Free replacement of travel and immigration documents for flood-affected British Columbia residents
December 18, 2021
By News Wire |
Canadians everywhere have been watching with worry as the people of British Columbia keep facing extreme climatic events like catastrophic floods and landslides. While the loss of human lives is the most concerning, we’ve also come to realize that people directly affected may need to replace vital lost or destroyed documents, including travel, citizenship and immigration documents.
To support those who suffered from the floods, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced today that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is waiving fees to replace documents under its purview. These special measures take effect retroactively, from November 15, 2021, and will continue until May 31, 2022.
This time frame gives Canadians and permanent residents time to sort out what documents they need to replace and to apply with no fees. These documents include passports, refugee travel documents, certificates of identity, citizenship certificates (proof) and permanent resident cards.
In addition, IRCC is waiving application and biometrics fees for temporary residents in British Columbia directly affected by the flooding. Fees will be waived for reissuing status documents if they were lost or damaged in the floods, as well as for temporary residents applying to extend their visitor status, study permit or work permit as a result of the crisis.
Fees will also be waived and deadlines extended for those who are not able to apply on time to extend their study permit, work permit or visitor status. This means foreign nationals who had temporary status on November 15, 2021, but whose status expired after that or will soon expire, will be able to apply to restore their status up to May 31, 2022, provided they meet the requirements.
“The Government of Canada’s first priority is to continue to work with the province and Indigenous governments to provide assistance to thousands of British Columbia residents affected by the devastating floods and landslides. As people start to rebuild their lives and communities, the special measures are another way for us to provide some relief.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship