Canada’s New Immigration Measures: Aiding Families from Israel and the Palestinian Territories

In a significant humanitarian gesture, the Government of Canada has unveiled new temporary immigration measures aimed at supporting family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents from Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Effective immediately, processing fees for study and open work permit applications are being waived for immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have left Israel or the Palestinian Territories since October 7, 2023, and are presently residing in Canada as temporary residents. Additionally, for those from Israel and the Palestinian Territories who are currently in Canada and feel unsafe to return home in these turbulent times, the government is extending a helping hand.

The situation in the region has prompted Canada to go a step further. The government is set to introduce a temporary residence pathway specifically tailored for extended family members—including spouses, common-law partners, children (regardless of age), grandchildren, siblings, parents, or grandparents—of Canadian citizens or permanent residents living in Canada. This initiative is not just for those who have already fled the region but also includes their immediate family members currently in Gaza, offering them a chance to enter Canada temporarily. Furthermore, a prioritization of both existing and new family-based permanent residence applications for individuals from the Palestinian Territories is also in the pipeline.

This compassionate approach by Canada is a response to the ongoing conflict in the Middle East prompted by Hamas’ unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, reflecting the country’s commitment to reuniting families and providing relief in times of global distress. It underscores Canada’s dedication to upholding human rights and supporting those affected by international conflicts.

In response to the escalating crisis, Canada has implemented several key measures:


Fee-exempt Permits for Family Members:

  • Family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have left Israel and the Palestinian Territories can apply for fee-exempt study or open work permits.
  • Israelis and Palestinians currently in Canada, who feel unsafe returning to the region, are also eligible for these permits.


Special Measures for Gaza Residents:

  • Recognizing the critical situation in Gaza, Canada is introducing measures to facilitate temporary residence for extended family members in Gaza, those related to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  • Priority processing of all existing and new permanent residence applications for Palestinians within family-based streams.


Document Preparation:

  • Canadians and permanent residents with eligible family members are encouraged to prepare necessary documents, including proof of relationships, to expedite the process.


Understanding the New Measures

The new measures are broad in scope and cater to various family relationships, highlighting Canada’s understanding of the diverse family dynamics. The waiver of processing fees is a significant relief for many who have been displaced due to the conflict, easing their transition and resettlement in Canada. The move to introduce a temporary residence pathway is particularly noteworthy, as it recognizes the urgency and severity of the situation in Gaza and offers safe haven to those in need who have family in Canada.


Eligibility and Application Process

To be eligible for these measures, applicants must prove their relationship to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident residing in Canada. The range of eligible family members is comprehensive, ensuring that extended families are not left out during these challenging times. This includes not just immediate family members but also grandparents, siblings, and grandchildren, reflecting an inclusive approach to family reunification.


Challenges and Next Steps

The volatile situation in Gaza presents significant challenges, particularly in terms of safe exit and meeting Canada’s admissibility and eligibility requirements. However, the Canadian government is actively working with regional partners to facilitate exits and provide necessary support. Canadians and permanent residents with eligible family members in the region are encouraged to begin preparing necessary documentation, including proof of relationship, to expedite the application process once it opens.


Canada’s Role and Responsibility

These measures are a testament to Canada’s role on the global stage as a nation committed to humanitarian efforts and family reunification. In extending support to those affected by the conflict in Israel and Gaza, Canada is not only providing immediate relief but also upholding its international reputation as a country that values human dignity and offers a safe haven in times of crisis.


We understand the importance of this initiative for individuals and families in Canada and abroad affected by the conflict. This is a crucial opportunity for family reunification and finding safety and stability in Canada. For personalized guidance and the latest information on the application process, we encourage you to contact Hummel Law. Our team is committed to providing support and assistance during these challenging times, ensuring you have the necessary resources to navigate these new measures effectively.

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