Can refugees lose status if they visit home country?

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Changes made by the former Conservatives allows officials to reopen asylum files, it is also known as a “cessation application” . The question really is this- can refugees already granted asylum in Canada cease to require our protection if things are just alright for them to visit safely?

One such case has to do with a Sri Lankan asylum seeker who came here in 2009 and was granted refugee status, but when he went to visit his once dangerous country after the civil war ended on multiple occasions with his valid Sri Lankan passport, a cessation investigation was commenced against him for “re-availing” himself of the country he fled.

The probe is not over and can result in him losing his permanent status in Canada and being removed from the country. His citizenship application meanwhile is being delayed.

“At the heart of the case is whether refugees who become immigrants should be treated like any other immigrant,” said the man’s lawyer, who filed a leave application to the Supreme Court this week to consider whether it will review an earlier Federal Court of Appeal ruling in the government’s favour.

Under the new rules, loss of permanent resident status is now automatic when refugees “re-avail” themselves of their country of origin.

The law already had provisions allowing authorities to “vacate” a refugee’s protected status and revoke permanent residency if the person was criminally convicted or found to have lied in their asylum claim.

But there is also another issue at play here- when someone states in his application things about his country that caused him to flee, it could well be that either his fear was unfounded or he lied.

Because a genuine refugee who flees his home country fears for his life and is unlikely to make multiple visits using his old passport. Proof that there is nothing for him or her to fear is the fact that the person has made it into the ‘danger zone’ and back with no problem whatsoever. Perhaps the Supreme court may even take that into consideration when making a final decision in the future. -CINEWS

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