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Canada launches two new initiatives to improve family reunification for protected persons

The Government of Canada is making it easier for foreign nationals with protected person status and their family members living abroad to apply for permanent residence.  

A protected person is someone Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) believes has a credible reason to fear persecution in their country of origin. This could be due to race, religion, nationality, membership in a social group, or political opinion.

Oftentimes protected persons have dependent family members who are living abroad in precarious situations. IRCC says this makes it difficult for immigration officers to reach family members during the permanent residence application process.

To address these challenges, IRCC has put in place two new initiatives:

  • A centralized intake process that will allow protected persons with dependent family members abroad to submit permanent residence applications for themselves and their family members simultaneously at a single location, the IRCC Case Processing Centre in Mississauga.
  • A one-year Centralized Concurrent Processing Pilot that will process the applications for permanent residency of both the protected person and their overseas dependent family members at the same time.

“This new centralized process will allow the protected person in Canada to communicate with IRCC on behalf of their family,” IRCC said in a news release.

Family members must be residing in a country within the areas of responsibility for the migration offices that are participating in the pilot:

  • Bogota, Colombia
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Kingston, Jamaica
  • Lima, Peru
  • London, England
  • Nairobi, Kenya
  • Mexico City, Mexico
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil

Those who submitted an application for permanent residency on or after December 4, 2019, and whose family members abroad are in one of the participating regions, will be advised if they are eligible for the pilot.

Applicants must meet eligibility and admissibility requirements including medical screening and security and criminal checks in order to qualify. 

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