Toronto: Canadian government intends to facilitate immigration of around 1,000 Tibetan refugees living in Arunachal Pradesh over a five-year period, Canadian Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has said.
"Our government`s openness to Tibetan refugees is in keeping with Canada best humanitarian traditions," Kenney said in a statement.
"We look forward to working with the Government of India and the Tibetan-Canadian community on implementation of this programme and on welcoming these individuals to Canada."
Special immigration measures will be developed in response to a request by Tibetan leader Dalai Lama 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.
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.
"I would like to recognise India’s long-standing support for the Tibetans in India," Kenney said, adding this is Canada`s opportunity to complement India`s support for this
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 around 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 the country`s requirements for immigration, including security, criminal, medical and background checks.