Canada has introduced a humanitarian immigration route to facilitate Colombians, Haitians, and Venezuelans already residing in Central or South America or the Caribbean with family ties in Canada.
The program, set to commence this fall, targets foreign nationals from these regions who have extended family connections in Canada, such as children (regardless of age), grandchildren, spouses, common-law partners, parents, grandparents, or siblings of Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Successful applicants under this initiative will gain access to enhanced pre-arrival services, including employment skills assessments and referrals to settlement service providers in their intended communities.
This initiative is in line with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement earlier this year to welcome 15,000 migrants on humanitarian grounds from the Western Hemisphere. The objective is to provide these migrants with opportunities for economic integration and address issues surrounding forced displacement and irregular migration.
Canada is actively collaborating with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to gain insights into the regional context and humanitarian needs related to migration in the Americas. Support is also provided to safe mobility offices in the region, with the aim of considering individuals for humanitarian and other regular immigration pathways.
Notably, Canada has been consistently welcoming a substantial number of Colombian, Haitian, and Venezuelan immigrants on an annual basis. While the target for the new humanitarian pathway is to admit up to 11,000 individuals, the country has already admitted a significant number of immigrants from these countries in recent years.
Furthermore, Canada has increased the intake of temporary foreign workers from the Americas this year, with a particular focus on those who have already arrived in the country. Initiatives such as the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot are being leveraged to facilitate the immigration of skilled refugees and displaced individuals to Canada.