IRCC Canada new services to support those affected by the port explosion in Beirut

In details

IRCC Canada has put temporary measures lasting from September 2 2020 till January 31 2021 to support those affected by the port explosion in Beirut.

Two categories are eligible for these measures:

  1. People in Lebanon wishing to come to Canada
  2. Lebanese citizens in Canada on a temporary basis


1- People in Lebanon wishing to come to Canada, they are:

  • Canadian citizens or permanent residents who wish to return to Canada and require certain documents such as permanent resident travel documents and citizen certificates and Canadian passports. Etc
  • Lebanese citizens in Lebanon who
    • lived, at the time of the explosion in one of the neighborhoods that are particularly affected by the blast
    • are immediate family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents and they wish to reunite with their family in Canada and they require prioritized temporary resident visas.


2- Lebanese Citizens in Canada on a temporary basis

Fee waivers are available for them (visitors- students- workers) and when they are unable to return to Lebanon due to the explosion and wish to extend their stay in Canada.

Fee Waivers

  • PRTD (50$)
  • Replacement of certificate of Canadian citizenship (proof of citizenship) (75%)
  • Temporary Canadian passport (110$)
  • Canadian passport including lost or stolen passport replacement (various fees)
  • Emergency travel documents (various fees)

Fees waivers for eligible Lebanese citizens in Canada on a temporary basis:

  • Extension of temporary resident status (100$)
  • Renewal of study permit (150$)
  • Renewal of work permit (155$)


Processing Canadian citizens and permanent residents in Lebanon

The facilitative measures are applicable to eligible Canadian citizens and permanent residents who need new or replacement documents required to prioritize their travel back to Canada.

Eligible individuals may be required to have travel documents, even when they may not have had such documents in the past, in order to deal with the aftermath of the situation, particularly to return to Canada.

Canadian passports

Facilitative measures for passports (including emergency travel documents) are the following:

  • Fees are to be waived.
  • Validity of the passport is to be limited to 1 year, unless the applicant chooses to pay for full validity.
  • Validity of the emergency travel document will be as per existing policy (that is, the amount of time required to meet the single trip arrangements).
  • All other requirements apply.


Citizenship certificate proofs

Facilitative measures for proof of citizenship are the following:

Fees for replacement citizenship certificates are not to be charged to the applicant if the applicant is deemed eligible for priority processing to obtain a Canadian passport for urgent travel to Canada. However, if a person applies using the online proof application, they will have to pay the fee in order for the application to be accepted into processing.

Applicants who already paid the fee must email IRCC [email protected] to inform IRCC of their application submission. The fee will be reimbursed if they are eligible. Officers must enter the organization ID for these measures in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) in order for a refund to be issued automatically to clients.

First-time purchase of proof versus purchase of replacement proof

The following processes are in place to assist first-time proof applicants (fee will not be waived or reimbursed) as well as those who require a replacement certificate (fee will be waived and reimbursed where applicable) and need to travel urgently:

The following procedures apply for a standard proof of citizenship fax-back for a limited validity passport:

  • The applicant will have to provide proof of travel.
  • The proof application is to be sent to the Case Processing Centre in Sydney (CPC-S) for claim validation.
  • CPC-S informs the mission that the applicant has a claim to citizenship and a limited validity passport is issued.
  • The proof of citizenship application is sent to CPC-S for completion.

The following procedures apply for requests for a citizenship certificate number to issue a full validity passport:

  • The proof of citizenship application was previously sent to CPC-S.
  • The applicant will have to provide proof of travel to the mission.
  • The mission must provide the client’s full name, date of birth, unique client identifier (UCI) and diplomatic bag number (the unique tracking number on the envelope bar code label), as well as any further information requested by CPC-S.
  • If applicable, CPC-S will provide the applicant’s citizenship certificate number to be verified by the mission in the Portal prior to the full validity passport being issued.

Replacement proof of citizenship applications deemed eligible for priority processing should be processed within 2 business days of receipt, as per current services standards.

Permanent resident travel documents (PRTDs)

Requests for PRTDs are to be processed on a priority basis at IRCC offices abroad, and the application fee to replace or issue a PRTD ($50) is not to be charged to the applicant.

However, applicants for a PRTD in Lebanon will have to pay a service fee to submit their paper application through the Beirut Visa Application Centre. Processing Lebanese citizens from the blast area. Eligible Lebanese citizens may apply for a TRV.

Those with existing family class applications may be eligible for processing under the family reunification exemptions. Persons eligible under these measures remain subject to all statutory obligations, including eligibility and admissibility requirements, such as:

  • Processing fees
  • Biometrics
  • Security screening


Areas affected by the blast

As outlined by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the areas immediately affected by the blast in Greater Beirut consist of the following lists.

Areas of very high severity of damage:

  • Ain el-Mreisseh
  • Bachoura
  • Marfaa
  • Medawar
  • Moussaytbeh
  • Remeil

Areas of high severity of damage:

  • Achrafieh
  • Bourj Hammoud
  • Minet el-Hosn
  • Ras Beyrouth
  • Saifeh
  • Sin el-Fil
  • Mazraa
  • Zoukak el-Blatt

Areas of medium severity of damage:

  • Baouchriyeh
  • Beirut Central District
  • Jall Ed-Did
  • Zalqa

Supporting documentation

Eligible Lebanese citizens must apply online and will have to self-identify through the dedicated mailbox, which is also for general inquiry ([email protected]). They are required to provide documentary evidence substantiating their eligibility.

The documentation for Lebanese citizens wishing to come to Canada should prove:

  • Their residence in an affected area
  • Their relationship with family members
  • Their family members’ Canadian citizenship or Canadian permanent resident status

Examples of documentary evidence include the following:

  • Residential certificate from the municipality
  • Real estate affidavit or property titleship from the Directorate of Land Registry and Cadastre
  • Medical documentation
  • -Legal documentation
  • Copies of official ID indicating the applicant’s residential address
  • Utility bills indicating name and place of service
  • Other documentation reliably establishing eligibility as a seriously and personally affected person
  • Photographic evidence may be used as a supplement for the above documents.

Note: Applicants are not required to provide documentary evidence about the general situation. That is, proof is not required that the blast occurred.

Processing Lebanese citizens in Canada on a temporary basis

Based on public policy considerations and pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations, delegated officers shall grant an exemption from the requirement to pay an application processing fee, between September 2, 2020 and January 31, 2021, for eligible Lebanese citizens in Canada.

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