The government of Canada has approved a measure that will allow nationals of Haiti and Zimbabwe six additional months to apply for permanent residence without risk of removal from Canada.
This measure gives individuals currently in Canada who have not applied for permanent residence based on humanitarian and compassionate (H&C) grounds a further opportunity to do so. This six-month period is in addition to the six months that were already given to affected nationals following the lifting of the temporary suspension of removals to Haiti and Zimbabwe on December 1, 2014. In support of this reinstated measure, the Canada Border Services Agency will again defer any removals pending a final decision on the H&C applications.
“We encourage all Haitians and Zimbabweans in Canada who want to make this country their permanent home to apply for permanent resident status. This is why we have reinstated these special immigration measures,” said John McCallum, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Canada had lifted the temporary suspension of removals for both countries on December 1, 2014. Previously, a temporary suspension of removals had been in place for Haiti since 2004 and for Zimbabwe since 2002. After this was lifted, close to 2,200 individuals from these two countries applied for permanent residence on H&C grounds. The government of Canada estimates that approximately 1,000 additional individuals could benefit from having the special measures reinstated.