Immigration lawyer David Matas claims Canada discriminates in visitor visa system
Sask. man spends 13 years fighting Immigration to allow family to visit Canada
By Omayra Issa, CBC News Posted: Feb 20, 2016 6:00 AM CT Last Updated: Feb 20, 2016 6:00 AM CT
Former Canadian delegate to the United Nations David Matas believes it is “almost impossible” for a tourist to visit Canada, if they do not meet certain “generic criteria,” because Citizenship and Immigration Canada wants to make sure that visitors return to their home country when their visa expires instead of making a refugee claim.
‘For these countries, I think there is discrimination. [CIC] does not consider the circumstances of individuals, it considers generic criteria.’– David Matas
This is often the case when the applicant is from a country plagued by political or economic instability, Matas said.
“For these countries, I think there is discrimination. [CIC] does not consider the circumstances of individuals, it considers generic criteria such as: Are you rich? Do you have children?,” he said.
Matas’ comments come after a case of a Saskatchewan man who has been struggling to bring his parents to visit Canada for 13 years. Patrick Kongawi blames the constant refusal of visa applications on the fact that they are citizens of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- ‘I just want to see my family,’ Sask. man yearns for parents to visit Canada
- Sask. man spends 13 years fighting Immigration to allow family to visit Canada
“My experience is if you are, for instance a single, young woman trying to get a visa in a country like that (DRC), it’s almost impossible because you simply don’t meet the characteristics they’re looking for.”
Under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, nationals of 148 countries, mainly in Africa, the Middle East and South America need a visa to visit Canada.