Residency for Families of Air Disaster Victims

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Canada initiated a permanent residency program for families of air disaster victims. Mansour Esnaashary Esfahani was an international student of the University of Waterloo. He died in a plane disaster in January 2020. He was doing a Ph.D. in civil engineering. Esfahani was on Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 when Iran shot it down shortly after takeoff.
His wife says a federal program allowing family members of victims to obtain permanent residency is not inclusive enough.

The federal government of Canada has stated that it will shortly begin negotiations with Iran on reparations for affected families. Officials from the United States have stated that they are still demanding “full accountability” from Iranian officials. Iran has admitted to shooting down the aircraft but claims it was a human error.


About 176 passengers died, including 55 Canadians, 30 permanent residents, and many others with ties to Canada.

Residency for Families of Victims

In the meantime, Canada is granting permanent residency to family members of those who died in the tragedy. Registered people must be related to a victim who was a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or foreign national who received a positive verdict on their application for permanent residency.

According to Hanieh Dehghan, her husband was an international student with a student visa when he died. “I am happy for the families that the program includes … but unfortunately, this program is not for me and other families like me… so we cannot use this privilege,” she said.
Minister Marco Mendicino said his new initiative is a compassionate gesture that will allow relatives to reunite with family in Canada permanently. According to him, it was a demand from many Iranian families who came to Canada to grieve with loved ones and remained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Dehghan, the residency program for families of air disaster victims excluded international students in Canada.