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Canada announces new permanent residence pathway for families of Canadian victims of recent air disasters

Air disasters have taken the lives of too many Canadians and left too many families across our country without loved ones.

Canada stands in solidarity with all those impacted by air disasters and will continue to support the families of the victims of the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 tragedies.

On May 12, 2021, the Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, put in place a new public policy to facilitate immigration procedures for the families who are still grieving. The Government of Canada put special measures in place to help these families come to Canada, and this new measure is an important part of the government’s ongoing support for them.

In-Canada families of victims who were Canadian citizens, permanent residents or foreign nationals who were found eligible on their permanent residence application can apply for permanent residence under this public policy. The policy will remain in effect until May 11, 2022.

All standard fees and biometric requirements apply under this public policy. Standard admissibility requirements also apply. However, applicants are still eligible even if they have lost their status in Canada.

This public policy applies only to members of victims’ families who are currently in Canada. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is working on further measures to facilitate permanent residence applications for certain members of victims’ families who are outside Canada, and an announcement will be made once those measures are in place.

IRCC is also extending the original temporary residence public policy for families of victims of Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752. This will allow the individuals who were initially issued temporary resident visas following the disaster, but who did not travel, to continue to benefit from specialized assistance and come to Canada if they wish to.

It will also help those who did travel to Canada with a temporary resident visa and who are now eligible to apply for permanent residence under this new public policy, as they will be able to extend their temporary resident status until their permanent residence application is processed.

Who can apply under this public policy

To be eligible to apply for permanent residence under this public policy, you must meet the following 3 criteria:

  1. The member of your family who was a victim of flight ET302 or PS752 must have been a
    • Canadian citizen
    • permanent resident of Canada
    • foreign national who had a positive eligibility decision on their permanent residence application
  2. You must be
    • the spouse or common-law partner of a Canadian victim of flight ET302 or PS752
    • one of the following relatives of a Canadian victim or of their spouse or common-law partner:
      • child
      • grandchild
      • parent
      • grandparent
      • sibling (including half-siblings)
      • aunt or uncle (sibling of a victim’s parent or sibling of a victim’s spouse or common-law partner’s parent)
      • niece or nephew (child of a victim’s sibling or child of a victim’s spouse or common-law partner’s sibling)
  3. You must be in Canada at the time of application, and you must have done one of the following:
    • had valid temporary resident status in Canada when the member of your family passed away on flight ET302 or PS752
    • been granted temporary residence after the member of your family passed away on flight ET302 or PS752, as long as you applied for temporary resident status in Canada before March 23, 2021
    • made a refugee claim in Canada on or after the date that the member of your family passed away on flight ET302 or PS752, and your claim has not been found ineligible to be referred to the Immigration and Refugee Board
    • benefitted from the 2020 or 2021 temporary residence public policy for families of victims of Flight PS752

This public policy applies only to members of victims’ families who are currently in Canada. IRCC is working on further measures to facilitate permanent residence applications for certain members of victims’ families who are outside Canada, and an announcement will be made once those measures are in place.

How to apply

Check to see if you’re eligible to apply for permanent residence under this public policy.

Carefully read all the instructions on how to apply, including the instruction guide and checklist, before gathering the necessary forms and documents to start your application.

Make sure your application is complete, and you’ve paid all the necessary fees before submitting your application.

“All Canadians mourned the loss of those who died in the tragedies involving Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752. At the centre of these disasters are the grieving families, who need wide-ranging support from the Government of Canada. This new pathway to permanent residence is one of the ways we are helping families of Canadian victims cope, in the hope that they may build their lives in Canada.”

—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Quick facts

  • On March 10, 2019, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed near the town of Bishoftu, Ethiopia, claiming the lives of 157 people, including 18 Canadians and many others with ties to Canada.
  • On January 8, 2020, a passenger jet carrying 55 Canadian citizens and 30 permanent residents was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, in Tehran. Of the 176 innocent people who died on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, 138 had ties to Canada.
  • Special Advisor Ralph Goodale’s report on the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 was released in December 2020. It underscores how vital it is for the investigation into this air disaster to be transparent and ensure accountability.
  • In response to the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, IRCC put special immigration measures in place, such as dedicated phone and email channels for immigration support and public policies to facilitate the issuance of temporary resident visas as well as extensions of temporary resident status for those unable to return home because of the ongoing global travel restrictions.
  • Through the Safer Skies Initiative, Canada is working with international organizations, the civil aviation industry and the International Civil Aviation Organization to enhance the level of safety and security for commercial airlines travelling in higher-risk areas and to prevent future tragedies.
  • In honour of the victims of air tragedies, such as the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 and the downing of Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, the Government of Canada designated January 8 of every year as the National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Air Disasters.
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