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May 21, 1993 - Image 45

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-05-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Visa Limits
In Canada

Toronto (JTA) — Canada has
imposed a visa requirement
on visitors with temporary
Israeli travel documents be-
cause of the rapidly increas-
ing number who have claim-
ed refugee status here in the
last three years.
The new regulation, an-
nounced last week by
Employment and Immigra-
tion Minister Bernard
Valcourt, is intended to halt
a stream of bogus refugee
claims, many of them filed
by Jews from the former
Soviet Union, said Canadian
Immigration spokeswoman
Wendy Bontinen.
The measure stems from
"the need to protect the in-
tegrity of the refugee
system" and control illegal
migration, said Ms. Bon-
tinen.
Israel issues laissez-passer
papers to newly arrived im-
migrants desiring to travel
abroad. The orange-colored
"Travel Document in Lieu of
National Passport" is
replaced by a permanent
blue jacketed passport after
one year in the country.
The visa, obtainable from
the Canadian Embassy in
Tel Aviv or any Canadian
consulate or embassy, costs
$50 (Canadian) per in-
dividual, including children,
for a one-time entry.
Those prices, which are
payable in Israeli shekels,
are based on "cost recovery,"
said Ms. Bontinen, and are
not intended to be a deter-
rent to visitors. The visa re-
quirement will remain in
effect indefinitely.
Israel has become a major
source country for refugee
applicants in Canada. There
were 2,050 Israelis who
made refugee claims here in
1992, compared to 218 in
1991 and 65 in 1990.
Of the 245 cases heard to
completion last year, 68
were granted refugee status.
The figure was 53 in 1991
and 16 in 1990.
Immigration Canada does
not keep data from Israel on
the basis of ethnicity or re-
ligion. Nor is information
available about how many of
the claimants were Palestin-
ians from the territories, and
how many Jewish and Arab
citizens of Israel proper, said
Immigration and Refugee
Board spokeswoman
Suzanne Mayhew.
The visa requirement will
not affect or inconvenience
citizens of Israel traveling
on regular Israeli passports
to Canada. Those passports
continue to be visa-exempt.

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>_

45

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