Canada: Temporary Suspension of Canadian Embassy Operations in Kabul, Afghanistan

August 18, 2021

Key Points 

  • On Aug. 15, 2021, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) Minister Marco E.L. Mendicino and National Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan released a joint statement regarding the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. 
  • Given the political crises unfolding in Kabul, embassy operations are suspended effective immediately. 
  • Operations will resume when security protocols stabilize. The safety of Canadian personnel remains a top priority. 

Overview 

Direct comments from the Ministers are as follows: 

“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving and poses serious challenges to our ability to ensure the safety and security of our mission…After consulting with Canada’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, the decision was made to temporarily suspend our diplomatic operations in Kabul.” 

“As always, our priority in these situations is ensuring the safety and security of Canadian personnel. They are now safely on their way back to Canada. The Canadian embassy will resume its operations as soon as the security situation in Afghanistan allows us to guarantee appropriate service and adequate security for our staff.” 

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, National Defence Minister 

Looking Ahead 

Both Ministers reiterated their commitment to the Special Immigration Program:  

“Our ongoing work to bring Afghans to safety in Canada under the Special Immigration Measures will continue and will remain a top priority. We will continue to work in close coordination on this commitment…The Government of Canada…is working closely with allies, including the United States, to ensure processing capacity for the ongoing Special Immigration Measures program. Applications continue to be processed, including for those who can safely leave Afghanistan. They will be able to come to Canada as soon as their applications are approved. We are urgently bringing more Afghans to safety in Canada and will continue to support them through this crisis.” 

– The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, P.C., M.P., Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, National Defence Minister 

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Content in this publication is not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. For additional information on the issues discussed, consult an Envoy-affiliated attorney or another qualified professional.  

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