Free replacement documents for Canadians and special measures for people affected by severe wildfires

2023 June 12

Ottawa—With the country experiencing an unprecedented wildfire season, the Government of Canada is urgently mobilizing to help support communities and the people who live in them. This includes help for Canadians and for people who are crucial to the rebuilding effort.

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced special measures for people who have been impacted and need to replace vital documents or to extend or restore their status in Canada.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will issue free replacement documents for Canadians, permanent residents and temporary residents directly affected by the wildfires. These include permanent resident cards, Canadian citizenship certificates, Canadian passports and other travel documents that are lost, damaged, destroyed or inaccessible due to wildfires.

International students, temporary foreign workers and other visitors who have been directly affected by the wildfires and whose status will expire by September 30, 2023, will also be eligible to apply, restore or extend their status in Canada free of charge. This means that temporary workers who are unable to work because their workplace is closed due to the fires don’t need to worry – they’ll be able to extend their status and stay until their workplace reopens. In addition, international students can extend their study permits if their classes are delayed or cancelled and finish their studies without penalty.

These special measures will be in effect until September 30, 2023. They give Canadians, permanent residents and temporary residents time to sort out documents or temporary status issues, so they can focus on what matters most right now: their families, their homes and their communities.