In a news conference in Ottawa on July 13th, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced that the special visa fast-tracking program introduced right after the devastating earthquake in Haiti has reunited many Haitians with their families in Canada.
Since the earthquake six months ago, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has been able to make decisions on over 2,300 applications that allowed Haitians to reunite with their Canadian families.
The Immigration and Refugee Board has also made Haitian claims a priority and has finalized over one thousand claims as of the end of May, while approximately 3,700 temporary workers and students have received extensions to their visas without any extra fees.
Since the few weeks immediately following the earthquake, 203 Haitian children were united with their adoptive Canadian families when normally this process takes at least a couple of years.
“This is a phenomenal result for those Canadians whose loves ones were affected by the terrible earthquake,” Minister Kenney said at the news conference, “this represents the fastest and largest special immigration effort of its kind following a natural disaster.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is still receiving applications under the special measures, and has promised decisions within three months of the end of the month in which the applications are received.
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