Going to Canada
In 2007 the Tibetan community in Canada asked the Canadian government for help to find displaced Tibetans new and permanent homes in Canada.
Following this request, Canada agreed to accept, as part of a special program, 1,000 displaced Tibetans living in Arunachal Pradesh as permanent residents.
Not everyone is eligible to apply. You must show the Canadian government that you meet the program's criteria and then, if you are accepted, that you have the support of a sponsor in Canada, either a Tibetan-based or other community group.
Those who are accepted will become permanent residents in Canada, and will eventually be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship if they choose to.
Who can apply?
To apply you must:
- be a displaced Tibetan living in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India;
- prove your identity as a displaced Tibetan;
- have lived in Arunachal Pradesh before December 18, 2010, and continue to live there now;
- tell the truth on your application and at your interview;
- not have committed any crimes that would prevent you from coming to Canada;
- be in good health;
- show that you will do well in Canada;
- have an approved sponsor in Canada.*
*Project Tibet Society will help you find a sponsor in Canada.
Am I eligible?
You and your immediate family members can apply if you can show that you meet the program's criteria. Only those who are selected to complete the application for permanent residency will be required to pay the accompanying fee to the Government of Canada.
Who may go with me?
Your immediate family may go with you, but they must be included on your application. Your immediate family includes your wife or husband, your life partner, your children who require your support, as well as their children.
If members of your immediate family decide to travel at different times to Canada, the head of household must arrive in Canada first. Immediate family members may come to Canada at a later date, but they must travel before the expiry date on their visa.
If you or anyone going with you to Canada gets married or has a baby before you or they leave for Canada, you must tell the Canadian High Commission in New Delhi. If you don’t tell them, they may not be able to go to Canada with you or join you at a later date.
Who cannot go with me?
Your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents or grandparents cannot be included in your application. If they want to go to Canada, they must apply themselves.
How do I show that I will do well in Canada?
You must show that you will be able meet your family’s basic needs for food, clothing and shelter by demonstrating that you are resourceful, and that you are capable of surviving in a new country where life is very different. You can help establish this through your existing education, experience, or skills that will help you find a job in Canada.
You must show you can adapt to Canadian life and fit in there. Part of that means showing you already speak or are willing to learn English or French.
How do I prove my identity?
We will accept Tibetan “Green Books” issued to Tibetans outside of Tibet with a Registration certificate as proof of your identity.
What is sponsorship (a sponsor)?
Sponsorship means getting the help you need once you get to Canada, and your prospective sponsors want to help. You will need help in your first year to find a place to live, learn about life in Canada, learn English or French, find a job, help enrol your children in school, find friends, etc. These things require time and sometimes they require money. Your sponsor will help in these and many other ways.
What other help can I get when I arrive in Canada?
When you get to Canada, the government has ways to help you do well, like:
- Information programs to help you with decisions and with understanding life in Canada, including your role and responsibilities as a resident of Canada;
- Help learning English or French;
- Help finding a job so you can get money to live; and
- Help finding friends, to make you feel welcome and part of your new community.
What should I do if this program interests me?
Project Tibet Society is an organization from Canada formed to oversee the program. It is working with Tibetans in India to help identify Tibetans that might meet the requirements to go to Canada.
If you feel you do meet the requirements and you want to go to Canada, you should indicate your interest to your local Tibetan Settlement Office by March 15, 2012. Should the number of persons who express interest in coming to Canada exceed the number permitted under this program, a public lottery will be organized.
Finally, if you have any other questions, please ask your local settlement officer or Project Tibet Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- News Release – Government of Canada to facilitate the immigration of up to 1,000 Tibetan refugees living in Arunachal Pradesh in India
- Video: 1000 Tibetans - Learn about the program for displaced Tibetans in Arunachal Pradesh, India, through Project Tibet Society’s video (external link)
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