month in which the application is received.

Family Class Application

Family class applications involve two steps:

  • The family member in Canada submits a sponsorship application supporting a relative in Haiti.
  • The applicant in Haiti submits a permanent residence application.

Progress to Date

Sponsorship applications

As of June 26, CIC has reviewed sponsorship applications for more than 4,250 sponsors from the HSM family members category within Canada. We have processed all completed sponsorship applications received to date. Complete applications are generally reviewed within 10 days. Since the earthquake, we have processed applications for more than 3,550 sponsorship applicants. These applications were either matched with the application from the relative in Haiti for further processing, or they were determined ineligible and withdrawn, with the agreement of the sponsor. Over 700 individuals had their applications returned with a request for further information.

Permanent residence applications

Prior to the earthquake, there were permanent resident applications for about 1,800 Haitians in the HSM family class inventory awaiting a decision from CIC. The department has cleared more than 80% of them, including 91% of spousal and 94% of dependent children applicants. This means applications for over 1,500 Haitians were approved, refused, withdrawn or are currently in Canada. CIC withdraws applications when applicants do not provide the requested information or comply with requests to undertake follow-up actions.

Between January 13 and March 31, CIC received applications for nearly 700 Haitians in the HSM family class. CIC has now cleared 85% of them. This means applications for almost 600 Haitians were approved, refused, withdrawn or are currently in Canada.

Since April 1, CIC has received applications for over 1,450 Haitians in the HSM family class, and has cleared over 20% of them. The balance, approximately1,100, is expected to be cleared within 12 weeks of the end of the month the application was received.

In addition to the applications for 1,800 Haitians available for processing at CIC on January 12, CIC has received applications for 2,160 Haitians in the HSM Family Class since the earthquake, for a total of over 3,900 permanent resident applicants. Of these, CIC has

  • approved applications for over 860 Haitians in the Family Class, more than double the number in the same timeframe last year in the same categories;
  • refused applications for approximately 890 Haitians, due in large part to applicants’ failure to show up for their scheduled interviews;
  • withdrawn applications for about 350 Haitians; and
  • issued nearly 360 temporary visas and permits while their permanent resident applications are still under consideration.

Approximately 1,550 individuals still have a decision pending on their application.

CIC has also granted permission for the entry of approximately 1,800 Haitians on a temporary basis, using either temporary resident visas (almost 1,360 issued) or temporary resident permits (almost 440 issued). Of these 1,800 applicants, about 360 have made permanent resident applications under the HSM Family Class category.

Note on all applications

CIC can only complete processing of an application within the identified processing timelines if both the sponsorship application and the application(s) for permanent residence have been received and are complete. The required documents include the completed applications, processing fees, supporting documentation (where available), and medical results.

Some applicants have not followed instructions that would allow CIC to finalize their applications. They have either failed to show up for their interview or have not submitted to a medical examination or DNA test, as requested. As a result, CIC has withdrawn these applications from active processing. If the applicant complies with the outstanding requirements within 90 days after the withdrawal, CIC will reopen the file and resume processing.

Quebec Special Measures

The Province of Quebec introduced new regulatory measures to facilitate sponsorship of people who were seriously and personally affected by the earthquake in Haiti. CIC is working closely with Quebec on this program.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents can, if they qualify, help family in Haiti by submitting a sponsorship application to CPC–Mississauga here in Canada. Priority processing is also available for new and existing applications for permanent residence in Canada in the Spouse or Common-Law Partner in Canada Class and for Protected Persons, including those family members directly and significantly affected by this disaster. Sponsors should submit permanent resident applications for their family members at the same time, with the appropriate documents.

Please advise your family members in Haiti that they should not approach the Embassy in Port-au-Prince until they are called to do so. By respecting this, you will help CIC to better serve you and everyone else, as Embassy staff would be able to focus on processing applications from persons with qualified sponsors.

Please ensure that contact information for you and your family members is up-to-date.


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