Afghan refugees hoping to join their families in Canada are facing uncertainty as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) struggles to process visa applications fast enough. Afghan sponsorship applications are coming under intense scrutiny, with some being declined due to arbirary reasons. Critics have accused the Canadian government of prioritising refugees from Ukraine, which is currently experiencing an influx of refugees following the invasion by Russia. Between August 2021 and January 2022, 28,825 Afghan refugees resettled in Canada, with 28,000 visa applications still pending. Nowruz, the Persian new year typically celebrated on 21 March across Central Asia, was cancelled by the Taliban, causing additional anguish for refugees missing their families. Many Afghan refugees hoping to join family in Canada have fled human rights violations, including religious persecution, gender-based violence and forced marriage. IRCC has stated that it will continue to offer assistance to refugees fleeing the Taliban, while the government is envisaging an additional C$11bn ($8.32bn) in funding to pay for services for refugees over the next five years.
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