Canada has done a respectable job of living up to its well-deserved international reputation as a country that is committed to accepting and welcoming people in need of help from all over the world.

Canada has also continued to respond to conflicts around the world through implementation of various immigration measures specifically designed to aid those residing in high-conflict areas. In the last few years, Canada has instituted temporary policies and special immigration measures for people fleeing from Afghanistan, Sudan, Ukraine, Turkey, Syria, and other conflicts. The support of the Government of Canada, through timely and responsive immigration measures, has allowed people to escape crisis and live in Canada.

Background on the Conflict in Sudan

Sudan has endured numerous violent civil wars, insurgencies, coups, and has a long standing history of conflict. In 2011, Sudan split into two distinct nations, Sudan and South Sudan, following a referendum that took place in Southern Sudan. The instability and living conditions in Sudan boiled over in April 2023 and resulted in another serious conflict. The current conflict in Sudan is a civil war between different factions of the Government of Sudan, with the Sudanese Armed Forces fighting against the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces.

The current conflict has had tragic humanitarian consequences for the population of Sudan. Since the conflict began in April 2023, it is estimated that the conflict has caused more than 10 million people to flee from their homes. Further, approximately 15,000 people have been killed in the conflict, and another 33,000 people have been injured. There is no indication as to when the conflict will end.

Canada’s Response to the Conflict in Sudan

On February 23, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada announced that a new humanitarian pathway would be launched in order to aid people who are affected by the conflict in Sudan and have family in Canada. The immigration pathway was launched in order for Canada to recommit its support to the people of Sudan who want to live in peace and want an end to the violence that has gripped the country.

The pathway was opened on February 27, 2024 and up to 3,250 applications from those affected by the conflict will be accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. Successful applicants will be granted permanent residence status in Canada as this pathway is a family sponsorship pathway. As part of the pathway, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has declared that the right of permanent residence fee will be waived for applicants.

In order to apply as part of the pathway, applicants must apply through the permanent residence portal. All required documents must be submitted through the portal as well. It is important to make sure that applications are complete before they are submitted, as applications deemed to be incomplete can be returned. If returned, some applicants will be given the option to reapply, but submitting a complete application at the first opportunity represents the best way to apply.

Requirements for Applying Under the New Pathway

In order to apply under the humanitarian pathway for people affected by the conflict in Sudan, there are certain conditions that must be met by the applicants. To be eligible under the pathway the applicant must have:

  • resided in Sudan when the conflict began on April 15, 2023;
  • be the child, grandchild, parent, grandparent or sibling of an extended family member in Canada;
  • the extended family member in Canada is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is willing to support the applicant’s application;
  • have no other country to return to other than Sudan and Canada; and
  • plan to live in a province or territory other than Quebec; and
  • not be inadmissible for any reasons other than financial ones.

There is an extension to this pathway that allows the spouse or common-law partner of someone who fulfills these conditions to apply if the person who would be eligible is missing, presumed dead, deceased or otherwise cannot leave Sudan, as long as the spouse or common-law partner meets the rest of the eligibility criteria.

Anchor requirements

There are additional requirements that are part of the pathway that relate to the “anchor” of the applicant. The anchor is the family member who is 18 years old or older who agrees to support the applicant’s application. The anchor must provide financial assistance to the applicant, and help ensure that their basic needs are met during their first year in Canada, which includes necessities such as food, housing, and clothing.

The anchor must also provide a statutory declaration that they will support the applicant and any family members that come with the applicant to Canada for one year. The declaration must also say that the anchor has not and will not accept any money from the applicant or their family members. It is important to note that an anchor must not:

  • be subject to a removal order from Canada,
  • be in the process of renouncing their Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status, or
  • must not be receiving social assistance for any other reason than a disability.

Contact Garson Immigration Law for Legal Advice on Immigration Eligibility and Applications

The seasoned Toronto immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law help individuals navigate the often overwhelming and complex immigration processes. Our lawyers will work closely with you to understand your circumstances and develop a tailored legal strategy to address your immigration needs. Whether you are seeking assistance with work permits, student visas, or US immigration, our team is ready to help you. Contact us online or call us at 416-321-2860 to learn more about how we can help you.

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