Mr. Speaker, insofar as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, IRCC, is concerned, visas are the primary tool in managing Canada’s border. The requirement that foreign nationals first obtain a temporary resident visa to visit Canada is the norm, not the exception. Ukraine is among the large majority of countries whose nationals require a visitor visa in order to travel to Canada for business, tourist, or family purposes. Canada’s visa policy decisions are made on a country-by-country assessment and follow a rigorous and evidence-based process. IRCC continues to assist Ukrainians in travelling to Canada, using such tools as the multiple-entry visa, which reduces the burden on those who wish to travel to Canada more frequently.
With regard to (a), IRCC has the lead for visa policy within the Government of Canada. IRCC continuously monitors country conditions and migration trends. The department has never undertaken a formal visa review of Ukraine.
With regard to (b), IRCC does not hold public consultations on matters of visa policy. Formal visa reviews involve extensive consultations with federal departments and agencies, as well as with international partners. The department has not undertaken consultations, since a formal review has never been undertaken for this country.
With regard to (c), Canada applies the criteria established in Canada’s visa policy framework equally to all countries when assessing eligibility for a visa exemption.
With regard to (d), Canada’s visa policy criteria are applied universally. The criteria that were applied in assessing the Czech Republic’s readiness for a visa exemption in 2013 would be equally applied to Ukraine, were a visa review to be undertaken. These criteria, reflecting Canada’s immigration program objectives and broader national interests are grouped into seven categories: socio-economic trends; migration issues; travel document integrity; border management; safety and security issues; human rights issues; and bilateral and multilateral issues.