Government of Canada offers refuge to Afghans who assisted Canada
Many brave Afghans made incredible contributions to Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan—often at great personal risk. While over 800 were able to resettle in Canada over the past decade, many are still in Afghanistan. With the situation in the country deteriorating rapidly, many have become Taliban targets due to their work.
The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, the Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today announced a special program to resettle the Afghans who were integral to Canada’s efforts in Afghanistan.
In recognition of their service to Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is implementing special immigration measures that will offer a path to protection in Canada for those at risk due to their work. The work at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Department of National Defence (DND) is well underway to identify and assist individuals eligible for resettlement to Canada. Operational teams from IRCC, GAC and DND are currently on the ground in Afghanistan to support these efforts. Starting immediately, IRCC will begin processing individuals referred to them by GAC and DND.
Those eligible include interpreters who worked with the Canadian Armed Forces, cooks, drivers, cleaners, construction workers, security guards and locally engaged staff employed at the Embassy of Canada to Afghanistan, and their family members. Criteria to be referred for resettlement are based on applicants’ significant or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada. Applicants must meet all usual admissibility requirements, including security, criminal and health screenings, and processing timelines will be expedited. Applicants will also be subject to existing COVID-19 public health measures and safety protocols.