Minister Mendicino announces new PR pathway for families of air disaster victims

Shelby Thevenot
Published: May 13, 2021

On May 12, Canada's minister of immigration put in a new public policy to allow families of air disaster victims apply for permanent residence.

Family members of those whose lives were lost in the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukrainian International Airlines Flight 752 will be able to apply for permanent residence. The new policy will be in effect until May 11, 2022.

For now, the new measure is only available to family members who are currently living in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working on further measures to facilitate permanent residence applications for certain members of victims’ families who are outside Canada, according to a media release. The immigration department says it will make another announcement once the new measures are in place.

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All standard fees, biometrics, and admissibility requirements apply to the new policy. However, applicants are still eligible even if they have lost their status in Canada.

IRCC is also extending the original temporary residence public policy for families of victims of the January 2020 downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. This measure allows the people who were issued temporary resident visas following the disaster, but who did not travel, to still be able to come to Canada. Those who did travel will be able to apply for the new permanent residency pathway, and they will be able to extend their temporary resident status until their application is processed.

On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed near the town of Bishoftu, Ethiopia, claiming the lives of 157 people, including 18 Canadians and many others with ties to Canada. Then on January 8, 2020, a passenger jet carrying 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents was shot down by a surface-to-air missile in Tehran, Iran. Of the 176 people who died on that flight, 138 had ties to Canada.

“All Canadians mourned the loss of those who died in the tragedies involving Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752," Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said in the release. "At the centre of these disasters are the grieving families, who need wide-ranging support from the Government of Canada. This new pathway to permanent residence is one of the ways we are helping families of Canadian victims cope, in the hope that they may build their lives in Canada.”

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