moved for leave to introduce Bill C-405, An Act to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (appeal process for temporary resident visa applicants).
Mr. Speaker, Canada is a country of immigrants, and Canadians have roots in every country in the world. For many Canadians, gathering together with family for holidays, birthdays, weddings, funerals, and other special events, this means receiving visitors from overseas. Unfortunately, as I have just stated, one in five visitors will have his or her application rejected and in numerous embassies around the world, over 50% will be rejected.
I rise today to introduce a bill that would establish an appeal process for temporary resident visa applicants who have been refused a visa to enter Canada.
The visitor visa approval system is, by design, subjective and often comes down to a judgment call on behalf of the visa officer. The lack of clear criteria is confusing to many prospective visitors and rejections can be arbitrary, erroneous and unfair.
This bill would provide an appeal so that there would be transparency and clear standards for all applicants. Such appeal tribunals are already available to visitors in England and Australia. It is time to bring fairness and transparency to those who want to visit Canada and their Canadian friends and relatives.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)