Special measures for Canadian citizens and temporary and permanent residents affected by the tragedy in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec

Ottawa, July 26, 2013 — To help those directly affected  by the tragic explosion and fire in Lac-Mégantic, the Government of Canada will automatically extend or restore the status of temporary residents, including those in Canada to work, study or visit, and provide free replacements of destroyed documents, such as immigration and citizenship status papers, permanent residency cards and Canadian passports, announced Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today.

“What occurred in Lac-Mégantic was a terrible tragedy and our Government is committed to assisting the community to recover,” said Alexander. “These special measures will alleviate the anxiety of individuals who are concerned about their immigration status, and enable Canadians and permanent residents to replace lost or damaged documents at no cost. The measures ensure that residents of Lac-Mégantic have one less thing to worry about, and complement other recent government offers of assistance.”

Temporary residents in Lac-Mégantic will have their status automatically extended or restored until October 5, 2013, and will receive free replacements of  their destroyed immigration papers. If they need to extend their status beyond that period of time, temporary residents must submit a regular application for extension, including supporting documentation, to CIC. Regular application fees will apply. Permanent residents will also receive free replacements of  destroyed immigration documents, such as permanent resident cards. A government-issued identity document with a Lac-Mégantic residential address, postal code G6B, will be  required for proof of residency. All requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Applications for replacement immigration documents must be received between July 6, 2013 and October 5, 2013 inclusive.

Canadian passport holders affected by the disaster must re-apply for their free replacement either in person at one of the 34 passport offices, by mail, or at one of the following Service Canada Centres: Thetford Mines, Sherbrooke and Asbestos. Similarly, a government-issued identity document with a Lac-Mégantic residential address, postal code G6B, will be  required for proof of residency. The  replacement passport will be valid for the same length of time as  the original, and the application for the replacement passport must be received between July 26, 2013 and October 5, 2013.

In addition, two dedicated phone lines have been set up to assist  affected temporary and permanent residents with their queries. They  may call  1-888-242-2100 number and press “7” to speak with  an agent. For passport-related questions, the number is 1-800-567-6868.

For more information, please visit the Lac-Mégantic section on our website.

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For further information (media only), please contact:

Alexis Pavlich
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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