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Thursday, November 06, 2014

Ebola and immigration - using any excuse to pause processing of applications

Apparently applications from these countries might be infected with Ebola...
Here's the news from the CIC about a pause in processing visas. Hard to believe that this action is anything but an excuse by the government to stall immigration from countries that are less desirable to welcome immigrants from. After all, it's not the application that would spread Ebola - it's the individual. And the individual either has it, or doesn't. It's a 21-day opportunity. So what's your excuse now, CIC?

October 31 - Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander today announced new precautionary measures to protect the health and safety of Canadians.

Effective immediately, Canadian visa officers have temporarily paused the processing of visa applications from foreign nationals who have been physically present in a country designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as having widespread and intense transmission of the Ebola virus. Discretion will remain for the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration to grant entry on a case-by-case basis in exceptional cases where travel is essential and in Canada’s interest.  Apart from those instances, temporary resident applications already in process that are affected by these new measures will be returned to the applicants.

Canadian citizens, permanent residents, foreign nationals currently in possession of a visa and foreign nationals who do not require visas will continue to be screened at ports of entry in Canada and will be subject to appropriate health screening and other measures under the Quarantine Act.

These changes do not impact Canadians currently in West Africa. All Canadians, including health-care workers, currently in West Africa will be permitted to travel back to Canada. The Government of Canada continues to advise against travel to countries designated by the WHO as having widespread and intense transmission of the Ebola virus.

Ministerial Instructions providing new directions to visa officers worldwide were published in the Canada Gazette today.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting international efforts to control the Ebola outbreak. Canada has been a world leader in responding to the crisis and continues to monitor the situation in the West Africa region to ensure humanitarian, health and security needs are met.

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