The Canadian government has finally announced that eases the for refugees from Syria in a bid to speed up the processing of refugee applications. It will allow Citizenship and Immigration Canada to issue thousands more visas to Syrian refugees by December 2015. Canada is changing the requirement of providing proof of being a convention refugees and increase the staff to scrutinize the applications much faster than the current processing time of about 3 years.
Canada Immigration and Refugee rules required that Syrians fleeing the civil war and sectarian conflict must prove that thy are convention refugees under the United Nations Refugee Agencies. The new changes will make it possible for the Canadian authorities to presume the Syrians to be refugees for the purposes of vetting their applications.
Canadian government will appoint a special co-ordinator to handle the overall file of Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Canada is also planning to put more diplomats at the overseas missions to screen refugees and almost double the number of staff working to process sponsorship applications in Canada.
Minister for Citizenship and Immigration, Chris Alexander, said, “Security screening will remain the top priority.” The minister emphasized that his government is “accelerating our existing commitment” to refugee resettlement, not increasing the actual target numbers.
The government measures are expected to cost $25 million over the period of 24 months but it could speed up the relocation of about 10,000 Syrian refugees to Canada in about 15 months from the current three-year time frame.
The Syrian child Elan’s aunt in Canada attempted to sponsor his family to Canada as refugee but could not be approved as sponsor because of the absence of the proof of convention refugee.