Call Us Today: 202-787-1944

Immigration News
Changes in immigration that impact your life.

Home  >  Immigration News  >  News Archive  >  Other Visas  >  News Article

News Jump: 

US and Canada to implement Safe Third Country Agreement on asylum
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts
Eduardo Aguirre, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), announced today the publication of a final rule to implement a bilateral agreement between the United States and Canada affecting asylum seekers at U.S.-Canada land border ports-of-entry, and transiting through the United States or Canada during removal by the other country. The regulations implementing this agreement will take effect in 30 days.

“The agreement ensures that all asylum seekers will be heard and that individuals will not be removed until Canada or the United States has made a protection determination. USCIS and Citizenship and Immigration Canada have worked diligently to anticipate and resolve potential challenges related to this agreement’s implementation. We have ensured that asylum seekers have procedural safeguards, such as decision-making review and the opportunity for asylum seekers to have an individual present when interviewed about exceptions to the Agreement,” said the Director.

The initiative to enter into a Safe Third Country Agreement was included in the 30-point action plan under the Smart Border Declaration signed in December 2001 by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Tom Ridge and Mr. John Manley, former Deputy Foreign Minister of Canada. The Agreement highlights U.S.-Canadian cooperation to develop mutually beneficial approaches to our common security goals while simultaneously continuing to provide access to one of our two nations’ asylum systems for those with protection concerns. The Agreement, signed in December 2002, could not take effect until both countries published final implementing regulations. Canada published its final regulations on November 3, 2004.

The agreement applies only to asylum seekers at a U.S.-Canada land border port-of-entry or being removed from Canada or the U.S. through the other country. The Agreement permits the United States to return to Canada certain asylum seekers who either are attempting to enter the United States from Canada at a U.S.-Canada land border port-of-entry or who are being removed from Canada in transit through the United States. Similarly, it permits Canada to return to the United States certain asylum seekers attempting to enter Canada from the United States at a U.S.-Canada land border port-of entry and certain aliens being removed from the United States through Canada. In either case, the Agreement provides (with important exceptions) that the asylum seeker be returned to Canada, if coming to the U.S. from Canada, or returned to the U.S., if going to Canada from the U.S., for consideration of any request for protection based on fear of persecution or torture. The Agreement adheres to both the United States’ and Canada’s long-standing commitment to protect refugees by ensuring that asylum seekers’ protection claims are heard and decided in one of the two countries.

The final rule implements the Agreement’s several exceptions to its general proviso that asylum seekers attempting to enter the U.S. from Canada at land border ports-of-entry be returned to Canada for consideration of their protection concerns. These exceptions include, among others, an exemption for unaccompanied minors and exemptions for some asylum seekers with certain family members in the United States. The exceptions for asylum seekers with family members in the U.S. recognize that those family members may be able to provide important support to an asylum seeker while he or she is pursuing protection, and includes a range of relatives, far broader than those customarily recognized under U.S. family-based immigration laws, i.e., spouses, sons, daughters, parents, legal guardians, siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. In order for asylum seekers to qualify for these exceptions, their family members in the U.S. must have some form of lawful immigrant or non-immigrant status (other than a visitor’s visa), or have an asylum claim pending and be 18 years of age or older.

The Department of Justice is also publishing a companion final rule, which will govern the process by which immigration judges of the Executive Office for Immigration Review will apply the Agreement to cases arising under their jurisdiction.

Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts

TPS Extended for Salvadorans
TPS Extended for Nicaraguans
TPS Extended for Hondurans
Bill proposes ‘Homeowner Visa’ for foreigners who buy residential property in US for at least $500,000
More >>

Premium Processing Now Available For Certain Cap-Exempt H1B Petitions
Visa Bulletin June 2017: EB-1 China and EB-1 India Retrogress; EB-2 Advances Marginally for China and India
FY 2018 H1B Cap Update: USCIS Completes Data Entry Of Petitions Selected In H1B Lottery
CBP Global Entry Program Extended To Citizens of Argentina
More >>

News Jump: 

U.S. Immigration Attorney - Consult Now!

Immigration Services
  Fast, Easy and Economical Avoid Costly Immigration Errors!
Immigration Guide
 Know Your U.S. Immigration Options
Immigration Law FAQ
 Detailed Answers to Your Immigration Questions
Immigration Articles
  Interesting and Useful Articles on a Variety of Relevant Topics

How can we help you?
Receive latest immigration updates and free legal tips by e-mail. Sign up now!
Legal terms explained in plain English!
H1B Address Change of Work Locations: When Do You Have To File H1B Amended Petitions?
H1B Visa Lottery 2017: Improving Your Odds of Success
H1B Visa Cap 2017: Things You Must Know
Filing H1B Cap 2018 Petitions:How To Get A Head Start With VisaPro’s H1B Visa 2018 Timeline
H1B Cap Exempt Employers: How Do You Find Out If You Qualify?
H-1B Cap Has Reached:How Do You Hire H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates?
2018 H1B Cap Petitions:How To Properly File With USCIS
H1B Cap Exempt – Are You Eligible?
5 Common H1B Cap 2018 Filing Mistakes - How to Avoid Them
H1B Cap 2018 Filing Secrets: Why You Should Plan Now?
More Articles...

Get a detailed, written opinion online in less than 3 business days from a licensed immigration attorney.
Experienced Immigration Attorneys - Consult Online or By Telephone

Alerts & Newsletter
Create and Manage your
e-mail alerts for FREE.