Refugee Reform Compromise: Update

Another update for you on the  proposed refugee reform bill:

On Thursday June 10th, it was announced by Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney that the bill had finally been tweaked enough to create a compromise with the opposition parties, not only regarding the proposed refugee system changes but to reduce immigration fraud in general. Due to this compromise, Minister Kenney said he believes the law could be passed as soon as July 1st of this year.

Originally, refugees from certain countries (designated “safe” countries) would not be entitled to an appeal process at all if their refugee claim was denied. This has changed, and these refugee claimants will be allowed an appeal procedure as well as the safe country list now referred to as the “designated” country list.

These appeals will be fast-tracked, and those denied again will face deportation if they attempt to have heir case reviewed by the Federal Court of Canada. They’ll also face deportation more easily because currently the maximum allowable stay in Canada for “false refugee claimants” is almost 4 years, and it will drop to 4 months.

“The opposition parties obtained their objective of universal access for failed claimants to the appeal division, the government obtained its objective of being able to address large waves of unfounded claimants from democratic countries by removing them more quickly,” Kenney said in a news conference.

At the same time, Kenney introduced yet another bill to help combat citizenship fraud. This bill proposes that applicants are physically present in Canada for 3 years, as according to Kenney people who commit Canadian citizenship fraud live outside the country and use a P.O. Box to correspond, or entire groups of people use the same address to apply. The bill will also impose fines of up to $100,000 for engaging in citizenship fraud.

Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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