Canada to support Sudanese residents with new immigration measures

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) – Canada will introduce new immigration measures to support Sudanese temporary residents who are currently in Canada and may be unable to return home due to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Sudan, the government said on Monday.

Fighting erupted between Sudan’s armed forces and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) paramilitary group on April 15 and has killed hundreds of people, knocked out hospitals and other services and turned residential areas into war zones.

Once Canada’s new measures announced by Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser are in place, Sudanese nationals can apply to extend their status in Canada and move between temporary streams, allowing them to continue studying, working or visiting family free of charge, the Canadian government said in a statement.

To facilitate immigration applications for those still in Sudan so they can travel once it is safe to do so, the Canadian government said it will also prioritize processing completed temporary and permanent residence applications already in the system from people still in the country.

This includes visitor visa applications for eligible immediate family members of Canadian citizens and Canadian permanent residents, it added.

Canada said it will also waive passport and permanent resident travel document fees for citizens and permanent residents of Canada in Sudan who wish to leave.

The U.S. said on Monday that the warring factions in Sudan agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire while Western, Arab and Asian nations raced to extract their citizens.

Canada said on Sunday that it had temporarily suspended operations in Sudan and Canadian diplomats will temporarily work from a safe location outside the country.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Josie Kao)