Ottawa opens new pathway for Palestinians

Canadian citizens' and permanent residents' extended family members welcome to study, work in Canada under program

Ottawa opens new pathway for Palestinians

The federal government is helping out people who have been affected by the conflict in Gaza while also welcoming new workers into Canada under a new temporary resident pathway program.

Ottawa is looking to provide a temporary safe haven for Palestinians directly affected by the crisis in Gaza who have Canadian citizen or permanent resident family members in Canada willing to support them.

"The situation on the ground in Gaza is challenging and volatile. These new measures provide a humanitarian pathway to safety and recognize the importance of keeping families together given the ongoing crisis,” said Marc Miller, minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship. “We will continue to monitor the situation in Gaza very closely as it evolves and adapt our response accordingly.”

Eligible family members include a Canadian citizen’s/permanent resident’s: 

  • spouse
  • common-law partner
  • child
  • grandchild
  • sibling
  • parent
  • grandparent

Also eligible are the immediate family members: 

  • spouse
  • common-law partner
  • dependent child
  • dependent child of a dependent child

In May 2023, Ottawa provided open work permits for spousal and family class applicants.

Three months of health coverage

Once in Canada, eligible people can apply for a fee-exempt study permit or open work permit under the program.

They will also have access to three months of health coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program to help address any urgent medical needs upon arrival, as well as settlement services such as language training and support connecting with the labour market and local community, according to the federal government.

The exemptions for temporary resident visa applicants under the public policy expire on Jan. 9, 2025, or when 1,000 temporary resident visa applications have been received and accepted for processing, whichever comes first.

Also, exemptions at the port of entry for people who hold a temporary resident visa that was issued under the public policy expire on Jan. 9, 2025.

These multiple-entry temporary resident visas will be valid for up to three years or the length of the person’s passport validity, whichever comes first.

In March 2023, Ottawa gave a two-year extension to the temporary rule allowing visitors to apply for a work permit and then work even if they are already in Canada.

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