IRCC introduces new immigration measures to support Sudanese nationals

Edana Robitaille
Published: April 25, 2023

On April 24, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced that Canada will introduce new immigration measures to support Sudanese temporary residents who are currently in Canada and may be unable to return home due to the unstable situation in their country.

Measures include:

  • Sudanese nationals in Canada can apply for an extension of their status in Canada and between temporary streams to continue working, studying, or visiting. Extensions will be free of charge
  • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will also prioritize the processing of completed temporary and permanent residence applications already in the system from people who are still in Sudan. This includes visitor visa applications for eligible immediate family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents.
  • Canada will also waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Sudan who wish to leave.

“Canada has a proud and long-standing tradition of providing protection to vulnerable people around the world, and we are deeply concerned for the well-being of people in Sudan, including Canadians and their family members,” said Minister Fraser speaking from Ottawa. “We are monitoring the situation closely and are working to provide support for those seeking safety in Canada.”

IRCC says that those who are eligible for priority processing will be still subject to all other statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements and that it is preparing to deploy additional officers to the region to help those already on the ground to support immigration-related operations.

The department also says that the constantly evolving situation limits movement within the country, and this has an impact on the ability to process new applications at the current time. Additionally, Global Affairs Canada reports that it has been made to temporarily suspend operations in Sudan.

These new measures are in response to the recent unrest in the country due to a conflict that has broken out between two rival military factions. Most of the fighting is said to be occurring near the capital, Khartoum.

Sudanese in Canada

According to data from Census 2021, 17,485 people in Canada say Sudan is their country of ethnic or cultural origin. A further 4,690 are recent immigrants to Canada who report Sudan as their country of birth.

These new measures are similar to those taken to assist Turkish and Syrians impacted by the earthquake last February as well as those announced on February 23rd to assist Iranians in Canada during a time of instability.

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