August 20, 2021 – Update on the Afghanistan Crisis from the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR)
The government announced on August 13 an expanded resettlement program, intended to resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees. (See web page, which is being updated).
This program includes:
The details are not yet finalized but it is expected that the program will be implemented quite soon. The government is seeking input from organizations, including the CCR. The plan is to have more flexibility than with normal resettlement programs (for example, flexibility on definitions and inclusion of extended families).
The program will resettle 8,000 Government Assisted Refugees (these are new places, additional to what was already in the immigration levels), as well as Privately Sponsored Refugees.
The special program covers also family reunification applications (either Family Class sponsorships or family members of accepted refugees included on their permanent residence application – the latter category was eliminated in the 19 August update of the web page, but apparently that is an error). IRCC says they will “prioritize the processing” of the family reunification applications.
CCR has been advocating for the government to issue Temporary Residence Permits to family members of accepted refugees and to evacuate them. A group of Afghans in this situation has formed to do advocacy and give mutual support. (Email [email protected]).
The IRB is taking measures to expedite all Afghan files. This includes reviewing refugee claims to see if they can be accepted on paper or referred to a short hearing. See IRB Afghan measures.
Evacuation From Kabul
The government is trying to move as many people as possible, but there is limited capacity. The priorities are Canadian citizens and permanent residents and Afghans who assisted the Government of Canada.