Temporary Residence Permit
Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) can help protect victims of trafficking by securing their immigration status with a special temporary resident permit (TRP). A TRP provides legal immigration status in Canada to potential victims and may be issued for up to 180 days. Depending on the person’s situation, TRPs can be re-issued at the end of the 180 day period. Victims of trafficking who receive a TRP are eligible for health-care benefits and trauma counselling, and may also apply for a work permit. In Canada, victims of trafficking are not required to testify against their trafficker to gain temporary or permanent resident status (Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 2009).
Victims of trafficking may require a short-term TRP for the following reasons:
- To allow them to escape the influence of traffickers.
- To provide a period of reflection so that they may have time to decide if they wish to return home OR assist in the investigation or prosecution of the trafficker(s).
- To allow them to recover from physical or mental trauma (e.g., counselling or medical treatment may be necessary).
- To allow them to participate in the investigation or prosecution of the trafficker(s).
- In addition, the work permit option allows victims the opportunity to earn a living for themselves without fear of persecution by their traffickers.
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