Customs & Immigration

Alberta dropping immigration detentions

The Alberta government gave notice today of its plan to scrap an agreement with the Canada Border Services Agency to detain persons awaiting immigration approval. “The change comes in response to concerns about using correctional facilities to hold people who haven’t been charged with a criminal offence, nor convicted of one,” it said in a statement. The decision takes effect at the end of June. [node:read-more:link]

Canadian MPs lament Afghan killing

An interparty group of Canadian Members of Parliament was working to bring a former Afghanistan MP, Mursal Nabizada, to Canada before she was murdered in Kabul on the weekend. Police say Nabizada and her bodyguard were killed at her home by unknown gunmen. [node:read-more:link]

Record immigrant intake in 2022

Canada accepted a record 431,645 new permanent residents in 2022 as the government moves toward an annual intake of 500,000 by mid-decade. “It is a testament to the strength and resilience of our country and its people.,” says Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser. “Newcomers play an essential role in filling labour shortages, bringing new perspectives and talents to our communities, and enriching our society as a whole.” [node:read-more:link]

Canada requiring Chinese coronavirus testing

Beginning January 5 for an initial 30 days, Canada will require air travellers arriving from China, Hong Kong or Macao to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than two days before their departure. The measure announced December 31 by the Public Health Agency of Canada echoes decisions taken by the U.S. and other countries in response to a surge in confirmed cases in China. [node:read-more:link]

WHO says virus checks “understandable”

The World Health Organization’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, says other countries’ requirements that visitors from China have pre-travel coronavirus tests are “understandable” as China grapples with a surge in confirmed cases. He also said December 29 there has been an “absence of comprehensive data” from Beijing, but the foreign ministry insisted that it has been sharing relevant information with the international community. [node:read-more:link]

Canada “monitoring” Chinese virus situation

While the U.S. and other countries prepare to implement new coronavirus testing protocols for Chinese visitors, the Public Health Agency of Canada said December 28 that it will “monitor and assess” the situation before taking further action. “Travellers continue to be advised to maintain enhanced health precautions and follow public health measures at their ports of entry,” it says. “Any other updates will be communicated to travellers through a travel health notice.” [node:read-more:link]

U.S. to require coronavirus testing

Effective January 5, Chinese visitors to the U.S. must show a negative Covid-19 test result no more than two days before they fly direct or through gateways such as Vancouver and Toronto. Announced today, the requirement is in response to a surge in confirmed cases after Beijing’s rapid relaxation of internal restrictions. [node:read-more:link]

China scrapping visitor quarantine

Effective January 8, visitors to China for work, study or family visits no longer will be required to quarantine after nearly three years of closed borders but they will still be required to take a PCR test. This is despite a rapid surge in confirmed coronavirus cases after internal restrictions were lifted. [node:read-more:link]

Chinese rushing to travel abroad

China’s immigration administration said today that it will begin processing passport applications January 8 for citizens wishing to travel internationally and its announcement sparked an increase in traffic. [node:read-more:link]

Canada reassured about Afghan expatriates

Pakistan has told Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada that undocumented Afghan migrants seeking resettlement in Canada will not be deported back to Afghanistan or jailed as originally threatened. “Pakistan has indicated that the only enforcement action that could be taken against foreigners overstaying their visas will be the re-imposition of fines and potentially being blacklisted from returning to Pakistan,” IRCC said today. [node:read-more:link]

Britain okay to deport asylum seekers

The British government's plan to repatriate potentially thousands of Rwandan asylum seekers was declared legal today by the High Court in London. A deal struck with Rwanda’s government in April 2022 was immediately challenged but Judge Clive Lewis said it is lawful and that there are arrangements in place “to ensure that asylum claims of people relocated to Rwanda are properly determined there” and that repatriation ‘is consistent with the (UN) Refugee Convention and with the statutory and other legal obligations on the government.” [node:read-more:link]

Court considers ISIL expats case

The Federal Court is due to begin hearings December 5 (Docket No. T-1483-1) of a Charter-based challenge of the federal government’s refusal to repatriate six women. 13 children and some men being held in northeastern Syria by Kurdish forces which reclaimed the war-torn region from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. However, Global Affairs Canada has recently reassessed the cases and decided the claimants meet a threshold for extraordinary assistance. [node:read-more:link]

Ottawa easing restrictions on foreign workers

Immigration, Refugees & Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser says that starting next month, it will be easier for temporary foreign workers to bring their families with them to Canada. He says the two-year program “is going to allow more than 200,000 workers who have family members in Canada, or that will be coming to Canada to continue to be with their loved ones, and work while they’re here to support themselves.” [node:read-more:link]


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