Canada clarifies, no police verification needed for temporary immigrants – India Today

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People going to Canada on temporary permits, including on study visas, don’t need police clearance from their home countries, the Canadian government has clarified. This is a relief for international students, of whom people from India form the biggest cohort, amid the recent confusion.

The clarification came from Marc Miller, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on May 28 during a sitting of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

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Marc Miller’s response came after sustained questioning by Indian-origin Conservative Member of Parliament Arpan Khanna.

The Canadian government of Justin Trudeau has been facing pressure and criticism from both sides about his immigration policies. After housing unit shortages and pressure on healthcare services, Canada decided to curb the inflow of international students, vital for the North American nation’s economy.

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“Just weeks ago, [Justin] Trudeau’s incompetent Immigration Minister lied about criminal background checks for temporary residents. The media went along with his story. Today, he was forced to tell the truth under oath,” Arpan Khanna, an MP from Oxford, Canada, said in a post on X.

Khanna shared a video of him questioning Miller and the minister’s response.

Marc Miller denied making any such statement that the government had claimed to do away with background checks by police for immigrants to Canada on temporary permits, including students visa, because they never existed in the first place.

“I have never said such certificates are required for temporary residents,” Miller said, adding that Arpan Khanna and his colleagues were trying to mislead the people.

“We do biometric verification,” Miller said.

The Canadian immigration minister said, however, “The [verification] certificates might be required if an officer decides to do so as part of a cascading security screening.”

To a follow-up question from MP Arpan Khanna on how many of those certificates had been submitted by immigrants, Marc Miller refused to get into the specifics.

The Canadian Minister of Immigration sounded not too confident about those checks, as he said, “You could imagine how unreliable those certificates would be.”

A lot of developments have taken place recently on the immigration policy issue in Canada.

Prince Edward Island became the first province in Canada to cut the number of immigrants to be absorbed as permanent residents.

Indian students on study visas began a hunger strike, which has entered its fifth day, over the policy change as they now face deportation from Canada.

The hunger strike comes against the backdrop of the Prince Edward Island (PEI) government’s decision to reduce the number of workers for permanent residency in 2024 from around 2,100 to 1,600, a cut of 25%.

This reduces the number of immigrants who can be nominated for permanent residency in Canada through the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).

Published By:

Sushim Mukul

Published On:

May 30, 2024

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