Canada working with U.S. to stop Nigerians abusing U.S. visas
OTTAWA — Canadian officials in Nigeria are working with the U.S. on developing tools to flag Nigerians applying for U.S. visas who may be at “high risk” of crossing illegally into Canada across the U.S. border.
So far this year, the majority of illegal migrants arriving in Canada are Nigerians who have recently been issued U.S. travel visas.
“It is apparent that they obtained those visas with the express intent to actually go to Canada,” said Hursh Jaswal, communications director for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen.
“They land in the United States, where they stay for a very short period of time, and then make their way to Canada.”
That’s why Canada is now working with its American counterparts to try to stop Nigerian travellers to the United States from using their U.S. visas as a ticket to Canada — a practice Jaswal calls an “abuse of U.S. visas for the purpose of asylum.”
Canadian officials in Nigeria are now working directly with their U.S. counterparts to develop assessment indicators that would flag cases “deemed to be high risk,” Jaswal said.
Last year, the majority of irregular migrants who arrived in Canada were Haitian, which was largely attributed to the Trump administration’s decision to lift the temporary protected status for immigrants from Haiti living in the U.S.