CBA Immigration Section lawyers offer assistance to victims of airline tragedy

  • February 13, 2020

Almost three dozen lawyers in the Canadian Bar Association Immigration Law Section are responding to Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 tragedy by offering to provide services related to immigration issues, without charge, for individuals who have been affected.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard shot down the passenger jet minutes after its departure from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport. All those on board were killed, including 57 Canadian citizens and 29 permanent residents.

“We just wanted to do whatever we could to help the families of the victims. Thirty-two lawyers stepped up, and some of them speak Farsi themselves or have staff that speak Farsi. We’re making ourselves available to provide advice for people,” says Ravi Jean, Chair of the Immigration Law Section.

More information about the initiative can be found at the Immigration Section website.

Jain says the services include initial legal consultations, review of visa applications and advice for those changing status. Lawyers will determine on a case-by-case basis whether applicants are eligible for free services.

“They may need visas to Canada, if they are coming here for funeral services or estate issues or just grieving. There can either be an immediate need for visas, or for visas down the road,” says Jain. 

He says there may also be individuals with varying legal status who need to go to Iran — such as permanent residents in transition to citizenship, or on work or study visas. Others could hold implied status, where individuals have applied before their permit expired, but are waiting for a decision and might be reluctant to leave Canada with that status unclear.  

The services are being promoted via social media, earned media coverage and word of mouth.

Some restrictions will apply, as the services offered do not extend to those not affected by the tragedy.

For additional information, visit the Global Affairs Canada web page on Canada’s response to Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 tragedy.