Canada Extends Helping Hand to Moroccan Earthquake Survivors Through New Immigration Initiatives

#refugee #visapolicy

Canada is offering assistance in the wake of the terrible earthquake that occurred in September and affected a section of Morocco. New immigration initiatives are being introduced by the Canadian government in an effort to aid the victims of this natural disaster.

Support for Moroccan Nationals in Canada

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) of Canada has taken further steps to assist Moroccan nationals who were in the country on September 8th, the day of the earthquake. Among these efforts are providing a free extension of their temporary status and accelerating the processing of applications filed with the IRCC before the earthquake. 

According to the IRCC website, "Effective Oct. 19, 2023, Moroccan nationals in Canada are able to study, work, or visit family by filing for an extension of their temporary status free of charge." The purpose of this action is to facilitate the maintenance of Moroccan nationals' temporary status in Canada or their transition between temporary streams.

Aid Beyond Immigration

The earthquake had devastating effects, especially on children: according to UNICEF, at least 100,000 children were impacted by the earthquake, and thousands of them died or were injured. 

A Group of Moroccans in Canada - Canada to Help Moroccan Earthquake Survivors

Apart from the immigration programs, the IRCC is demonstrating further compassion. In recognition of the possibility that some people may have misplaced their travel documents as a result of the earthquake, they have waived the need for a passport or other proof of travel to be granted authorization for a permanent resident visa to enter Canada.

Additionally, by waiving payments for a number of necessary paperwork, IRCC is simplifying the repatriation of Canadian citizens and permanent residents from Morocco. The purpose of our action is to facilitate their repatriation to Canada in these difficult circumstances.

Long-Term Impact

These pro-Moroccan policies went into effect on October 19, 2023, and they are anticipated to last until March 12, 2024. With a magnitude of 6.8, the earthquake mostly struck the High Atlas highlands and had terrible effects, especially on young people. 

President of the UN General Assembly Dennis Francis offered condolences and urged allies to stand behind Morocco in its hour of need.

In terms of immigration, Canada has granted study visas, made work permits easier to get, and accepted thousands of new Moroccan permanent residents. 4,185 Moroccans became permanent residents of Canada in the first eight months of this year, following 6,390 last year. 

Moroccan nationals were granted 4,085 study permits in the first eight months of this year, compared to 4,480 last year. With 2,240 work permits granted to Moroccans in the first eight months of this year compared to 860 under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program last year, the number of work permits provided to Moroccans has climbed dramatically.


Who is eligible for these special immigration measures?

Moroccan nationals who were in Canada on September 8, the day of the earthquake, are eligible for these measures.

What impact have Moroccan nationals had on Canada's immigration levels recently?

There has been an increase in immigration between Morocco and Canada, as evidenced by the thousands of Moroccan nationals who were granted work and study permits as well as permanent residence status.


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