Quebec announces special immigration sponsorship program for Haiti.

Canada, Haiti
February 5 2010

By:Davis LLP
Bistra G.Stoytcheva

On February 3, 2010 Québec's Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities Ms. Yolande James announced exceptional sponsorship measures for persons from Haiti. These measures will enable family members that are significantly and personally affected by the January 12th earthquake to immigrate to Quebec and join their families.

The measures are twofold:

1) A new humanitarian sponsorship program has been created which gives the possibility to sponsor people who are not currently admissible pursuant to the regular sponsorship program. In accordance with the program, permanent residents and/or Canadian citizens of Haitian origin who reside in Québec may sponsor their brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters and children who are over 22 years of age, together with their spouses and dependant children. New forms to be used for sponsoring pursuant to this new humanitarian program will be available starting February 17, 2010.

2) Another measure consists in the possibility of having another person (and his/her spouse, as the case may be) without any family ties to the sponsored person to co-sign the financial undertaking together with the principal sponsor. This measure will apply to both the regular sponsorship program and the humanitarian sponsorship program described above. The co-signatories will be solidarily responsible during the length of the undertaking and the duration of the financial undertaking for the humanitarian sponsorship program will be of 5 years.

The number of immigrants from Haitian origin that Québec will accept pursuant to this program is limited to a maximum of 3,000 persons. The selection criteria applied to applicants will be chosen the degree of distress of the person affected by the earthquake and his/her capacity to integrate into Québec society.

The exceptional measures will be in effect from February 17 to December 31, 2010.

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