Canada Introduces Temporary Resident Pathway for Palestinian Family Members

On January 9, 2024, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the opening of a new temporary resident pathway for extended family members in Gaza of Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

Key Information
  • This measure provides a temporary safe haven for Palestinians directly affected by the crisis in Gaza who have Canadian citizen or permanent resident family members in Canada willing to support them.
  • Eligible family members include a spouse, common-law partner, child, grandchild, sibling, parent or grandparent of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, as well as their immediate family members (spouse, common-law partner, dependent child and dependent child of a dependent child).

Movement out of Gaza remains extremely challenging, and may not be possible due to entry and exit requirements set by countries and other actors in the region. Applicants who are able to exit Gaza will also need to meet all admissibility requirements including biometrics before they can be approved to come to Canada.


Pathway Benefits
  • Once in Canada, eligible people can apply for a fee-exempt study permit or open work permit under the measures already announced. This will help them to better support themselves in Canada while the crisis in Israel and the Palestinian Territories continues.
  • They will also have access to three months of health coverage under the Interim Federal Health Program to help address any urgent medical needs upon arrival, as well as settlement services such as language training and support connecting with the labour market and local community.
  • The exemptions for temporary resident visa applicants under the public policy expire  January 9, 2025, or when 1,000 temporary resident visa applications have been received and accepted for processing, whichever comes first.
  • These multiple entry temporary resident visas will be valid for up to 3 years or the length of the person’s passport validity, whichever comes first.
  • As of December 21, 2023, the Government of Canada made fee-exempt study permits and open work permits available for immediate family members of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Where possible, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is also prioritizing the processing of existing and new permanent residence applications for Palestinians within family-based streams.
Erickson Insights
The situation in Israel, Gaza, and the region is ongoing and subject to sudden change quickly and without notice. Additional information is available on EIG’s dedicated Israel & Gaza Information Report.
The IRCC has a dedicated service channel for enquiries on these special measures available for people both in Canada and abroad at 613-321-4243, with collect calls accepted.
More information on these measures will be circulated as they become available. Please feel free to reach out to us for assessments on eligibility for interested employees on a case-by-case basis.Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.