New Immigration Rules Introduced by Canada In Response to Venezuelan Political Crisis
As the country of Venezuela continues to sink under a crippling political and economic crisis, Canada is creating an easier pathway for Venezuelan immigrants and refugees seeking an escape to a better life.
Under new rules recently announced by Canada’s federal government, failed asylum claimants from Venezuela can now challenge deportation orders due to the high risk of being sent home. This will only apply to Venezuelans whose claims were rejected prior to Aug. 19.
Going forward, any further changes to the conditions in Venezuela will be considered when reviewing all future refugee claims.
These new rules will also allow Venezuelan passport holders to either travel to or remain in Canada if their passport expired less than five years ago or will soon expire.
They will also be able to use these expired passports to apply for a visitor visa, a study or work permit, or permanent residence.
“Canada remains deeply concerned by the critical and worsening political and economic situation in Venezuela,” said Ahmed Hussen, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship in a press release.
The once wealthy, thriving nation of Venezuela has plunged into a severe economic crisis in recent years, leading to violent protests and extreme poverty.
Other side effects of the crisis include hyperinflation leading to massive food and water shortages, lack of medical services, widespread power outages, and high levels of crime.
The situation has reached such a critical point that the number of Venezuelan refugees is estimated to reach 8 million by the end of 2020 and surpass Syria as the world’s largest group of refugees from a particular nation.
With so many people attempting to flee at rapid rates, establishing identity and verifying documents has become a challenge, especially since Venezuelan consulates either cannot or will not replace expired documents.
Furthermore, Venezuelans who came to Canada on a student visa have been held back from continuing their studies or graduating because they've been unable to update their documents. And others with permanent residence status have been unable to obtain complete citizenship due to the fact that their Venezuelan documents are no longer valid.
The newly loosened rules will help to address these issues directly.