Canada and US tighten refugee rules
03 January 2005
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Canada and the U.S. will increase their cooperation on processing applications for asylum, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Under the Safe Third Country agreement that entered into force in late December, some asylum seekers in Canada and the U.S. will have to make their claim in the country they were last present in. This means that the majority of people seeking asylum in Canada after crossing the land border will not be eligible to have their refugee claim determined in Canada, and the same restriction will apply for applications in the US from those entering from Canada. The new rule does not apply to entrants at airports, marine ports or inland offices.
This agreement follows from the Smart Border Declaration signed by the two countries in December 2001. Canadian officials say they hope the new rules will help them to better manage the refugee determination system. See our Canada section for more details of Canadian immigration.