trudeau pushing softer approach to temporary visas, less focus on risk of overstaying
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pressing the country’s immigration system to soften its approach to processing visa applications and put relatively less emphasis on the risk of visitors overstaying their short-term visas, he mentioned Friday, adding improvements are also expected to be made around temporary visas.
Trudeau made the remarks during a meeting with Algonquin College nursing students in the capital city of Ottawa. A number of them said they were international students and some raised concerns over visa issues.
It is easier for applicants with “a good job and a home and a house and a good status back home” to “convince” officials to grant them visas, the prime minister mentioned, compared to people who are strongly motivated to be in Canada for family reasons.
During the hour-long meeting, one international student recollected being in the hospital for months and feeling isolated. Her mother had tried twice to get a visa but both applications were rejected, she told Trudeau.
The prime minister mentioned that he had asked officials to take a less defensive posture when issuing visas, but underscored the importance of Canadians having faith in the integrity of the country’s immigration system.
He even admitted that the Immigration Department made the wrong call in deciding not to admit the student’s mother.
Canada’s visa denials and application processing delays made global headlines last year when multiple African delegates to the International AIDS Conference in Montreal were unable to attend the event, which had some accusing Canada of racism.
A number of citizens of developing countries found themselves in the past year unable to attend global conferences hosted in Canadian cities.