Canada waives temporary residence application fees for those fleeing Sudan

May 5 2023, 2:47 pm

Canada has introduced new measures to aid those fleeing Sudan amid escalating violence in the country.

Foreign nationals who fled Sudan with their Canadian family members — including Canadian citizens and permanent residents — will be able to apply for temporary residence without paying the processing fee, according to an announcement from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Canada continues to call for an end to violence in Sudan and stands with the Sudanese people as they strive for peace,” said Sean Fraser, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship, in a statement. “We remain committed to helping the family members of Canadians who have been forced to flee this violence stay together and find safety in Canada.”

Once those fleeing from Sudan arrive in Canada, they will be able to apply for an open work permit or study permit, as well as permanent residence under the family class, free of charge. However, they must arrive before July 15, 2023, to be eligible to apply for these permits, according to the IRCC.

Additionally, Sudanese citizens hoping to apply for temporary residence status will have to provide proof of eligibility.

Those who fled on their own must prove that they’re an immediate family member of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, and provide proof of their location in Sudan together prior to April 15, 2023.

Who exactly is eligible?

The government says Sudanese citizens who are immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents are eligible.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations defines family member as the following:

  • The spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • A dependent child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or of their spouse or common-law partner
  • A dependent child of a dependent child

More information on how to apply is available here.

The conflict in Sudan

In late April, the Canadian government released a travel advisory telling Canadians to avoid all travel to the African country.

Heavy fighting between the army and paramilitary forces broke out in the capital city of Khartoum on April 15 and spread to other parts of the country. Gunfire and explosions resulted in “numerous casualties, including civilians,” according to the advisory.

Looting, attacks, and sexual assaults have also been reported.

“Foreigners and staff of international organizations have been targeted,” reads the statement. “Access to essential services is disrupted. Most hospitals are out of service. Access to necessities such as food, water, medication, and fuel is increasingly challenging. The telecommunication network could break down without notice.”

In light of this, Canada is also allowing Sudanese nationals in the country to extend their stay or change their status as a visitor, student, or worker, free of charge.

“This includes free open work permits that provide access to the labour market & greater flexibility to support themselves while they are in Canada,” tweeted Fraser last week.

Isabelle DoctoIsabelle Docto

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