Job ID 64727
The Canadian government is one of the countries that has considered a special and humanitarian asylum program for Afghans at risk. This special refugee program is also known as Canadian Humanitarian Visa for Afghans or Afghan Asylum to Canada through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This program or humanitarian visa is in the category of government-assisted refugees (Government-Assisted Refugees – GAR). During this program, Afghans can immigrate to Canada after receiving a permanent residence visa, settle in this country and finally receive Canadian citizenship.
In this article, the conditions and steps of receiving a humanitarian visa through government-sponsored asylum have been analyzed.
Who is eligible for a humanitarian visa?
Women leaders, human rights defenders, religious or ethnic minorities, journalists, people who have contributed to the Canadian media and journalists who are at risk of persecution after recent political developments are eligible to apply for a Canadian humanitarian visa. A spouse or partner and dependent children under the age of 22 are also eligible for resettlement in this country.
General humanitarian visa conditions
To be eligible for this special program, the applicant must be a citizen of Afghanistan, not be legally barred from entering Canada, not be inadmissible to this country, have the necessary documents to be included in one of the accepted categories of Canadian humanitarian visa, leave Afghanistan and settled in another country, their humanitarian visa application may be accepted to immigrate to Canada.
Through the government-sponsored program, Afghan nationals have been resettled in Canada and will be supported by the government of this country for up to one year after entering Canada. To be included in this method, eligible individuals must be referred to the Government of Canada through the following organizations:
- Front Line Defenders organization
- Protect Defender organization
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or UNHCR
As there is currently a high level of need among Afghan human rights defenders, Front Line Defenders and Protect Defender can only refer human rights defenders who are most at serious risk. In order for these organizations to consider individuals for referral to the Canadian government, the expectation is that individuals must actively promote and protect human rights and face a serious and direct risk for doing so. Asylum seekers in Canada first register themselves in one of the above organizations as a person in need of protection and apply for immigration to Canada. The Government of Canada works with these accredited international and Canadian partners to implement a humanitarian program to relocate eligible Afghans to this country. Under this refugee program, eligible Afghan citizens are resettled in Canada through international organizations.
Requesting help from Front Line Defenders : Eligible human rights defenders to contact Front Line Defenders and request help from them go to this link and fill out and submit the relevant form. Contact information of this institution:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Contact number: +353-1-212-3750
- Fax number: +353-1-212-1001
Request for help from Protect Defender : Eligible human rights defenders to contact Protect Defender and request help from them go to this link and fill out and submit the relevant form. The contact number +353-1-210-0489 is related to this institution.
Requesting help from UNHCR : Seeking asylum through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or UNHCR is the most common resettlement method in Canada. The UNHCR office identifies people at risk who are registered in other countries. Typically, individuals are certified as being at greater risk of serious harm in their home country due to threats to their life, liberty, physical security, or other serious human rights violations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) makes decisions on international protection and resettlement of applicants without regard to nationality, ethnicity, political opinions, religious beliefs, education, work experience and language.
Humanitarian visa application
Applicants or eligible individuals cannot apply directly to this humanitarian program. Asylum seekers in Canada first register themselves in one of these organizations considering their conditions as a person in need of protection and apply for immigration to Canada. The relevant agencies decide whether the person is eligible for resettlement to Canada or not.
Usually, Canada offers a limited resettlement opportunity or quota to UNHCR and other organizations, which means that most refugees cannot be considered for resettlement in Canada. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other organizations identify and interview people who may be in need of resettlement to gather information needed for resettlement in Canada. These organizations refer all the information of the applicant, including which category the applicants are under the Canadian humanitarian asylum program, under a single application to the Canadian government.
The applicant’s application and required documents have been received by the Canadian government and are being reviewed. The final decision on whether or not to accept a person as a refugee for resettlement is made by the Department’s Refugee Protection Division or Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. If Canada agrees to the request, UNHCR and the applicant will be notified.
UNHCR representatives provide all the required application forms to the homeless applicants during the various stages of the resettlement process. It is necessary for this organization to have the applicant’s contact number and address so that the application can be made during the next steps.
The Canadian government has agreed to the applicant’s asylum request up to this point. But in order to accept the application and immigrate to Canada, there are some other steps that the applicant must go through. In most cases, the admission process begins when the applicant is invited for an interview to the political representation or Canadian embassy in the relevant country and the interview is conducted.
What happens after receiving asylum?
After the application is accepted, the political representation or the relevant Canadian embassy will contact the applicant and inform about the acceptance of his application. Before a humanitarian visa is issued to the applicant and his family members, it is necessary for the applicants to go through the following steps:
- He conducts his own health examinations to ensure his health and provides his documents;
- Passes security checks and ensuring that crimes are not committed;
- Biometric information including fingerprints and digital photo of the applicant is collected.
After the successful completion of the above steps, the Canadian government will ensure that the applicants have not committed serious crimes, have not posed a security risk to Canada, and have not been falsified in their identity. This is where applicants are considered refugees and eligible for resettlement in Canada. Applicants may be given a document to access health services in this country before entering Canada. Also, applicants can take out a loan from the Canadian government to cover their travel expenses and then pay it back in this country. The Canadian government helps these people to travel to this country to obtain the necessary documents to leave the country where they live. In any case, people will receive a Canadian permanent residence visa by presenting their valid passports.
Immigration to Canada
When refugees arrive in Canada, they are met by a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. At this stage, all travel documents, including passports and Canadian permanent residence visas, are checked. After making sure, the border officer gives confirmation of permanent residence (COPR) to the refugees.
The representatives of the government of this country welcome the refugees at the airport and take them to a hotel where they will stay for a few days. Canadian government representatives help refugees find a permanent place to live. Once in Canada, there are services that help applicants learn English and French, find a job, and other daily activities. Learn more about these services by visiting this link . Go to this link and learn more about resettlement services available to refugees in Canada . There are various service providers across Canada that work in resettlement programs. These non-governmental organizations are under the support or contract of Immigration Refugees Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
What services does government support include?
Since government-sponsored asylum is a type of asylum under the Geneva Convention, their initial settlement in Canada is fully supported by the Canadian government. Support can continue for up to one year from the date of arrival in Canada or until the refugee can become self-sufficient. These services include accommodation, clothing, food, assistance in finding a job and self-sufficiency, and other resettlement assistance. In addition, resettled refugees are given the right to work and education, access to health care, social services and other things.
Canadian permanent residence
When the Canada Border Agency officer presents the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) to the refugees at the airport, the address of the refugee’s residence is also included in it. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Immigration Refugees Citizenship – IRCC) sends Canadian permanent residence cards to refugees at their address through postal services. If the refugee changes his address in the future, he must share the exact address of his residence with this office as soon as possible.
How long does resettlement acceptance take?
Resettlement is considered a long-term solution to Canada. It may provide a pathway for refugees to eventually become citizens in Canada. Due to excessive requests, the exact period of review and acceptance of the request is not known, but this process can take several years.
What if the application is rejected?
If the applicant’s application is not referred to Canada for resettlement, or the applicant is advised that he is not currently eligible for resettlement, or the Refugee Protection Division of the Department or the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada decides not to accept the applicant as a refugee, the High Commissioner The United Nations Refugee Agency provides support and assistance to the applicant for protection. If the Canadian government does not approve the request, they will be informed and the reason will also be mentioned. In this case, the rejected applicant will still have the opportunity to draw the attention of the relevant institution by submitting more required documents to the Canadian government in order to re-examine the application.
Help and advice
To get more information about Canada’s humanitarian visa program for Afghans, refer to this link . You can get the government-sponsored resettlement program guidelines in this link . To know about Front Line Defenders, visit this organization’s website , about Protect Defender, visit this organization’s website , and about the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or UNHCR, visit this organization’s website . Read information about Canadian asylum on the website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada .