Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today that Canada will expedite immigration applications from Haitians with family in the country. Haitians in Canada temporarily will also be allowed to extend their stay.
Effective immediately, priority will be given to new and existing sponsorship applications from Canadian citizens, permanent residents and protected persons who have close family members in Haiti. However, they must identify themselves as being directly and significantly affected by the current situation and notify Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”). Priority consideration will also be given to pending adoption cases with the visa office in Port-au-Prince.
New sponsorship applications should have “Haiti” prominently written on the mailing envelope. Sponsors and applicants presently in Canada who have applications in process should notify the CIC Call Centre at 1-888-242-2100 (in Canada only, from 7:00am to 7:00pm Eastern Time, Monday through Friday) or by email at question-Haiti@cic.gc.ca to identify their existing applications, if they or the family they have sponsored have been adversely affected.
Also effective immediately, CIC has also put in place special immigration measures for Haitian nationals who are currently in Canada. Temporary residents already in Canada may apply to extend their temporary status according to normal procedures. These applications will be considered on an expedited basis and fees associated with these applications will be waived. Those who are unable to support themselves may also apply for a work permit.
Further, all removals to Haiti have now been temporarily halted. Although normally the Government of Canada does not deport people to Haiti except in limited circumstances, this now applies in all cases.