Canada Immigration 2021

Written by  //  December 16, 2021  //  Canada, Immigration/migration  //  No comments

AT LAST! Prime Minister releases new mandate letters for ministers
“Continue to bring newcomers to Canada to drive economic growth and recovery, as set out in the 2021-2023 Immigration Levels Plan.
Expand the new immigration stream for human rights defenders and work with civil society groups to provide resettlement opportunities for people under threat.
With the support of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, continue to facilitate the safe passage and resettlement of vulnerable people from Afghanistan, with an emphasis on individuals who supported Canada and our allies over the past two decades, women, LGBTQ2 people, human rights defenders, journalists and members of religious and ethnic minorities and increase the number of eligible refugees from 20,000 to at least 40,000.
Reduce application processing times, including to address delays that have been impacted by COVID-19.
Make the citizenship application process free for permanent residents who have fulfilled the requirements needed to obtain it.” And the list goes on!
Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Mandate Letter

15 December
Even a powerful Canadian law firm has problems dealing with IRCC (audio)
(CBC The Current) …the Canadian government promised to give asylum to 40,000 Afghan refugees after the Taliban took over. But as 2021 comes to an end, only about one tenth of that number have set foot on Canadian soil. We speak to Saeeq Shajjan, an Afghan lawyer and recent refugee to Canada, about the work his law firm has done with the Canadian government in Afghanistan; and Carla Potter, a lawyer at Cassels Brock & Blackwell LLP, who’s leading the team advocating for Shajjan’s employees.

6 December
Lawyer who helped female judges escape Afghanistan is ‘begging’ Canada to take them in
Helena Kennedy says the women are in safe in Greece — but their visas expire Dec. 24
(CBC As It Happens) Canada owes a debt to the dozens of Afghan female judges who had to flee their home country after the Taliban seized control, says a U.K. lawyer who helped get them out.
They dedicated their careers to bringing abusers, drug traffickers and terrorists to justice in Afghanistan, Helena Kennedy told As It Happens guest host Nil Köksal. Now that the Taliban has released thousands of inmates, those women have targets on their backs.
As the director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Kennedy helped facilitate the escape of 104 Afghan female judges, prosecutors and their families after Kabul fell to the Taliban earlier this year.
Those women are now in Greece under temporary visas that expire on Dec. 24. If they don’t find countries to take them in before then, they’ll be forced to claim asylum and will be transferred to the country’s notorious refugee camps.

4 December
Tweet from Minister Sean Fraser
“Last night the very first chartered flight carrying privately sponsored Afghan refugees landed in Canada.
This group of 243 will be meeting their sponsors and settling in Kitchener, Richmond Hill, Pickering and Ottawa.”

3 December
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced a new team of parliamentary secretaries.
Marie-France Lalonde becomes Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship About Marie-France Lalonde

29 November
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser offers no timeline on resettling Afghan refugees as desperation grows
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser cannot say when the 40,000 Afghan refugees the government has promised to resettle in Canada will arrive, citing the limited referral capacity of partners and saying it would be irresponsible to give people the false hope of a firm date.
Afghans still waiting to leave the country have said the Canadian government has abandoned them. Many worked alongside the Canadian military and with the embassy in Afghanistan, and now they are terrified of Taliban reprisals. Meanwhile, the country has plunged into a worsening economic and food crisis. Afghans waiting in neighbouring countries are also growing desperate as their savings dwindle, clinging only to the hope that they will receive an e-mail with news from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.
In an interview with The Globe and Mail, Mr. Fraser said the capacity of referral organizations in third countries, which identify vulnerable refugees and recommend them to Canada, and extraordinary challenges within Afghanistan make it difficult to set a timeline for resettlement – adding that, as Afghans hang on to every word he says, it would not be fair “to start putting potentially arbitrary markers down.”

1 November
Open Letter to Government of Canada: Urgent Call to Action in Response to the Afghanistan Crisis
Prime Minister and Ministers: this urgent situation requires an immediate, multi-faceted, and focused response. Afghans at risk, such as female judges, are in hiding and are being actively pursued by released prisoners, Taliban officials, and ISIS-Khorasan. Afghanistan continues to fall into a deepening crisis where individuals are left at the mercy of the Taliban, often without the essentials needed to meet basic sustenance needs.
Just days into the mandate of the new Cabinet, its members are called upon to deal with this crisis. Yet moments of crisis can offer extraordinary opportunity. They invite us to reveal who Canadians are. The effective and safe evacuation of vulnerable individuals from Afghanistan will help illustrate the values and priorities of the newly-elected government. It will also demonstrate the compassion and humanity of Canadians while invoking a collective sense of purpose.
As the new Cabinet begins its important work, the signatories eagerly await a meaningful response to this letter, and the signatories undertake to do everything they can to assist the government in the achievement of these vital goals.

29 October
How Sean Fraser became Canada’s immigration minister
Sean Fraser got into politics to create opportunities in the community where he grew up, now he is the minister responsible for Canadian immigration.
During the pandemic, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has accumulated a backlog of hundreds of thousands of applicants. This past summer, the Toronto Star reported there were more than 561,000 permanent residency applications to process, 748,000 temporary residence applications, and 376,000 citizenship applications. These figures do not include applications that were sitting in the mailroom, and not yet entered into the system.

26 October
Government data breach exposes Afghans to more danger
IRCC quietly apologizes for leaking names and some faces of several hundred at-risk Afghans
(CBC) The names of several hundred vulnerable Afghans seeking refuge from the Taliban were recently leaked in emails sent in error by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), CBC News has learned.
The Afghans in question fear reprisals from the Taliban, who took over the country in August. Some are in hiding because of past roles in the Afghan government, armed forces, judiciary, or as human rights or women’s rights activists.
One email seen by CBC News listed 200 names. Not only did names and emails appear but also, in some cases, faces could be seen.
The risks of such a release are serious. It would only be necessary for the Taliban to see a single copy of the email to obtain all 200 names.
IRCC has been writing to the people in question to apologize.

25 October
‘A dysfunctional process’: Thousands of Canada’s allies and their families still stranded in Afghanistan
Tom Blackwell
(National Post) The government set up a special immigration program in June to expedite the admission of such Afghans with “enduring relationships” to Canada. Relatively few made it onto the C-17 Globemaster planes the Canadian Forces flew out of Kabul this summer as the Taliban seized control of the country.
The government set up a special immigration program in June to expedite the admission of such Afghans with “enduring relationships” to Canada. Relatively few made it onto the C-17 Globemaster planes the Canadian Forces flew out of Kabul this summer as the Taliban seized control of the country.
Shifting rules from Pakistan — a long-time ally of the Taliban — on what documentation is needed to cross its border with Afghanistan explains some of the delays.
But many applicants are still waiting for final approval from Canada. And some have yet to even receive a response from Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), their helpers say.
In total since the program began, IRCC has approved 9,500 ex-workers and their dependents to come to Canada, said Alex Cohen, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino.
Cohen said 1,000 “refugees” have been brought to Canada since the air evacuation ended. Most were former employees under the special program, but some arrived under a separate Canadian initiative for “vulnerable” Afghans with no particular connection to this country.
Cohen said the government has added staff to key missions overseas to try to expedite the process, has cut some red tape and is working closely with neighbouring countries.
Canada promised to take in 20,000-40,000 Afghan refugees. Where are they?
Justin Trudeau has yet to clarify how many Afghans will receive government assistance and how many will be supported through private sponsorship

27 September
Canada Doubles Its Afghan Refugee Resettlement Target to 40,000 People
The official announcement was made by Canada’s foreign minister on Monday evening, speaking at the United Nations General Assembly.
(NYT) Canada has doubled to 40,000 the number of Afghans fleeing the Taliban that it plans to take in, the Canadian foreign minister said Monday, fulfilling a campaign pledge made by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
The announcement, which came a week after Mr. Trudeau’s party won re-election, was certain to be welcomed by humanitarian groups in Canada. They had been pressing the government to do significantly more when it initially committed last month to take in 20,000 refugees after the Taliban swept into power

10 September
Escape from Afghanistan
The Globe and Mail tells the story of how Canadian journalists saved their Afghan colleagues in the nick of time, with Ukraine’s help.
… The Canadian army, which ended its mission in Afghanistan in 2011 but redeployed special forces troops to Kabul airport last month to stage its own evacuation, was also unable to rescue many of its own citizens and support staff, let alone those who had worked alongside Canadian media, including The Globe. …Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (or IRCC) had only a vague plan in place, and it buckled swiftly under the sheer volume of Afghan allies in need of evacuation.

3 September
Visa problems persist for international students
Striking diplomats mean delays for processing visa applications
International students studying in Canada are being faced with the possibility of having to leave the country due to an ongoing strike by civil servants who process foreign visa applications.
Eight years ago, different government/same problem
Foreign service strike slowing down visa applications

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