Rishon Lezion , Israel – November 21, 2012: Damaged house in Rishon Lezion, that was hit by Hamas rockets from Gaza at November 20, 2012

“The scale of this humanitarian crisis is devastating and the situation on the ground is challenging. Israelis and Palestinians in Canada will continue to find safety here and we will do what we can to help loved ones who have fled the region, as well as eligible family members who remain in Gaza. We will continue to remain flexible with our response so we can meet the unique needs of those who require our support.”
– The Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

December 21, 2023—Ottawa—
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada Newsroom

Canada remains deeply concerned about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, and the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Since Hamas’s terrorist attack in early October, Canada has been actively working to support the assisted departure of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their eligible family members from Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

As part of these continuing efforts, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, today announced temporaryimmigration measures to support family members of Canadians and permanent residents from the region, as well as Israelis and Palestinians already in Canada.

Beginning today, the following people can apply for a fee-exempt study or open work permit:

Foreign national family members of Canadian citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) who have left Israel and the Palestinian Territories, either with their family members or of their own accord, since the onset of the current conflict.
Israelis and Palestinians already in Canada who feel unsafe returning to the region at this time.

For those with loved ones living in Gaza

We understand many Canadians are concerned about the safety of their loved ones in Gaza. That is why we are introducing special measures to support temporary residence for extended family members in Gaza who are related to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. We will also prioritize the processing of all existing and new permanent residence applications for Palestinians within family-based streams.

The situation in Gaza is volatile and unpredictable. Israel has expanded ground operations in the Gaza Strip, and air strikes continue. Movement out of Gaza remains extremely challenging, and may not be possible as countries set their own entry and exit requirements. If individuals are able to exit Gaza, they will need to complete all admissibility and eligibility requirements before they can be approved to come to Canada. Canada continues to work with partners in the region to facilitate the exit of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and eligible family members.

More details about these special measures for extended family members of Canadians, including how to apply, will be made available soon. IRCC has a dedicated service channel for enquiries on these special measures available for clients both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted. Clients can add the keyword “MOME2023” to the IRCC crisis web form with their enquiry and it will be prioritized.

For now, we encourage Canadians and permanent residents who may have eligible family members to start preparing documents, including proof of relationship.

Quick facts

Fee-exempt study or open work permits in Canada:

To be eligible to apply for fee-exempt study or open work permits, immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents and Israelis or Palestinians already in Canada must have valid temporary resident status.
Permanent residents and family members of permanent residents and Canadian citizens who came to Canada following their assisted departure from Gaza may be eligible to apply online for time-limited medical coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program to support immediate medical needs upon arrival.

For those with loved ones living in Gaza:

Eligible applicants include the spouse, common-law partner, child (regardless of age), grandchild, sibling, parent or grandparent of a Canadian anchor, as well as their immediate family members (spouse, common-law partner, dependent child, and dependent child of a dependent child). The Canadian citizen or permanent resident must be currently residing in Canada.
Proof of relationship documents may include:
a copy of the child’s or grandchild’s birth certificate
a copy of the child’s or grandchild’s baptismal certificate
another official document naming the applicant as the parent or grandparent, such as their family book or civil registration documents.
Associated links
Crisis in Israel and the Palestinian Territories: Temporary immigration measures
Canada’s response to the crisis in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Canadians, permanent residents and their immediate family members in Lebanon

Contacts
Bahoz Dara Aziz
Press Secretary
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
[email protected]