Afghanistan crisis – Information update – July 2022
Special program for vulnerable Afghans
The Government of Canada announced on August 13 2021 an expanded resettlement program, which is now intended to resettle at least 40,000 vulnerable Afghan nationals outside of Afghanistan. See web page (which is being updated).
According to the Government of Canada, the aim is to resettle
- A mix of government-assisted and privately sponsored Afghan refugees through the humanitarian program
- 5,000 Afghans through the permanent residence pathway for extended family members of former interpreters
- 18,000 Afghans through the special immigration program for Afghan nationals who closely assisted our efforts in Afghanistan
Who is eligible for the humanitarian program
To be eligible for this program you must meet all of the following requirements:
- you’re an Afghan national
- you’re outside of Afghanistan
- you don’t have a durable solution in a third country and
- you’re part of one of the following groups:
- women leaders
- human rights defenders
- persecuted religious or ethnic minorities
- LGBTI individuals
- journalists and those who helped Canadian journalists
If you’re in Afghanistan and plan to leave
If you plan to leave Afghanistan, you must check and follow the travel requirements of the country you plan to enter or travel through. Along with your passport, you may need to get a visa to legally enter another country.
It’s important to follow the immigration laws of countries you plan to enter. If you don’t, you could
- be detained
- be unable to leave the country or
- get deported back to Afghanistan
This can make it harder to get help to travel to Canada or any other country in which you plan to resettle.
What to do if you think you might be eligible
You should register for refugee status with either the
- United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
- government of the country in which you now live
- referred by one of the following
- the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
- the government of the country in which you now live
- one of the other organizations we’re working with for this program
- identified by a private sponsor
The Government of Canada says they’re also prioritizing applications of eligible immediate family members joining Afghans currently in Canada.
How the humanitarian program works
You can’t apply directly to this humanitarian program.
The program will resettle Afghan nationals in 2 ways.
1. Government-assisted refugees
Under the government-assisted refugees program, Afghan nationals will be resettled to Canada and provide support for up to one year after arrival.
You must be referred by one of the following referral partners:
- United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
- Find out about the UNHCR’s process to resettle refugees.
- Front Line Defenders (for human rights defenders only)
- ProtectDefenders.eu (for human rights defenders only)
If you’re a human rights defender
There’s currently a high level of need among Afghan human rights defenders. Front Line Defenders and ProtectDefenders.eu can only refer the human rights defenders who are most at risk. For these organizations to consider you for referral, it’s expected that you
- actively promote and protect human rights and
- face a direct risk because of this work
2. Privately sponsored refugees
You can also resettle to Canada if a group sponsors you as a refugee. Sponsors could be either
- a sponsorship agreement holder (an organization that helps support refugees when they resettle in Canada) or
- an organization, or a group of 5 or more people, in Canada that has volunteered to sponsor referred refugees
Sponsor groups would support you for the sponsorship period, which is usually up to 1 year. Their support includes
- start-up costs, like furniture and clothing
- ongoing monthly costs for necessities like housing, food and public transportation
- social and emotional support
The information in this page has been obtained from the official website of the Government of Canada, updated July 4 2022.
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