February 7, 2017 — Temporary visa applications from 1.4 million candidates have been rejected since Canada’s federal government came to power, according to new figures.
Of those denied a visa, several were suspected of terrorism, were known criminals or had engaged in espionage, showing how important a role visa officers play in keeping Canada safe.
Breaking the numbers down, there were seven applicants rejected for directly engaging in terrorism, nine for espionage and 13 for undermining a government by force.
Furthermore, 26 individuals were deemed a danger to Canadian security, five had engaged in violent acts and 79 were suspected of involvement in terrorist of espionage organisations.
Quick Facts: Visa Rejection Figures
*Numbers concerned applications for study permits, temporary resident visas, work permits.
- 7 applicants had engaged in terrorism
- 9 applicants had engaged in espionage
- 26 applicants were deemed dangerous to Canadian security
- 125,027 applicants gave an unsatisfactory purpose of visit
- 177,831 applicants failed to answer questions truthfully
- 930,576 applicants failed to convinced officers they would leave after visa expiry
The list shows that some dangerous people attempted to enter Canada during the period covered by the statistics, between November 2015 and December 2016.
Dishonesty was also a major contributor, with nearly 180,000 rejections based on a suspicion of lying and nearly 8,000 more for misrepresentation or withholding facts.
The overwhelming majority of rejections were because of ‘limited employment prospects in your country of residence’, with more than 930,000 deemed inadmissible for this reason. This means the candidate failed to convince the case officer they would leave Canada when their temporary visa expired.
Canada has been praised for its open attitude to immigration, especially in the wake of Donald Trump’s attempted crackdown in the U.S.
The new president caused chaos by imposing an immigration ban on seven countries, and suspending the U.S. refugee program, in an executive order that came with no prior warning.
Since then, the American courts have suspended the order, but the Trump administration is ramping up efforts to get it reinstated.
The effect of the whole episode is a lot of uncertainty, with immigrants not knowing if they will be allowed into America and border agents unsure firstly how to interpret the ban, and secondly if it is suspended or remains in place.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau led Canada’s reaction to the ban, prompting headlines around the world with a tweet which read: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcometoCanada.”
Then Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said those stranded at the Canadian border would be given temporary residence.
Canada’s mayors and provincial politicians have been outspoken in their criticism.
A stronger response from Canada against the U.S. seems unlikely to emerge because of upcoming negotiations concerning the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which Trump has threatened to renegotiate.
Technology companies across the U.S. have widely condemned the order, with Google recalling staff and Amazon promising to help with legal challenges. Canadian tech companies have joined in the condemnation, although there is a belief they could benefit from the ban by attracting a swathe of new talent north of the border. Starbucks, meanwhile, said it would open 10,000 vacancies all over the world for refugees.
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