Special measures for Afghan applications
Find out what special measures you may be eligible for
Due to the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, we’re actively exploring how we can facilitate applications for Afghans in Canada and abroad.
On this page
- Priority processing
- Waiving fees and other requirements
- If you have a matter pending before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
We’re prioritizing certain types of applications for Afghan nationals, as a special measure under this initiative.
Applications we’re prioritizing
At this time, we’re prioritizing the following types of applications for Afghan nationals
- family reunification (sponsorship)
- permanent residence
- temporary residence (including extensions for Afghans currently in Canada)
Your application must meet the requirements to be prioritized.
Family reunification (sponsorship)
We recognize it’s important to keep families and loved ones together. Our family reunification programs let Canadian citizens and permanent residents sponsor eligible family members to come to Canada.
We’ll prioritize your application to sponsor eligible immediate family members who are Afghan nationals outside Canada if you’re a
- Canadian citizen or permanent resident
- person registered under the Indian Act
You can apply now to sponsor eligible family members under this special measure. Find out how to sponsor
- your spouse, partner or dependent child (including adopted children)
- orphaned relatives under the age of 18
If you have questions or need help with this reunification program, contact us at IRCC.SituationAfghanistan.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.
Please don’t send photos or other attachments until we ask you to.
We’ll prioritize your application for permanent residence if
- you’re a Protected Person and your application includes dependent Afghan family members overseas
- you’re an Afghan refugee who has already been resettled in Canada and you’re applying for one of your dependants
We’ll prioritize your application if
- you’re an Afghan national currently in Canada and you’re applying to extend your current temporary resident status (as a temporary worker, student or visitor)
- you’re applying for temporary residence as a temporary worker, student or visitor, and you meet both of the following requirements:
- you’re an Afghan national outside Canada
- you’re an eligible family member of a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person registered under the Indian Act
How to get priority processing
You must let us know that you want priority processing on your application. How to do this depends on how you apply, or if you’ve already submitted an application.
If you apply online
Help us process your application faster by emailing us to let us know you applied. Please only email us after you’ve applied for one of the programs we’re prioritizing.
Step 1: Submit your application online
We’re only prioritizing some types of applications. Email us only if your application is being prioritized.
Step 2: Write your email
The subject line of your email should be: Priority processing request
Your email must include
- your unique client identifier (UCI), if possible
- your name and date of birth
- the type of application you submitted, such as sponsorship or temporary residence
- where your sponsorship application was made (in Canada or overseas), if applicable
- if you applied online or on paper
- the email address you used to apply (if you applied online)
- the date you applied
If you applied to sponsor an Afghan family member, your email must also include copies of at least 1 of the following documents:
- Canadian birth certificate
- Canadian citizenship certificate
- Canadian passport
- permanent resident card
- other identity documents you have (if possible)
Step 3: Send your email
Once your email is ready, send it to IRCC.SituationAfghanistan.IRCC@cic.gc.ca.
Make sure to include all the details listed above. Only include attachments from the list above.
If you apply on paper
You must write Urgent – Afghanistan priority on your envelope before you mail your application. This will make sure we process your application on a priority basis.
If you already applied (on paper or online)
You must email us if you already submitted an application (on paper or online) and want priority processing. Follow the steps under If you apply online to make sure we process your application on a priority basis.
Waiving fees and other requirements
We’re implementing special measures to waive fees and other requirements for the following types of applications for Afghan nationals.
Canadian citizens and permanent residents
If you meet the requirements below, we’ll waive the fees for
- 1-year passports
- urgent travel documents
- permanent resident travel documents
- proof of Canadian citizenship
To have the fees waived, you must be:
- a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and
- currently in Afghanistan or another country on your way to Canada
Afghan nationals who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents
If you meet the requirements below, we’ll waive
- your temporary resident permit application and biometrics fees and
- the requirement to have a valid passport or travel document
To have these waived, you must
- be an Afghan national and
- be an eligible immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and
- be travelling to Canada with a family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and
- currently be in Afghanistan or another country on your way to Canada
Afghan nationals abroad who are approved for permanent residence in Canada
We’ll waive your biometrics fees, and the requirement to have a valid passport or travel document, if
- you’re an Afghan national
- you have a valid confirmation of permanent residence to come to Canada
- you don’t have (and can’t get) a valid passport or travel document
- you’re outside of Canada when we approve your permanent resident visa
Afghan nationals in Canada as temporary workers, students or visitors
We’ll waive your application fees if you’re an Afghan national who is
- currently in Canada as a temporary resident (even if your temporary resident status has expired) and
- applying to do any of the following:
- extend your temporary resident status (as a temporary worker, student or visitor)
- renew your work or study permit (if applicable)
- restore your temporary resident status, if you lost it (you also won’t be required to restore your status within 90 days of it expiring)
- get a new temporary resident permit because your current one is expiring
If you have a matter pending before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Find out how the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada is processing existing files for Afghan nationals.
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