Faster Canadian immigration processing for Typhoon victims

Immigration measures brought in to help victims of Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines has led to priority processing for over 400 applications from close family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents. On 26 September 2009 Typhoon Ketsana struck Manila the capital of the Philippines and other areas of the Northern Philippines which resulted in the worst flooding in this area for over 40 years.

"Immediately after that happened, on behalf of our government, I announced that special measures would be in place to expedite immigration processing for typhoon victims," said Immigration Minister Kenney. "We wanted to help reunite victims with close family in Canada. I am happy to report that our government kept its promise."

During the period 1 October 2009 to 29 November 2009 a number of new and existing immigration applications were expedited. On 27 November 2009 there were over 420 applications that qualified for priority processing. Temporary residence applications were also accepted for priority processing from people who had been badly affected by the typhoon.

Recently, there has been a considerable reduction in the number of applications from the regions affected by Typhoon Ketsana. The Canadian Government feels that it is therefore unnecessary to continue with the special measures.

From 1 October to 29 November, 2009, CIC expedited the processing of new and existing applications from close family members of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and protected persons. As of 27 November 27, 2009 over 420 applications qualified for priority processing. Each application may include more than one family member. Applications for temporary residence from people significantly affected by the typhoon were also accepted for priority processing.

Now that applications from those originally affected by Typhoon Ketsana have declined significantly, the Canadian Government decided to end the special measures to expedite processing of immigration applications. Any applications received up to November 29th have been reviewed to see if priority processing applies. Most of the applications from those affected by the typhoon came from parents and grandparents who have family members in Canada.

"Canada has a proud tradition of helping Canadian citizens and permanent residents reunite with their family members abroad when natural disasters occur," said the Immigration Minister.