Posted on August 17 2022
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The federal government at the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), is set to address how exactly the decisions are to be made by Canadian immigration officials, in the aftermath of accusations on the systematic intolerance.
The immigration department states that the Canadian Supreme Court takes decisions concerning Alexander Vavilov, making the standard of review and process for making a reasonable decision clear, by the government having to be both:
Alexander Vavilov, the son of two Russian spies, was permitted to maintain his Canadian citizenship besides his parents' illegal activities in Canada. But, this is not the only incident which has raised the illusion of discrimination in the immigration system of Canada.
In early 2018 and 2019, the federal government has recorded many lived experiences of discrimination and racism from many Canadians, in the process of engagement sessions to improve its strategy towards anti-racism and the decision-making guidelines makes sure that the procedure is reasonable and fair, without any discrimination.
From the Pollara Strategic Insights report, which was released late last year, for the IRCC, many supervisors and employees at the immigration department were explained using offensive terms to their racialized co-workers.
The federal government states, "Canada is powerful, not in spite of our differences, but because of them. Unfortunately, Canada is used to discrimination and racism where challenges remain in embracing the diversity, cooperation and openness."
"It is important that Canada acts against discrimination committed towards any group of people or an individual depending on their ethnicity and religion, which is why the Canadian Government has decided to involve the public on a new strategy of federal anti-racism."
This strategy works to avoid racism and other factors of discrimination in its authorities, and Canada has issued these new guidelines to enlighten immigration officers on how to make better decisions.
The primary step is to identify the requirements which need to be satisfied, since each category of application has a set of requirements that needs to be met before a decision maker can decide.
These requirements are mentioned in the applicable legislation and thereafter provide direction to the officers in the suitable program delivery instructions.
In this step of decision-making, an officer will identify the facts that should be proven depending upon the available information that has been provided. The guidelines state that these facts must be material to the decision.
After the evidence is submitted to the immigration officer, the candidate must apply the appropriate standard of proof.
Below are the renewed guidelines, which identify four levels of evidence that may be necessary, from lowest to highest.
Since the immigration decisions and proceedings are civilized in nature, the basic standard of proof is applicable through balance of probabilities to the civil matters by the IRCC officers. Having the balance of probabilities is highly valuable than the one without a probability.
The following step is for the immigration officers to determine and identify that submitted evidence, whether it's a documentary, verbal, or physical, that is considered relevant.
Documents are considered the most common type of evidence that is submitted to confirm the statements made in an application.
However, the evidence provided in the documentary, may be increased and supported with verbal proof that is documented and collected by the decision maker in the process and an interview with the applicant or any other individual who has appropriate information.
The provided evidence is applicable when it is associated with an element which must be determined by the applicant.
The obligation to prove that all requirements are met, totally depends on the applicant. The applicant needs to provide suitable and enough evidence to satisfy the fact that the requirements for the application are met, leaving the rest to the decision maker.
The immigration officers must evaluate the credibility of the evidence they have, and decide if it meets the required standard of proof for each element present in the application to be finalized as proven.
The officers are then suggested to look for the following, while evaluating the credibility of documentary evidence:
The verbal evidence, oral hearings or verifications, received during interviews, can also come under question when it has inconsistencies or contradictions, and is presented in a way that advises the person providing it, is unreliable.
The guidelines also suggest that the immigration officer must define the weight which is to be accorded to each piece of evidence.
The evidence that is vague, improbable, or indefinite must be given less weightage than the evidence that is unrefuted, detailed, and direct.
For instance, an individuals statement which states that they have never left Canada, will be given less weight if the stamps on their passport show entry into other countries.
As soon as an officer reviews all of the appropriate evidence, its probative value is credible and determined where an individual must decide if they have provided plenty of evidence.
The applicant must only satisfy an officer on the facts depending on a balance of probabilities which should not be extremely suspicious or doubting of the evidence that has been presented. This procedure is inconsistent with the presumption of truth that sustains the process.
For an immigration officer to make a fair decision without ignoring any evidence, immigration officials record these decisions to provide traceability, transparency, and accountability.
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In cases where a decision is made, the records can later be reviewed by the federal court in their decision templates, letters, or notes to file, and in the Global Case Management System (GCMS), where the immigration officers are advised to:
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