Feds using ‘new strategy’ to help those impacted by Turkey, Syria earthquakes – National


Canada has announced new measures to aid those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria.

On Saturday, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced at a press conference in Mississauga, Ont., that Turkish and Syrian temporary residents in Canada can apply to extend their status with no charge, effective March 29. They can also apply for open work permits that will allow them to stay in Canada for up to three years.

Read more:

Thousands have arrived in Canada from Turkey, Syria since deadly earthquakes

Canada will also waive the need to have a passport or travel document to be approved for a permanent resident visa, given some of those affected may have lost the documents. Fraser also said that the fees for temporary passports and emergency travel documents will be waived for those returning to Canada, as well as for Canadian citizenship certificates and permanent resident travel documents.

Story continues below advertisement

“Today we are introducing new measures that make it easier for Turkish and Syrian nationals to extend their stay in Canada and be with their families, while continuing to work and study in a safe environment,” Fraser said in a statement.

Canada has been processing permanent and temporary residence applications from those affected by the earthquakes on a priority basis. As of Feb. 8, close to 16,000 applications from Syria and Turkey were in progress, with 1,700 of those (750 permanent, 920 temporary residents) involving people from the impacted areas, according to the government.

Click to play video: 'Turkey, Syria relief aid lags 1 month after earthquakes'

Turkey, Syria relief aid lags 1 month after earthquakes


“For those who apply for a temporary residency visa, we will be able to treat their applications with priority processing,” Fraser said at the press conference.

“(There are) special measures that we’re implementing, internal to our system, to provide guidance to our officers to facilitate the approval of their cases so they can come to Canada.”

Story continues below advertisement

Fraser said the government has learned from its efforts to accept people escaping Ukraine after the Russian invasion of their country last year. The government offered temporary protection to large numbers of people from Ukraine much faster than it could through ordinary refugee resettlement programs, he said.

Read more:

Canada’s Ukraine visa program is set to expire this month. Will Ottawa extend it?

“We’re using a new strategy to help facilitate the arrival of people who find themselves in those situations (who) ordinarily may not be approved to come to Canada,” he said.

“The specific mechanism that we’re using involves the use of advanced analytics within IRCC system to identify people who have been impacted by the earthquake and to render a positive eligibility decision for a whole group of applicants at once.”

More than 50,000 have been killed and millions displaced from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Feb. 6 that hit the region, as well from its powerful aftershocks.

As of March 10, about 600 Syrian and 6,400 Turkish residents in Canada had temporary status that is set to expire within six months, according to the government.

As of Feb. 24, $50 million was announced by the federal government in support of the earthquake response.

Story continues below advertisement

— With files from the Canadian Press

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Source link

Denial of responsibility! Planetconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Leave a comment