Canada sees increase in Romanian asylum claims after visa lift

Canada has seen a substantial increase in asylum claims from Romanians since the Canadian government lifted the visa requirement in December 2017, ipolitics.ca reported.

Paul MacKinnon, assistant deputy minister with the Canadian immigration department, said 232 Romanians have claimed asylum since December last year. Before the visa lift, the total number of asylum claims was “very low,” he added.

However, Paul MacKinnon said it’s difficult to say at the moment if the trend will continue or if it was simply a “blip” because the visa requirement was lifted quickly, ipolitics.ca wrote.

Canada has lifted the visas for Romanians and Bulgarians from December 1, 2017. The action was the result of intense diplomatic efforts and political and technical negotiations between the EU, Canada, and Romania and Bulgaria as EU members, according to a release from the European Commission.

Romanians started immigrating to Canada after 1998, a second such immigration wave after the fall of Communism in 1989. 2004 was the peak year for Romanian immigration to Canada, with some 5,600 Romanians moving for work there. The yearly number of Romanians who immigrated to Canada continued to go down ever since.

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Irina Marica, [email protected]