By Sukhram Ramkissoon
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced changes under the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act to further protect the safety and security of Canadians and the integrity of Canada’s immigration system.
Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act is expediting the removal of foreign criminals from Canada, while making it harder for those who pose a risk to Canadians to enter the country.
The government says the changes will deter and prevent abuse of the immigration system and safeguard Canadians by increasing the penalty for misrepresentation from a two- to a five-year period of inadmissibility, as well as a five-year ban on applying for permanent resident status.
The change is designed to help deter fraudulent applications and send a strong message to those who would abuse our system that giving false or misleading information has serious consequences.
Currently, there are a large number of persons who entered Canada by misrepresentation. This is a very common factor in which people applying for any privilege or status under the Immigration Act disclose false information or withhold very important information which prevents the officer from making a determination.
Example include false information about employment or educational qualifications, non-disclosure of previous dealings with immigration, deportation orders issued to an applicant from a country and criminal activities in their home country or any other part of the world.
These can now lead to a five-year ban and may lead to being permanently barred from entering Canada.
A new measure bars temporary entry to immediate family members of those who are inadmissible to Canada on the most serious grounds, including national security, human or international rights violations or organized criminality.
This will ensure that individuals who pose a serious danger are unable to use their relatives to expand their networks in Canada.
Some quick facts about the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act:
- Convicted criminals sentenced to more than six months imprisonment in Canada are being removed faster as they no longer have the right to appeal to the Immigration and Refugee Board’s Immigration Appeal Division.
- Those with a foreign conviction or who committed an action outside Canada that carries a maximum sentence of at least 10 years in Canada are barred from filing an appeal
- Foreign nationals, who are inadmissible on the most serious grounds, including national security, human or international rights violations or organized criminality, no longer have access to a program meant for cases deserving of humanitarian and compassionate consideration.
“Canada continues to facilitate legitimate trade and travel. However, we will not tolerate abuse of our immigration system or put our country at risk,” Alexander noted.
“The new measures introduced by our government under the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act increase our ability to protect the safety and security of Canadians.”
Sukhram Ramkissoon is a member of ICCRC and specialises in immigration matters at 3089 Bathurst St., Suite 219A, Toronto. Phone 416-789-5756.