Measures needed for Haitians waiting for family reunification

Media release

For immediate release
18 October 2016


Measures needed for Haitians waiting for family reunification

The Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), la Table de concertation des organismes au service des personnes réfugiées et immigrantes (TCRI) and la Maison d’Haiti urge the federal government to expedite family reunification procedures for Haitians who have been waiting, sometimes for years, to reunite with family in Canada.
“With this new disaster striking Haiti and given the widespread situation of insecurity and extreme precariousness, the least we could do would be to allow Haitian families in Canada to quickly bring their family members who are in distress, as we successfully did after the earthquake in 2010,” said Marjorie Villefranche, Executive Director of la Maison d’Haïti.
“The CCR continues to be deeply concerned about the very long processing times for family reunification,” said Loly Rico, CCR President. “Processing times are particularly long for certain countries, including Haiti, and for family members of refugees  – a situation that affects many Haitians.”
Children sponsored in the Family Class from Haiti wait 26 months, according to the government website, making it among the countries with the longest processing times. The government does not even post the processing times for refugee family reunification, but in 2015 the wait at the Port-au-Prince visa office was 39 months.
The organizations urge the Canadian and Quebec governments to adopt all possible measures to help the Haitian population, consistent with the actions undertaken in the spirit of international solidarity to respond to the Syrian crisis.

The organizations welcome the federal government’s suspension of removals to Haiti in response to the hurricane.

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Janet Dench, CCR Executive Director, (514) 277-7223 (ext 2),
Stephan Reichhold  - Tel. 514-791-2455 
Marjorie Villefranche Tel 514-754-6734,