By Victoria Ojeme
The government of Canada says it does not grant nor receive asylum seekers application directly from individuals but through authorised second and third parties.
This is coming few days after it was reported that Canada granted asylum to DJ Switch, the #EndSARS protester who streamed live the shooting that happened at Lekki Toll gate in Lagos State.
DJ Switch sought the asylum after several attempts on her life after the killing of peaceful #EndSARS protesters in Lekki
In a series of tweets today on its official Twitter handle, the Canadian High Commission in Nigeria explained that no one could guarantee approval of immigration applications except Canadian migration officers.
The High Commission, which tweeted @CanHCNigeria, said the notice was important in light of “great interest in Canadian immigration programs” received lately.
The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada had in 2018 reported that Nigeria had more pending refugee protection claims in Canada than any other country globally.
The statement titled, ‘A message from the Government of Canada’, read, “Canadian Embassies, High Commissions, Consulates, Consulates-General or Honorary Consulates do not accept refugee applications directly from people.
“Canada works with the United Nations Refugee Agency, other designated referral organizations and private sponsors to identify individuals in need of resettlement, and who are outside their home country.
“You cannot apply directly for resettlement. You must be referred to Canada by a designated referral organization or a private sponsor.
“No one can guarantee that your immigration application will be fast-tracked or approved. Only a Canadian migration officer can decide if you can come to Canada.
“All the information you need to apply to visit or immigrate to Canada is available free on the official Government of Canada website.”
Canada is viewed as a global leader with respect to refugee protection. It has signed the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees other human rights instruments which protect refugees.
Canada was the first country to set out guidelines for considering the refugee claims of women, and has taken an active role globally in the resettlement of refugees through both government and private sponsorship programmes.
The UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, explained that there are two ways to make an asylum claim in Canada: (1) At an official Port of Entry, or (2) inside Canada at the office of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
One can make a refugee claim either upon arrival in Canada at a port of entry (airport or land border) with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) or inside Canada at the nearest Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office.