(OTTAWA) More than 300 people from Afghanistan arrived in Canada on Wednesday, bringing the total number of Afghans who have been resettled since the Taliban took over in the summer of 2021 to more than 30,000. , the federal government said.

A flight from Pakistan arrived at Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday morning.

Those on board included people who have supported Canada’s mission in Afghanistan, family members of former interpreters and privately sponsored refugees.

After the Taliban came to power in August 2021, Canada promised to welcome at least 40,000 Afghans, through a number of special programs.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was asked about expanding that goal on Wednesday, but said only that the government would consider next steps once 40,000 people have been resettled.

“We continue to work to achieve these numbers and will look at what we can and should do in the future through other means,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Winnipeg.

Canada prioritizes the most vulnerable Afghans: “women leaders”, human rights defenders, members of persecuted religious or ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, journalists or people who have assisted Canadian journalists.

By the end of March, 18,000 people had applied to come to Canada under a special immigration program for people who helped Canadian diplomats and service members during the mission, as well as their families.

So far, 11,990 applications had been approved, but only 9,875 had arrived in Canada as of March 30, according to data released by the Immigration Department.

Another special program has been created to help extended family members of former performers who are already living in Canada. The government has said it aims to bring in 5,000 people through this program; 1285 had arrived by the end of March.

At that time, another 15,875 people under government-assisted and privately-sponsored refugee programs were in Canada.