Last Updated on November 25, 2021

Canada has introduced a new immigration pathway for extended family members of Afghan interpreters who previously moved here.

Children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and siblings of Afghans who moved to Canada under special measures introduced in 2009 and 2012 are covered by the new pathway, announced Wednesday, November 24.

To qualify, applicants must have been in Afghanistan on or after July 22, 2021.

The original special measures “were put in place in recognition of the risk Afghans took to support Canada’s work in their country,” said a notice from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). They covered only the individuals and their immediate family members.

“While some of their extended family members may have come to Canada through existing programs over the years, others have not and may now be in a precarious position as a result of their relationship to the interpreters,” IRCC said.

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Requirements For New Immigration Pathway

The extended family member must:

  • Be an Afghan national.
  • Be outside Canada at the time of their application.
  • Have been in Afghanistan on or after July 22, 2021.
  • Be a child (regardless of age), grandchild, parent, grandparent, or sibling of an individual previously granted permanent residence as a principal applicant under the 2009 or 2012 public policies.
  • Provide a statutory declaration from a former interpreter who was previously granted permanent residence under one of the public policies in order to confirm their relationship.
  • Hold a travel or identity document or, if that cannot be obtained, provide a statutory declaration attesting to the applicant’s identity.
  • Submit their application using the forms that will be made available online for this program.

The application process for the new pathway will be open on December 9, with more information available before then. IRCC has advised applicants to begin gathering documents.

“In addition to these new measures, we continue to prioritize applications of Afghan nationals who are in the process of sponsoring their immediate family members overseas, and dependents of protected persons abroad,” IRCC said.

Ottawa pledge to resettle 20,000 Afghan refugees threatened by the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, who swept to power in the summer following the withdrawal of American troops.

Canada has been out of the region for seven years. But the United States only pulled out its troops from Bagram Airfield, the centre of its military operations in the country, in July.

When the US pulled out and mad scramble ensued as thousands tried to flee Afghanistan in order to escape life under Taliban rule.

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