In response to the December, 2004 Tsunami near Indonesia, Citizenship and Immigration Canada enacted temporary measures to speed-up reunification of sponsored immigrants with their families in Canada.
CIC staff waived fees and granted priority processing to affected applicants. As of June 7, 2005, CIC’s humanitarian efforts had resulted in 366 permanent resident visas being issued.
Most individuals issued expedited visas are spouses, partners and children of Canadians or Permanent Residents, whose applications were already in process when the disaster struck. In the next six months CIC expects that visas will be issued to parents and grandparents whose Family Sponsorship applications were in progress at the time of the Tsunami.
In the months since the disaster CIC waived application and Right of Permanent Residence fees from those in the affected areas. As of July 1, 2005, the application fee will again be mandatory, but those applications made before this date will still benefit from a waiver for all fees.