Mississauga, Ontario—As part of Canada’s response to the situation in Türkiye and Syria, the Government of Canada has been processing temporary and permanent residence applications from people affected by the devastating earthquakes on a priority basis, including applications for refugee resettlement. Now, we are also taking steps to make it easier for Turkish and Syrian nationals already in Canada to extend their stay.
Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced new immigration measures to support Turkish and Syrian temporary residents in Canada who may be unable to return home at this time due to the destruction caused by the earthquakes in the region.
Effective March 29, 2023, Turkish and Syrian nationals can continue to study, work or visit family by applying for an extension of their status free of charge. An open work permit pathway will be made available for Turkish and Syrian nationals already in Canada. These measures will make it easier for Turkish and Syrian nationals who wish to extend their temporary status in Canada and to move between temporary streams.
Canada is also working with UN partners in the area to provide temporary shelter for refugees in Canada’s resettlement process who have been seriously impacted while they wait for their applications to be processed. We will continue to closely monitor the needs of people in the region and will adapt our response as needed.
· As of February 8, 2023, there were close to 16,000 Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) clients with applications in progress in Türkiye and Syria. Of these, approximately 1,700 (750 permanent and 920 temporary residents) were from the area impacted by the earthquakes.
· These measures will be in effect from March 29 to September 25, 2023.
· More information about how to apply for these new measures will be available on IRCC’s website in the coming weeks.
· As of February 24, 2023, Canada announced $50 million in humanitarian support for the earthquake response in Türkiye and Syria. This funding will help support a range of critical humanitarian activities and a timely, effective and coordinated humanitarian response in both Türkiye and Syria.