Canada’s special immigration measures for Afghanistan and how you can help

Kareem El-Assal
Published: August 22, 2021

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has published a list on its website of ways that Canadians can assist Afghan refugees amid the return of Taliban rule.

Its website also explains the steps it is taking to assist Canadians and Afghans affected by the crisis.

Volunteer and Donate

If you wish to help Afghan refugees coming to Canada (through the donation of your time, clothing, furniture, money), IRCC provides the following suggestions:

Sponsor an Afghan Refugee

Since 1978, Canadians have been able to privately sponsor refugees to move to Canada. There are different ways you can move forward with the sponsorship process:

  • you can work with a Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH). These are organizations that have agreements with IRCC to bring resettled refugees here.
  • as a Group of Five. These are five or more Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents that have agreed to sponsor refugees.

Family Sponsorship

IRCC has stated it will prioritize family class sponsorship applications for Canadian citizens and permanent residents looking to bring their loved ones from Afghanistan. This includes sponsoring your spouse, partner or dependent children, your parents and grandparents, or orphaned relatives under the age of 18.

Special Programs for Afghans

Canada has committed to resettling 20,000 vulnerable Afghans through:

  • a special immigration program for Afghans and their families that assisted the Canadian government.
  • a special humanitarian program that will resettle Afghans abroad who do not have a durable third country to move to such as women leaders, human rights advocates, LGBTI individuals, journalists and people that helped Canadian journalists, their immediate family, and extended family members of previously resettled interpreters that helped the Canadian government.

IRCC notes you do not need to be living in Afghanistan to be eligible for these special programs.

IRCC says you can email them about the special programs here: 

You can email IRCC here your questions about resettling Afghans living outside of the country and about Canadians reuniting with their Afghan family members: 

Afghan Temporary Residents in Canada

Afghan temporary residents can apply to extend their stay in Canada.

If you are a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident in Afghanistan that needs travel documents urgently

IRCC asks you to email them here: 

Learn about Canada’s immigration system

© CIC News All Rights Reserved. Visit to discover your Canadian immigration options.

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