In April 2023, fighting broke out in Sudan, a country located in northeast Africa. The fighting is primarily between the Sudanese military and a paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces. The disputes started largely due to a leadership struggle between the two groups. The fighting has unfortunately resulted in over 500 civilians killed, with many more injured. The situation has caused an international crisis, as countries worldwide are scrambling to help evacuate their citizens and embassy personnel from the crisis-ridden country.
The Canadian military announced that flights out of Sudan have temporarily stopped for the time being. Around 400 Canadian citizens and permanent residents have been evacuated from Sudan since the conflict began in the middle of April.
Approximately 1,800 citizens and permanent residents notified Global Affairs Canada they were in the country, and approximately 230 of those continue to seek assistance in leaving. Although flights have ended, there may be other avenues through which Canadians can leave Sudan. A list of resources that can be used to contact Global Affairs Canada can be found here for those who are seeking to leave the country.
The Canadian immigration system has been impacted by the recent strike of Canadian Government employees who are part of the Public Service Alliance of Canada. This strike affected immigration services, causing some services to be completely unavailable and others to suffer longer delays and backlogs than usual.
However, despite the strike, the Canadian government, along with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, have responded to the situation in Sudan through Canadian immigration initiatives that will benefit those from Sudan who are currently in Canada.
In late April, the Canadian government announced two significant updates regarding Sudanese nationals in Canada and options for those seeking to remain in Canada and avoid returning to Sudan amidst the current conflict.
The Canadian government has allowed Sudanese nationals currently in Canada to extend their stay in the country. The decision has been made to provide temporary relief to those who are unable to return to Sudan due to the ongoing crisis. This decision aligns with the Canadian government’s consistent efforts to support refugees and displaced persons worldwide and follows similar efforts made recently during conflicts in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
Sudanese visitors, students, and temporary workers can extend their stay or change their status free of charge. Further, the Canadian government understands that some permanent residence applicants cannot access some of their documents because of the conflict. As such, the passports and travel documents requirement has been waived for permanent resident visa applications for Sudanese nationals who want to come to Canada.
Status will not be granted automatically. However, Sudanese nationals who are currently in Canada must apply for an extension of their stay before their current status expires. To do so, they must complete the necessary application process for the status they are applying for.
The Canadian government has also pledged to support Sudanese nationals affected by the ongoing crisis. The support will be available for those living in Canada and those who have been displaced from their homes.
The Canadian government has committed to providing funding to support humanitarian efforts in Sudan. This funding will be provided to organizations working on the ground in Sudan to assist those affected by the crisis. The Canadian government has also urged the international community to help support Sudanese nationals during the crisis.
Further, the Canadian government has announced that they will work with Sudanese community organizations in Canada to provide support to those affected by the crisis. This support will include access to basic necessities, such as food and shelter, and mental health support.
The Canadian government’s decision to allow Sudanese nationals to extend their stay in Canada and provide support to those affected by the ongoing crisis reinforces Canada’s commitment to providing a safe haven for refugees and displaced persons worldwide.
While these measures to help Sudanese nationals in Canada are helpful, they are only temporary in nature. If the crisis in Sudan persists and returning to Sudan is deemed to be unsafe, a more permanent immigration solution for those in Canada will be needed.
For now, these additional measures are intended to allow Sudanese nationals to remain in Canada and avoid returning to a dangerous situation. If the crisis continues, it is expected that the Canadian Government will implement further Sudan-specific immigration initiatives and policies.
The skilled team of immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law in Toronto helps clients work through each stage of the Canadian immigration process. Our team also remains on top of the ever-changing regulations and immigration policy updates, particularly those which address ongoing conflict around the world. Regardless of your situation, our lawyers will work to develop a strategic and effective solution to your unique immigration needs. If you have questions about making an immigration application or seek clarity regarding temporary immigration measures, contact us online or call our office at 416-321-2860.
Latest posts from the Garson Immigration Law Blog