• Changes in Refugee Program

    24 Feb- 2012- New Legislation on immigration reforms proposed.

    Canada’s Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has proposed a new bill to protect the integrity of Canada’s immigration system. The proposed legislation called- ‘Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act’ is designed to streamline Canada’s immigration policy regarding refugee programs. It has been noticed that in recent months and years refugee claims from Europe have jumped up significantly. So much so that, asylum applications from Europe are far greater than those from Africa or Middle East, which are the actual hot spots.

    The new system will require that biometric data of the visitor has to be submitted with a temporary resident visa application. This should ensure that forging documents and identities will become much more difficult for the undeserving claimants. It is hoped that with this new legislation and data, application approval time will reduce to just under 45 days as against the current 1000 days time frame. It must be noted that last year as many as 90 % of claims by European asylum seekers were rejected, with the rejected claims costing tax payers over 170 million dollars!

    To quote the minister “Biometrics will be an important new tool to help protect the safety and security of Canadians by reducing identity fraud and identity theft. As fraudsters become more sophisticated, biometrics will improve our ability to keep violent criminals and those who pose a threat to Canada out. In short, biometrics will strengthen the integrity of Canada’s immigration system while helping facilitate legitimate travel. This would help prevent known criminals, failed refugee claimants and deportees from using a fake identity to obtain a visa. The use of biometrics would also bolster Canada’s existing measures to facilitate legitimate travel by providing a fast and reliable tool for confirming identity”

    Given that there has been slew of measures recently in the immigration department, there was a talk of some new measures on the refugee front too. Finally here, let us see how it works out.

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