Temporary Special Measures to Support Iranian Nationals is a set of policy, procedures, and guidance provided by the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) to support Iranian nationals in Canada who are facing difficulties in returning to Iran due to the ongoing situation in the country. The measures provide a way for these temporary residents to extend their stay or move between temporary resident streams, as well as facilitate the issuance of open work permits. They also waive certain processing fees, provide priority processing, and maintain status while the application remains in progress.

These special measures were implemented in response to the suite of measures announced by the Government of Canada on October 7, 2022, to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its repression of peaceful protests against the tragic killing of Mahsa Amini by the regime’s ‘morality police.’ Many Iranian nationals have chosen to come to Canada to visit or spend time with family, study, or work temporarily.

To be eligible for these special measures, an individual must be a national of Iran (holds a passport issued by Iran) in Canada with valid temporary resident status who applies for an extension of their authorization to remain in Canada as a temporary resident or to change their temporary resident status. Canadians citizens or permanent residents who reside in Iran and have applied for a citizenship certificate or a passport are also eligible for these measures. However, clients who need to restore their status are not included under these special measures and are not exempt from paying the $200 restoration fee.

Each program has its own eligibility and document requirements for these special measures. Clients applying from within Canada are eligible to have their fees waived and for priority processing when they apply for an extension or to change their temporary resident status. They are also exempt from paying the biometric enrollment fee under these special measures. The fees that are waived under these temporary special measures include the extension of temporary resident status, the initial or renewal of work permits, open work permits, study permits, and permanent resident travel documents.

While these special measures do provide some relief to Iranian nationals in Canada, it’s important to note that all other standard eligibility and security requirements must be met by clients. Additionally, these measures take effect retroactively from February 9, 2023, and will be valid until February 28, 2024.