In response to the August 4 explosion that rocked Beirut, Canada is increasing the immigration support to Lebanon.
In addition to previous measures offered by the Canadian government to Lebanese citizens, Canada is now prioritizing visitor visas for the immediate family members of Canadians who are currently in Lebanon.
Prioritizing visitor visas for the immediate family of Canadians
If you are the immediate family member of a Canadian and reside in an area directly affected by the Beirut explosion (see eligible regions below) your visitor visa application to Canada will be prioritized.
You will need to demonstrate you resided in an affected area of Lebanon by showing proof of residence in the regions listed at the end of this post. It is also recommended you provide photos or other evidence that demonstrate you have been personally impacted by the explosion. After you have applied, you will need to email IRCC to let them know you’ve applied and they will evaluate if you are eligible for prioritized processing.
Immediate family members include:
- Common-law partners
- Dependent children
- Parents or step-parents
Prioritizing Canadians returning home
If you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and need documents to return to Canada, your application will now be prioritized. Fees usually required to process these requests are waived at this time.
Canadians who need consular help in Lebanon can contact the Embassy of Canada in Beirut at 961 4 726 700 or [email protected], or contact Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1-613-996-8885 or [email protected].
Allowing Lebanese citizens to stay in Canada longer
Lebanese nationals in Canada wishing to extend or restore their status can now do so and most fees are waived. These measures include Lebanese citizens residing in Canada as visitors, students, or workers. Applicants need to provide proof that they have been personally affected by the explosion and email IRCC to inform them you’ve applied.
How to qualify for the special immigration assistance
To qualify for assistance, you need to:
- Apply between September 3, 2020, and January 31, 2021
- Follow the instructions listed on this page for the type of application you need
- If you are the immediate family of a Canadian applying for a visitors visa, you must have been living in an affected area at the time of the explosion
- Include proof that you are personally affected by the explosion at the Port of Beirut when submitting your application, and email IRCC to inform them you’ve applied
Regions of Lebanon eligible for special immigration assistance
- Beirut governorate, specifically:
- Gemmayzeh (Saifi quarter)
- Karantina and Mar Mikhael (Medawar quarter)
- Jetaoui (Remeil quarter)
- Gharb, also known as Karm El Zeitouni (Achrafieh quarter)
- Nouveau secteur, also known as Downtown, and Marfaa (Marfaa quarter)
- Bachoura quarter
- Zqouq al Blatt quarter
- Mazraa quarter
- Moussaitbeh quarter
- Ras Beirut and Ain Mreisseh sectors (Dar El Mreisseh quarter)
- Minet El Hosn quarter
- Mount Lebanon governorate, specifically municipalities in Metn district, including:
- Bourj Hammoud
- Sin El Fil
- Aamaret Chalhoub
- Jdaidet El-Matn