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Canadian Immigration Blog


Afghan Settlements Double the Original Estimated Number of Applicants

October 10, 2012
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A special program was introduced in 2009 for persons acting as interpreters and as aid for Canadian soldiers and diplomats in Afghanistan. This program was designed for these persons and their families to resettle in Canada. The initial estimation for application amounts had been under 500 but had seen nearly 800 applicants at the time of halting their recruitment. Their titles were ‘Terps and they acted as comrades to Canadian soldiers, introducing them to the culture and customs of the country and help with interpreting situations for the soldiers, especially between them and the locals.

Many times these individuals would put their lives at risk so that Canadian soldiers could have leeway in conversation within the country. Six interpreters were killed alongside Canadian soldiers on the battlefield. These individuals had also faced harassment by the Taliban for their involvement with Canadian soldiers.

Canada designed a program that will allow their applications to be fast tracked to receiving a permanent residency. This program was designed to help endangered persons leave Afghanistan. The requirements for the application were that the person must have worked for 12 months for the Canadian government between 2007 and 2011 and to show that their lives were in danger as a result of this.

There were 622 applicants for the program, in total, and at first the government had only accepted a small fraction of these applications. There were many factors involving the rejection, however a primary one was that officials had not felt that the persons had provided enough proof that they faced risk while working with the government. Minister Jason Kenney had ordered a review on these hundreds of rejected applications.

Initially, the government only accepted a fraction of cases, but earlier this year the Minister Jason Kenney ordered a review of hundreds of rejected applications. After intricate review in these cases, a total of 348 people were accepted into the program along with their families. Cases that were not permitted through this special program were often permitted through other immigration policies such as humanitarian and compassionate grounds. As a result of this special program, Canadian government now is familiar with processes with designations to this degree, and hope to open more special programs to help identify ideal candidates for immigration.

If you would like to learn more about permanent migration to Canada, please click here.

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