Temporary public policy to facilitate the sponsorship of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by Groups of Five and Community Sponsors

Recognizing the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, the Temporary public policy to facilitate the sponsorship of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by Groups of Five and Community Sponsors was introduced on September 19, 2015, for one year, to facilitate the resettlement of vulnerable individuals, and renewed on September 20, 2016 for an additional year.

This new temporary public policy recognizes the ongoing humanitarian crisis in the Middle East affecting Syrian and Iraqi refugees, and forms part of a broader strategy to address the large backlog and long wait times in the Privately Sponsored Refugees category. This new temporary public policy will enable Canada to implement fair and efficient procedures that maintain the integrity of the Canadian refugee protection system.

I hereby establish, pursuant to section 25.2 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (the Act), that there are sufficient public policy considerations that justify granting exemptions from the requirements in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations listed below when foreign nationals meet the conditions (eligibility criteria) set out below.

Conditions (Eligibility Requirements)

Based on public policy considerations, delegated officers may grant an exemption from the requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations identified below when a foreign national meets the following conditions:

  • the foreign national is a national of Syria or Iraq, and
  • the foreign national has fled their country of nationality or habitual residence due to the recent conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

Provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations for which an exemption may be granted:

  • paragraph 153(1)(b) - requirement that the sponsorship in support of the permanent residence visa application includes a document issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees certifying the status of the foreign national as a refugee under the rules applicable to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or a foreign state certifying the status of the foreign national as a refugee under the rules applicable to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees or the applicable laws of the foreign state, as the case may be; and
  • section 307 - requirement to pay the processing fee for examining, under subsection 25.2(1) of the Act, the circumstances of the foreign national.

Other statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements

Principal applicants eligible under this temporary public policy, and their family members, are subject to all other statutory eligibility and admissibility requirements not exempted under this temporary public policy, including the requirement not to be inadmissible on criminal, security and medical grounds.

Applicants intending to reside in Quebec are subject to the Province of Quebec's selection criteria further to subsection 25.2 (3) of the Act, and cannot be granted permanent residence unless Quebec determines that they meet the applicable selection criteria of the province.

Coming into force and expiration

This temporary public policy comes into force on the date of my signature.

This temporary public policy expires one year after it is signed, or once applications for 1,000 foreign nationals, that is principal applicants and their family members, are received by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for processing under this temporary public policy.

This temporary public policy replaces the Temporary public policy to facilitate the sponsorship of Syrian and Iraqi refugees by Groups of Five and Community Sponsors signed on September 20, 2016.

John McCallum, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Dated at Ottawa, this 19th day of December 2016

Date Modified: