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441-02267 (Citizenship and immigration)

Paper petition

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada


  • Canada is recognized for its historical leadership in humanitarian actions in the global community. Our country is founded upon principles that recognize the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy;
  • The government of Canada introduced special immigration measures in the face of the devastating and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and now Palestinians are also experiencing similar unprecedented levels of poverty, food insecurity, economic instability, the lack of basic health services, and internal displacement because of the ongoing catastrophic conflict in Gaza; and
  • Just as the government rapidly introduced the special immigration measures provided to Ukrainians so they could get to safety expeditiously, we request that the government provides similar equitable treatment to Palestinians in Gaza who are also in urgent need to get to safety.

We, the undersigned citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:

1. Extend the same special immigration measures that were granted to Ukrainian nationals to Palestinians also;

2. Allow Palestinians in Gaza to apply for the special immigration measures; and

3. Establish a special work permit program for Palestinians to meet Canada's labour skill shortage.

Response by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): PAUL CHIANG, M.P.

When responding to international crises, Canada tailors each response to meet the unique realities on the ground as well as the needs of those who require our support.

The government is looking closely at our programs and initiatives to understand their impact on different client groups, with the aim of enhancing equitable access and benefits.

As global displacement intensifies and becomes more complex, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is increasingly being called upon to respond to a range of unique humanitarian situations that necessitate a migration response, including facilitative measures (e.g., waiving of requirements for existing programs) and/or the creation of new programs.

Canada has responded to a number of crises in recent years, such as Ukraine, Sudan and the situation in Israel and Gaza, employing a mix of measures and supports meant to address the unique needs of each situation. IRCC has implemented a mix of permanent and temporary measures to balance the resettlement of refugees and also the desire for some individuals to return to their country once it is safe to do so. 

Our recent initiatives have focused on facilitating family reunification and providing facilitative measures or pathways to Canada for those with humanitarian needs. The pathway for Palestinians takes into consideration the realities of the situation on the ground. IRCC remains flexible in adapting its responses as these situations evolve and will continue to monitor the situation and evaluate the needs to update the response and increase the application of people covered by the measures.

On January 9, 2024, IRCC launched a special temporary resident pathway for extended family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents currently residing in Gaza. IRCC continues to process applications under this pathway. Movement out of Gaza remains extremely challenging as countries set their own entry and exit requirements and Canada does not ultimately decide who can exit Gaza. The Government of Canada continues to engage in discussions with countries in the region and local authorities at every level to safely get extended family members out of Gaza. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to bring extended family members to safety in Canada.

To support Palestinians already in Canada, IRCC introduced temporary immigration measures to provide access to education and the labour market. As of December 21, 2023, Palestinians already in Canada as well as immediate family members of Canadian citizens and permanent residents who arrived through assisted departure have access to fee-exempt study and work permits. Those who arrive in Canada as part of the temporary resident pathway mentioned above, are also eligible for fee-exempt study and work permits. IRCC is also prioritizing all existing and new applications for Palestinians within most family-based streams (family class and overseas dependents of protected persons in Canada).

IRCC is also helping individuals support themselves and acclimatize to their new community by offering free settlement services (language training, employment-related services, housing, etc.) and access to temporarily limited healthcare coverage through the Interim Federal Health Program for three months. These services, typically reserved for permanent residents or refugees, are offered to individuals who arrived in Canada under the special measures for extended family in Gaza or Palestinians who arrived via assisted departures.

The Government of Canada remains deeply concerned about crisis in Gaza and we know many Canadians are concerned about the safety of their loved ones in Gaza.

Presented to the House of Commons
Yasir Naqvi (Ottawa Centre)
March 22, 2024 (Petition No. 441-02267)
Government response tabled
May 6, 2024
Photo - Yasir Naqvi
Ottawa Centre
Liberal Caucus

26 signatures

Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.