Canadian Government pledges 13,000 additional Syrian and Iraqi refugees

On January 7, 2015, the Government of Canada published a press release that announced that Canada would welcome an additional 3,000 Iraqi refugees expected to arrive by the end of 2015, and an additional 10,000 Syrian refugees expected to be resettled over the next three years.

The full press release can be read at:

Additional information visit:

Canada pledges to accept 13,000 more refugees from Syria and Iraq (Globe & Mail)

Additional 10,000 Syrian refugees to be offered asylum by Canadian government (Winnipeg Free Press)


Extension of Turkey Pilot Project

While the SAH Turkey Pilot Project was initially limited to a total of 100 persons to be submitted up until December 31, 2014, CIC has extended the project into 2015 in recognition of the time needed to identify and put forward cases. CIC informed that the number of persons to be accepted under the pilot will be reassessed as the project progresses; therefore at this time, the total number remains at 100 persons.

For more information about the SAH Turkey Pilot Project and eligibility criteria, contact the RSTP.


Change in requirement of photos

There is no longer a need for the refugee applicant to provide 6 photos, as indicated in the IMM6000 document checklist. CPO-W now requires only one photograph (per person) to be provided with the PSR application.

Change in mission coverage – Moscow

effective immediately responsibility for refugee resettlement cases currently handled by Moscow will be as follows:


  • GAR and PSR cases out of Russia and Armenia
  • GAR and PSR cases that are already in processing at Moscow and have passed Selection


  • GAR and PSR cases out of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyz Republic (all new applications and applications that have not yet passed selection by Moscow)

CIC is making arrangements to transfer applications from the Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan that have not yet passed Selection from Moscow and Ankara.

Change in mission coverage areas

There have been changes to the areas of responsibility covered by Canadian visa offices in Pretoria, Nairobi, Dakar and Accra, effective immediately:
• Mauritius and Madagascar are now under the responsibility of Pretoria (previously Nairobi);
• Zambia is now under the responsibility of Nairobi (previously Pretoria);
• The Gambia is now under the responsibility of Dakar (previously Accra);
• Equatorial Guinea is now under the responsibility of Accra (previously Dakar).

To view the full list of countries and missions covering them, visit

Lowering of Age of Dependants August 1

In 2013, the Government of Canada published its intention to lower the age of dependant for all immigration streams to under 19. This change will come into effect on August 1, 2014 and will change the definition of a ‘child’ to:

1(b) is in one of the following situations of dependency, namely,

  • (i) is less than 19 years of age and is not a spouse or common-law partner, or
  • (ii) is 19 years of age or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 19 and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition.

For the purpose of private refugee sponsorship, children who do not meet the definition of ‘child’ as above, cannot be included in the PA’s refugee sponsorship application. As is the case currently with children 22 and over, a separate Undertaking (full sponsorship) is needed for any children 19 and older (starting on August 1st) and will be treated as a case on its own. Sponsors will still be able to link that case to the rest of the family’s case, however the young person’s case will be assessed and determined on its own eligibility and admissibility grounds.

For more information, review the Gazette’s announcement at:

Exit permits for refugees in Uganda

The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in Uganda will no longer be issuing exit permits for unregistered refugees who have not yet had a Refugee Status Determination (RSD) completed by the UNHCR.

This change comes as a result of increased rates of human trafficking in the region, and in a concerted effort to curb irregular migration is aimed at ensuring that only those persons who have been legally recognized as refugees in Uganda are leaving the country.

Canadian visa officers will be counselling refugees on this situation during their interviews. However, we are also seeking the collaboration of sponsors towards advising refugees of this new development and the requirement for an RSD to be completed prior to an exit permit being granted by the OPM in Uganda.

Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please write to

1,000 Additional Bhutanese Refugees

The CIC announced today that the Canadian Government will select an additonal 1,000 Bhutanese refugees to be resettled to Canada from Nepal over the next two years.

The CIC announced today that the Canadian Government will select an additonal 1,000 Bhutanese refugees to be resettled to Canada from Nepal over the next two years. The next scheduled visit to the camps is April 2013. They will be selected from refugee camps with the help of the UNHCR and some are expected to arrive in Canada this year.

Click here for the CIC News Release

Processing of files at the Cairo, Egypt Visa office – Update

Diplomatic bag service to Cairo, Egypt resumes…

The Case Processing Pilot Ottawa (CPP-O) was temporarily creating GCMS case files for refugee sponsorship applications submitted for Cairo processing when diplomatic bags were not being sent to Cairo, Egypt due to security reasons (see Update from November 25, 2011). The CPP-O has completed this exercise last summer. The Centralized Processing Office in Winnipeg (CPO-W) is now sending files to Cairo in diplomatic bags as usual.