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Canada Announces Visas For Gazans With Relatives In Canada

People carry a Palestinian flag during a rally in front of City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 9, 2023. (photo credit: REUTERS/Kyaw Soe Oo) via TJP

Canada’s Immigration Minister Marc Miller has announced on Thursday that the Canadian government would extend temporary visas to residents of the Gaza Strip who have Canadian relatives.

“In light of the untenable humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, today I announced that temporary visas will be available for the extended families of Canadians or Permanent Residents, so that they may be reunited and find safety with their families in Canada,” Miller posted on X.

“I also announced fee-exempt study or work permits for immediate family members of Canadians/PRs that left Israel or Palestine, and for Israelis & Palestinians already in Canada who currently feel unsafe returning home.”

Canada opens doors to eligible Palestinians. 

Miller explained to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation that while Canada previously had mechanisms in place to accept refugees fleeing from Gaza, the new regulations will increase the number of Palestinians eligible to seek residence in the country.

The government has so far gotten 660 Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and their spouses and children out of Gaza.

“We’ve had limited ability to get Canadians and permanent residents out, but we have limited it to closer family unit definitions,” Miller told the CBC.

“This expands the definition and allows us a greater set of people that may not be permanent residents or Canadians, but for all intents and purposes represent the family of people that are close to Canadians.”

Miller also told the Associated Press that he expects the program to be up and running by Jan. 9 and will offer three-year visas to Palestinia. – TJP

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