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A new private-member’s bill has been tabled in the House of Commons by NDP immigration Olivia Chow. This bill, called the Visitor Visa Fairness Act, would allow people with rejected Canadian visa applications to appeal them.
About 200,000 of the million Canadian visitor visas applied for every year are rejected, and these rejections make it difficult for people to have successful applications later on. According to Chow, many of these rejected Canadian visa applications are because of “arbitrary decision making”.
In Australia and the United Kingdom, rejected Canadian visa applications can be appealed. This bill would bring Canada up to speed with a similar process and have the Immigration and Refugee Board hear the appeals.
Many people need to visit Canada for weddings, funerals and other events, but sometimes face rejected Canadian visa applications and have no recourse.
The bill is also supported by a Calling for Visitor Visa Fairness group on Facebook, which contains updates, discussions and stories from individuals who have faced the consequences of rejected Canadian visa applications.
Chow, according to her Facebook group, proposes:
-The establishment of a formal and free appeals process modeled on the UK and Australia.
-To improve the application process by establishing a clear standard denial procedure.
-The establishment of a protocol to provide more information on the reasons for the denial and ways to address the concerns listed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
These rejected Canadian visa applications are often the result of immigration officers deciding that the applicant may not leave Canada, and there is currently no way for applicants to eventually prove their case.
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