Canada announces measures to help individuals impacted by the ongoing crises in Haiti

Asheesh Moosapeta
Published: May 26, 2024

On May 23rd Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees Marc Miller announced new temporary measures to aid individuals impacted by the crises in Haiti.

Effective immediately, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has instituted a temporary policy to aid Haitians in Canada with a valid temporary resident status, and those who are family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Haitians who have Canadian family members, or who are already in the country on a work or study permit, or visitor visa, can now apply for a study permit, open work permit, or status extension at no cost. Three months of health insurance coverage through the Interim Federal Health Program will also be available to eligible candidates.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

Who is eligible to apply under this new temporary policy?

Eligibility for this new stream is limited to those who are:

  • Haitian nationals and passport holders in Canada with a valid temporary resident status;
  • Family members* of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who:
    • Left Haiti on or after March 1st, 2024 (neither the family member, nor the Canadian citizen/permanent resident can be in Haiti at the time of applying);
    • Arrived in Canada on or before April 26th, 2024; and
    • Are now in Canada with valid temporary resident status.
  • Permanent residents of Canada who:
    • Left Haiti on or after March 1st, 2024;
    • Arrived in Canada on or before April 26th, 2024; and
    • Are subject to a waiting period for provincial or territorial health coverage.
  • Haitian nationals who:
      • Are outside of Canada; and
      • Have existing permanent resident applications in progress.

IRCC notes that Haitian nationals outside of Canada, who have lost their passport due to the ongoing humanitarian crises but have applied to immigrate to Canada and are ready to be approved for a permanent residence visa may be able to travel to Canada without a passport.

The department estimates that there are roughly 44,000 Haitians in Canada with valid temporary resident status.

For more information on eligibility, find IRCC’s dedicated webpage here.

*Family members also encompass family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents from any country, who arrived as temporary residents to Canada, through the assisted departures out of Haiti.

Part of a wider strategy

This most recent temporary policy is part of a wider strategy that the Government of Canda has instituted to address the humanitarian situation in Haiti.

“We are deeply concerned for the well-being of people in Haiti. The measures announced today will...enable Haitian nationals to work and study in a safe environment.”

– Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

At the start of the crises, Canada completed assisted departures from Haiti, which successfully transported 435 Canadian citizens, 111 permanent residents, and 135 temporary residents to safety.

In addition, late last year IRCC also instituted a dedicated humanitarian pathway for Colombian, Venezuelan and Haitian nationals to apply for permanent residence (PR) on a priority basis. IRCC hopes to welcome 11,000 foreign nationals to Canada, through this pathway.

Discover if You Are Eligible for Canadian Immigration

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