Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) announced today that it will offer priority processing of immigration applications from individuals who have been ‘significantly affected’ by Typhoon Haiyan.

“Canadians are deeply saddened by the devastating impact Tyhpoon Haiyan has had on the Philippine people,” said Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander. “Our government will continue to take action to support those impacted by the storm and we will work with our partners to ensure that support is provided to those who are significantly affected by this tragic event.”

Applicants living outside of Canada, who can demonstrate that they have been ‘significantly and personally affected by the typhoon’ may alert the Canadian Visa Office in Manila at manila-im-enquiry@international.gc.ca. The Manila Visa Office, as well as the Manila and Cebu Visa Application Centers, remain open and fully functional.

In addition, Filipino citizens who are currently in Canada temporarily may apply to extend their stays. CIC has promised that these extensions will be processed in a ‘compassionate and flexible manner’. Applicants in Canada wishing to declare their applications as a priority should email situation-philippines@cic.gc.ca or call CIC’s dedicated hotline at 1-888-242-2100.

Applicants who have applied online are encouraged to include important information in their email such as their name, date of birth, and client ID number, which can be found on any official correspondence with CIC.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 18, 2013

As of Monday, November 18 2013, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that Canadian aid to the Philippines will top $40 million. A total of $20 million in private donations has been raised from individual Canadians, and as promised the Canadian government is matching this amount with a further $20 million. Additional aid in the form of monetary donations, over 200 military personnel, and a 70-bed Red Cross hospital have also been provided. Further aid is anticipated in the upcoming weeks and months.

To make a donation to this worthy cause you may do so by visiting the Canadian Red Cross website.