Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama (R), is welcomed by Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Jason Kenney to the “World Parliamentarians’ Conventions on Tibet” conference in Ottawa April 27, 2012
Ottawa — The Government of Canada intends to facilitate the immigration of up to 1,000 Tibetan refugees living in the state of Arunachal Pradesh in India over a five-year period, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.
Our government’s openness to Tibetan refugees is in keeping with Canada’s best humanitarian traditions,” said Minister Kenney. “
We look forward to working with the Government of India and the Tibetan-Canadian community on the implementation of this program, and on welcoming these individuals to Canada.”
Special immigration measures will be developed in response to a request by the Tibetan community and will focus on individuals who meet specific criteria. These measures aim to maximize the involvement of communities in Canada by focusing on individuals who have secured the support of the Canadian-Tibetan community or other interested supporters.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Canada has a long-standing tradition of facilitating immigration for various groups around the world by matching prospective immigrants to community sponsors in Canada through private sponsorships. This is done at no additional cost to Canadians because initial settlement costs, including housing, are guaranteed by sponsors.
This humanitarian initiative will assist Tibetan refugees in Arunachal Pradesh, who live in remote and isolated settlements.
Minister Jason Kenney speaking at the 6th World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet in Ottawa
I would like to recognize India’s long-standing support for the Tibetans in India,” added Minister Kenney. “
This is Canada’s opportunity to complement India’s support for this vulnerable population.”
This is not the first time Canada has assisted Tibetans. In 1972, Canada established the Tibetan Refugee Program and resettled approximately 230 Tibetans in Canada who had been living in Northern India. This new initiative, which will bring in up to 1,000 Tibetans, is another example of Canada’s efforts to reach out to the Tibetan community.
Persons entering Canada under these special measures would be required to meet Canada’s requirements for immigration, including security, criminal, medical and background checks.
Minister Jason Kenney meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama