(Toronto) The federal government will allow Turkish and Syrian temporary residents to extend their stay in Canada after last month’s deadly earthquake.
More than 50,000 people were killed and millions more lost their homes after the 7.8 magnitude earthquake followed by numerous and powerful aftershocks hit Turkey and Syria on February 6.
Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced on Saturday that Turkish and Syrian nationals will be able to continue to study, work or visit family by applying for a free extension of their status.
He added that the ministry would prioritize new and existing temporary residence applications and permanent residence applications from affected regions.
According to the government, as of March 10, about 600 Syrians and 6,400 Turks had temporary residence status. This expires within six months.
Last month, Canada announced $20 million in additional aid to support a series of essential humanitarian activities. It will also pay an amount equal to 10 million in donations made to the Humanitarian Coalition and its members.