Anyone who presents themselves at a Canadian port of entry is making an application to enter Canada.  As such, that person is subject to an examination by an officer.  The purpose of such an examination is to determine whether or not the person can enter Canada as a visitor, student or foreign worker, and also to determine whether the individual is inadmissible to Canada. Canadian immigration legislation requires that a person who is under examination must answer truthfully all questions put to them and also produce all relevant documents and information that […]

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A challenge that arises in many refugee claims where a claimant has used fraudulent documents to travel to Canada is the balancing of the need to determine a claimant’s identity with jurisprudence that cautions against drawing negative credibility findings from the use of false documents where refugee claimants have little choice but to to use false documents to leave their country. In Gulamsakhi v Canada (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration), 2015 FC 105, for example, the Federal Court stated that: … this Court has repeatedly cautioned against drawing negative conclusions based on […]

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Section 96 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA“) provides that: Convention refugee 96. A Convention refugee is a person who, by reason of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, (a) is outside each of their countries of nationality and is unable or, by reason of that fear, unwilling to avail themself of the protection of each of those countries; or (b) not having a country of nationality, is outside the country of their former habitual residence and […]

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The Federal-Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Act (the “FPFAA“) establishes the Canada Social Transfer, a federal block transfer to provinces and territories to support post-secondary education, social assistance, social services, early childhood development, and early learning.   In 2014-15 the total Canada Social Transfer transferred to all provinces and territories will be almost $12.6 billion. The FPFAA stipulates that one of the objectives of the Canada Social Transfer is to maintain a national standard in which no period of minimum residency is required or allowed for an individual to receive social assistance, and the current […]

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On October 30, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada (the “Supreme Court“) rendered its decision in Febles v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration Canada), 2014 SCC 68 (“Febles“).  This was the first time to my knowledge that the SCC has addressed Canada’s interpretation of Article 1F(b) of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, Can. T.S. 1969 No. 6 (the “1951 Refugee Convention“), incorporated into s. 98 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (“IRPA” or the “Act“) (other than in obiter). Febles provides an opportune time to both summarize the principles articulated […]

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The Government of Canada has published a list of the first Designated Countries of Origin (“DCO“). The initial list of DCOs covers 27 countries, 25 of which are in the European Union (edit: see below for a list of additional countries that have been added): Austria Belgium Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Malta Netherlands Poland Portugal Slovak Republic Slovenia Spain Sweden United Kingdom United States of America In September, 2010, I predicted ten countries that I thought would likely be designated. […]

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In 2013, the Supreme Court of Canada in Ezokola v. Canada (Citizenship and Immigration) created a new test for determining complicity in Article 1F(a) exclusion cases. Article 1F(a) of the 1951 Refugee Convention provides that: The provisions of this Convention shall not apply to any person with respect to whom there  are serious reasons for considering that: (a)  He has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes; The issue that Ezokola addressed […]

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Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention excludes individuals who have committed serious crimes from being eligible for refugee status under the Convention.  It states: Article 1F of the 1951 Refugee Convention states: F. The provisions of this Convention shall not apply to any person with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that: ( a ) He has committed a crime against peace, a war crime, or a crime against humanity, as defined in the international instruments drawn up to make provision in respect of such crimes; ( b ) He […]

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On June 9, 2012, the Government of Canada published regulatory changes in the Gazette regarding the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program (“PRSP“). Under the PRSP, there are three types of sponsors.  The first are Sponsorship Agreement Holders (“SAHs“).  SAHs are local, regional, and national incorporated organizations that have signed multi-year agreements with Citizenship and Immigration Canada for the purpose of submitting sponsorship cases on a regular basis.  The second are Groups of Five (“G5s“), which are five or more Canadian citizens or permanent residents who live in the applicant’s expected community […]

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Much of the media attention towards Bill C-31 – the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act – has been focused on its shortening of the time periods for processing refugee claims and its removal of some appeal rights for refugee claimants that were supposed to be introduced under the Balanced Refugee Reform Act.  This past week, members of the immigration bar raised concerns about another questionable change.  In short, Bill C-31 will make it so that refugees who became permanent residents of Canada will lose their permanent residence status if their refugee […]

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