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2005-06

CANADA OPENS ITS DOORS TO A GROUP OF VIETNAMESE IN THE PHILIPPINES

OTTAWA, March 24, 2005 — The Honourable Joe Volpe, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), confirmed a process that will allow people in Canada to sponsor close family members who are part of a remaining Vietnamese population in the Philippines.

Canada has joined the efforts of the United States, Australia and Norway, and will consider applications from approximately 200 people who may have a sibling or parent in Canada. These individuals are part of a group of 2000 Vietnamese people currently without permanent status in the Philippines. The United States is working to admit the majority of the total population, and several countries and international organizations will continue to support the Government of the Philippines in its efforts to provide legal status to those who remain.

“Although these families are not eligible to be sponsored as refugees, we recognize the need to assist them and, in doing so, are proud to uphold Canada’s humanitarian and compassionate traditions,” said Minister Volpe.

For this group, the Minister has instructed the department to allow the sponsorship of siblings and adult children (who aren’t usually eligible as members of the family class). Those who are usually eligible as family class members, such as spouses, dependent children, parents and grandparents, may also be considered and will be processed on an expedited basis.

Applicants are required to meet a number of criteria, including a willingness by their family members to show they will support them by submitting a sponsorship. Also, they must provide evidence verifying their relationship to the sponsor, and they must be admissible according to criminality, security and medical standards.

As a first step in implementing the process, the families will have to provide additional information, following which, CIC will send application kits to the potential sponsors. Processing these applications will include conducting selection interviews and other standard processing procedures. It is anticipated that most of these cases will be finalized within a year.

CIC has informed its provincial and territorial counterparts of this new process. Under the Canada-Quebec Accord, the Government of Quebec is responsible for selecting immigrants destined to that province on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. CIC is working closely with officials in the Québec Ministère de l’Immigration et des Communautés culturelles to develop procedures for people in this group.

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For more information (media only):

Stephen Heckbert
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
(613) 954-1064

Maria Iadinardi
Media Relations
Communications Branch
(613) 952-0740