Supporting Sudanese Nationals: IRCC Introduces New Immigration Regulations
The recent conflict in Sudan has caused a great deal of instability and uncertainty for Sudanese nationals residing in Canada. In response, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser has announced new immigration measures to support temporary residents who may be unable to return home. These measures include free extensions of status, prioritized processing of completed applications, and waived fees for passport and permanent resident travel documents. These steps are an effort to support Sudanese nationals in Canada during a challenging time and reflect Canada's commitment to providing protection to vulnerable people around the world. In this blog, we will take a closer look at these measures and how they will impact Sudanese nationals in Canada.
The New Immigration Regulations for Sudanese Nationals in Canada
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has introduced the following new immigration measures for Sudanese nationals in Canada:
1. Extension of Status
Sudanese nationals in Canada can apply for an extension of their status in Canada and between temporary streams to continue working, studying, or visiting. Extensions will be free of charge.
2. Priority Processing of Completed Applications
IRCC will prioritize the processing of completed temporary and permanent residence applications already in the system from people who are still in Sudan. This includes visitor visa applications for eligible immediate family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents.
3. Waiving of Passport and Permanent Resident Travel Document Fees
Canada will also waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Sudan who wish to leave.
The Reason for the New Immigration Regulations
These new measures are in response to the recent unrest in Sudan due to a conflict that has broken out between two rival military factions. Most of the fighting is said to be occurring near the capital, Khartoum. The constantly evolving situation limits movement within the country and has an impact on the ability to process new applications at the current time. Additionally, Global Affairs Canada reports that it has been made to temporarily suspend operations in Sudan.
Sudanese Nationals in Canada
According to data from Census 2021, 17,485 people in Canada say Sudan is their country of ethnic or cultural origin. A further 4,690 are recent immigrants to Canada who report Sudan as their country of birth. The new immigration measures will provide essential support to these individuals and their families.
Similar Measures Taken in the Past
These new measures are similar to those taken to assist Turkish and Syrians impacted by the earthquake last February, as well as those announced on February 23rd to assist Iranians in Canada during a time of instability. Canada has a proud and long-standing tradition of providing protection to vulnerable people around the world, and these new measures demonstrate that commitment.
Implementation of the New Regulations
IRCC says that those who are eligible for priority processing will be still subject to all other statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements, and it is preparing to deploy additional officers to the region to help those already on the ground to support immigration-related operations.
Canada's Broader Humanitarian Efforts
Canada has a long history of welcoming refugees and providing aid to those in need around the world. In 2022, Canada resettled over 9,000 refugees, including over 5,000 privately sponsored refugees. Canada also provided over $2 billion in international assistance to support humanitarian efforts and development initiatives around the world.
The new immigration measures for Sudanese nationals in Canada demonstrate the country's commitment to supporting vulnerable individuals around the world. These new regulations will provide much-needed support to Sudanese nationals in Canada and prioritize the processing of completed applications for those still in Sudan. IRCC is preparing to deploy additional officers to the region to help those already on the ground to support immigration-related operations, and we hope that these measures will provide some relief to those impacted by the conflict in Sudan.
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