Immigration and evacuation in Lebanon

CIC News
Published: July 1, 2006

CIC continues to process immigration applications to Canada while the Government evacuates Canadian Citizens.

The Canadian Visa Office in Beirut , Lebanon , will remain open with regular business hours. However, the office hours are subject to change given the severity of the situation. Previously submitted applications for permanent residence will continue to be processed. The Visa Office will not be accepting new applications until further notice.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is currently giving priority to Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents and their spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners and dependent children. Non-Canadian dependants of Canadian citizens and permanent residents will also be given priority.

"Our goal is to reunite families as quickly as possible," said Canada 's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Monte Solberg. "We're giving priority visa and immigration services to family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to help them join their relatives in Canada ." There are an estimated 50,000 Canadian citizens living or visiting in Lebanon , more than any other single western country. Roughly 30,000 Canadian Citizens are requesting immediate evacuation. Daily ship departures from Beirut stopped on Saturday, July 29, 2006. As a result, the Embassy of Canada in Beirut is no longer contacting registered Canadians to board evacuation ships. They will continue to evaluate the situation and will respond accordingly.

Official Information:

DFAIT's Emergency Operations Centre has been responding to phone calls and e-mails from both Canadians currently in Lebanon , and their family and friends in Canada . We urge Canadians affected to contact the Emergency Operations Centre. From Canada , you can call toll-free at 1-800-387-3124. From Lebanon , Canadians can call the Embassy at 961 (4) 713-900 or collect at 001-613-996-8885 or by e-mail at either sos@international.gc.ca or berut@international.gc.ca

The Canadian Visa office in Beirut, Lebanon remains open and will be concentrating on processing priority cases. CIC will give priority to the immediate family members ( spouses , common-law partners , conjugal partners and dependent children ) of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have been affected by the situation in Lebanon.

Please note that this information applies to visa and immigration services, not evacuation assistance. For information on the evacuation, please visit Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada's Web site.

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