Canada sets up task force to support survivors and others affected by the tragedy in Beirut

Statement

Ottawa, August 13, 2020—The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs, issued the following statement:

“Canadians were shocked and deeply saddened by the explosion in Beirut last week. We mourn those who lost their lives and wish the survivors a speedy recovery.

“The Government of Canada’s first priority is ensuring that affected Canadians and their families have the consular assistance and other support they need to navigate this difficult time. Canada is setting up a task force on Lebanon to support the delivery of consular services, and to ensure that questions related to immigration can be quickly addressed.

“Lebanese citizens in Canada on a temporary basis are also able to extend their stay in Canada if they are unable to return home because of the explosion. Canada will waive the cost of documents related to renewing their status for them as well as for Canadians and permanent residents in Lebanon who need to come home.

“These commitments are further to a pledge of up to $30 million in humanitarian and development assistance for the people of Lebanon. This funding will help trusted partners like the Red Cross and the Humanitarian Coalition to address immediate humanitarian needs and support early recovery efforts.

“The people-to-people ties between Canada and Lebanon are strong. Canada will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that survivors of the recent tragedy receive the help they need. We remain engaged and stand ready to assist however we can.”

Quick facts:

  • Canadians and permanent residents in Lebanon have the right to return to Canada, subject to public health measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • There is also an immediate family exemption at the border for foreign nationals who are related to Canadian citizens and permanent residents, subject to having a valid temporary resident visa, the 2-week mandatory quarantine, and a visit that is not less than 15 days.
  • International students from Lebanon are able to travel to Canada provided they had a valid study permit issued before March 18, 2020.
  • Canada’s partners at the United Nations Refugee Agency and the International Organization for Migration have recently started to resume refugee resettlement operations, and we will continue to prioritize and resettle the most urgent cases.
  • IRCC’s ability to process applications is limited by the global pandemic, but we are focused on prioritizing applications for Canadians and permanent residents returning to the country, vulnerable groups and people who perform essential services.
  • Canadians who need consular help in Lebanon can contact the Embassy of Canada in Beirut at 961 4 726 700 or berut-cs@international.gc.ca, or contact Global Affairs Canada’s Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1-613-996-8885 or sos@international.gc.ca.

Associated links

Canada’s response to the crisis in Lebanon
Travel advice and advisories—Lebanon
Embassy of Canada to Lebanon

Contacts

For further information (media only), please contact:

Kevin Lemkay
Minister’s Office
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
613-960-1011

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