Post Image

Canada may fast-track immigration applications from people in earthquake zone

February 11, 2023

By Maple Ridge News |

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser signalled this week that Canada may fast-track applications to come to Canada from people in the earthquake zones of Turkey and Syria.

Two major earthquakes rocked southwestern Turkey and northwestern Syria in a matter of hours on Monday, destroying thousands of buildings.

The confirmed death toll keeps rising, with more than 19,800 people killed and at least another 64,000 injured.

Tens of thousands more are homeless in the middle of winter and struggling to access food, water and shelter.

Fraser said his department is trying to figure out the effect on permanent residency applicants already in Canada’s immigration system to determine how to help them.

“This is a conversation that we’re having,” he told reporters.

“We’re trying to understand what the impact is on the clients who are in the system.”

On Wednesday, Canada deployed a disaster assessment team to the region to determine what additional aid from Canada is needed.

A team of search-and-rescue experts from British Columbia that independently offered to help was expected to begin on-the-ground work in the early hours of Thursday local time.

Many governments, including those of the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, India and European Union, have sent rescuers to the region. Countries including South Korea, Israel and Spain have deployed military personnel.

Canada’s decision about whether to send a Disaster Assistance Response Team could take a few more days, based on previous examples of such deployments.

Read more