Immigration Support is Extended to Those Affected by Beirut’s Horrific Blast
Following Beirut’s devastating blast on August 4, 2020 that affected many main sectors of the city, more than 200 people were killed, and 6,000 others left injured.
The damage caused by the explosion was more than extensive, leaving major structures and health care facilities, including hospitals, left in ruins or inoperable. Overall, the tragedy left 300,000 people stranded, homeless, and displaced.
Canada responded quickly, providing $30 million in humanitarian and development support to lend a helping hand to those most affected by the blast.
And the Canadian government isn’t the only source of support. Lebanese-Canadian business leaders are raising a $2.5 million relief fund for the victims of the Beirut explosion.
Now, Canada has developed an immigration task force to continue support efforts for Lebanon.
A statement issued by Canada’s Minister of Immigration and Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that this task force will aid in the delivery of consular services and ensure that immigration-related questions will be addressed in a timely fashion.
Lebanese citizens who are in Canada temporarily and cannot return to Lebanon due to the effects of the explosion are permitted to extend their stay, according to the Canadian government. Furthermore, Lebanese citizens temporarily in Canada and Canadian citizens temporarily in Lebanon will be exempt from fees for the renewal of their status documents.
Provided that the coronavirus pandemic health protocols are respected, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada in Lebanon, and their immediate family members, of foreign nationals have the right to return to Canada.
However, this exemption to Canada’s travel restrictions is subject to a mandatory two-week quarantine, minimum 15-day visitor stay in Canada, and the possession of a valid temporary resident visa for foreign nationals entering Canada.
Furthermore, Lebanese-Canadians with relatives still in Lebanon may be eligible to sponsor them through Canada’s family class program.
Refugee readmissions operations have recently been reinstated by Canada’s partners at the United Nations Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration, giving priority to cases of higher urgency.
In a statement issued by the Canadian government:
“The people-to-people ties between Canada and Lebanon are strong. Canada will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that survivors of the recent tragedy receive the help they need. We remain engaged and stand ready to assist however we can.”