Ottawa Gets Warning About Immigration

The Toronto Star reported that Ottawa received a warning from the Australian government saying that tough new laws regarding Refugees will not necessarily change the influx of Refugees arriving on Canada’s shores:

Mandatory detention and delayed family reunification won’t deter refugees from arriving en masse at borders, say Australian advocacy groups opposed to Ottawa’s anti-human smuggling bill.

The coalition of Australia’s leading refugee organizations hope Canada will learn from their experience and reconsider Bill C-4, which is based on the Australian model and currently before Parliament.

“A policy of mandatory detention will be a financial and humanitarian disaster for Canada,” the coalition said in a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The advocates’ concerns echoed earlier comments made by Australian Immigration and Citizenship Secretary Andrew Metcalfe in Canberra.

“Detaining people for years has not deterred anyone from coming,” Metcalfe told a Senate committee in October.

Australia, two-third of Canada’s population, introduced the tough measures in 1999. Nonetheless, the number of “unauthorized arrivals” has multiplied to more than 6,000 last year.

Qualifications for Humanitarian and Compassionate Applications

Humanitarian and Compassionate (H and C) Applications are usually for people living in Canada without legal status in Canada but who have nevertheless established themselves in Canada by virtue the following: (note: not all factors will be applicable in all cases)

  • Family ties to Canada who are Canadian Permanent Residents or Canadian Citizens
  • Employment in Canada albeit often without a valid Canadian work permit
  • Education in Canada albeit often without a valid Study Permit in Canada
  • Volunteer work in Canada
  • Upgrade of English skills
  • Savings and property in Canada
  • Social ties to Canada in their communities
  • Assessing someone who may be a candidate for a Humanitarian and Compassionate


Canada’s anti-human smuggling bill would give Immigration Minister Jason Kenney the authority to designate specific refugees as “irregular arrivals.” The designation would put them under mandatory arrest and detention for up to a year.

Even if accepted as refugees, they would not be allowed to apply for permanent residency or sponsor their families for five years.

According to Australian authorities, 134 boats carrying 6,535 people arrived in 2010. (In the same year, 23,000 refugees came to Canada, including the boatload of 500 men, women and children aboard the MV Sun Sea in Vancouver.)

The coalition, led by the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, said 4,223 asylum seekers are currently in detention in Australia, including 370 children, at a cost of $137,317 per year per person.

Last year, Canberra reported six suicides, 1,320 hunger strikes, 2,473 hospitalizations and 93 psychiatric admissions among detainees.

Other “self harm” incidents, including three boys who sewed their lips shut in July, were reported — allegedly out of desperation for attention to their plights.


Other Important Humanitarian Compassionate Application Information

Hardship in Home Country

A major component of H and C cases is an assessment of the undue hardship that the applicant may suffer should they be required to return to their home country by Canada Immigration.

  • It is important to explore an applicant’s background in terms of the social, economic or personal hardship they or their family would be subject to in their home country.
  • Note that the applicant for Humanitarian and Compassionate cases do not have to be subject to persecution.
  • H and C cases are not Refugee cases. However, without showing hardship, it may be difficult to succeed in your application for Canadian Permanent Residence under the Humanitarian and Compassionate Category.

Michael Patton, spokesperson for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, thanked the Australians’ advice, but said the measures are necessary.

 Our government received a strong mandate from Canadians to take fair, reasonable and tough action to prevent the abuse of Canada’s immigration system by human smugglers

Patton said in an email to the Star.

Canada allows Refugees to apply for Humanitarian and Compassionate (H and C) entry to Canada. For more information on how Niren & Associates can help you immigrate to Canada call us in Ottawa at (613) 482-0991, or fill out our contact form here.

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.