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Government of Canada announces support for Iranian temporary residents


February 23, 2023—Vancouver — Canada is committed to protecting Iranians already in Canada, and to helping Iranian families stay together. In light of the gross and systematic human rights violations being committed by the Iranian regime during its brutal crackdown on protestors, some may wish to prolong their stay in Canada rather than return home at this time.


Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced new measures to support Iranian temporary residents in Canada.


Effective March 1, 2023, these measures will make it easier for Iranians who wish to extend their temporary status in Canada and to move between temporary streams, allowing Iranians to continue studying, working or visiting family by applying for a new permit from inside Canada. An open work permit pathway will be made available for Iranians already in Canada as well. Applications from Iranians in Canada will also be processed on a priority basis.

In addition, the Government of Canada is waiving certain processing fees for Iranians who wish to extend their stay in Canada, and will also waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Iran who wish to leave.


Canada continues to explore changes to other programs, like the Human Rights Defenders stream, 1 of the few programs in the world with a dedicated, permanent immigration program for those who protect and promote human rights.


These measures build on our previous actions against the Iranian regime’s flagrant suppression of Iranian people’s freedoms and human rights.

We are closely monitoring the ongoing needs of Iranians and will adapt our response as needed.


Temporary public policy for nationals of Iran in Canada as temporary residents


These new facilitative measures are in effect, and individuals can apply as of March 1, 2023, and until February 28, 2024.

This public policy will allow eligible Iranian nationals currently in Canada as temporary residents to apply for the following at no cost:

  • extension of their temporary resident status in Canada

  • open work permits

  • study permits

Eligible applications submitted in Canada will be processed on a priority basis.

Canadian citizens and permanent residents living in Iran will also be able to apply for the following documents, at no cost, to help facilitate their travel:

  • limited-validity Canadian passports

  • Canadian citizenship certificates

  • permanent resident travel documents

Background


Following the tragic killing of Mahsa Amini by the Iranian regime’s so-called “morality police”, the Government of Canada has introduced a number of measures designed to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its repression of peaceful protests. The actions by the Iranian regime represent a blatant disregard for human rights and human life. The Government of Canada reiterates its unequivocal and ongoing support for the brave women, students, and people of Iran.


Many Iranians have chosen to come to Canada to visit or spend time with family, study, or work temporarily. It is understood that some of these temporary residents may feel uncomfortable returning to Iran at this time, and may wish to prolong their stay. The measures outlined in this public policy will make it easier for those who wish to extend their temporary stay in Canada without fees and move between temporary resident streams.

As such, I hereby establish, pursuant to my authority under section 25.2 of the Act, that there are sufficient public policy considerations that justify the granting of an exemption from the provisions of the Act and Regulations to foreign nationals who meet the conditions (eligibility requirements) set out below.


Effective Date and Expiration


This public policy comes into effect upon signature.

This public policy applies to applications received on or after the date it comes into effect.

This public policy expires on February 28, 2024, and may be revoked at any time without prior notice.


Quotes

“Canada will not stand idly by in the face of these aggressions as the Iranian regime continues its ongoing human rights violations. Our government is continuing to stand up for the people of Iran by making it easier for Iranians who wish to extend their stay here in Canada to be with their families, and allowing them to continue to work and study in safety. We will continue to work closely with the Iranian-Canadian community who is resolved to shed light on the repressive actions of the Iranian regime.” – The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“No matter why you are here, during this time of great uncertainty for the Iranian people, Canada remains committed to supporting the Iranian Canadian community. With these new measures, we hope to ease the hardship they’re currently facing by making it easier for them to stay longer in a place where it is safe to live and work. And perhaps, one day, call home.” – The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources

Quick facts

  • On October 7, 2022, the Government of Canada announced measures that included designating the Iranian regime as one that engages in gross or systematic human rights violations and terrorism, rendering senior officials of that regime inadmissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

  • These new facilitative measures are in effect and individuals can apply as of March 1, and until February 28, 2024.

  • More information about how to apply for these new measures will be available on Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website as of March 1, 2023.

  • Canada offers 3 resettlement streams for refugees who are outside their home country and who cannot return: the Government-Assisted Refugees Program, the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program and the Blended Visa Office-Referred Program.

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