Exemption Under Safe Third Country Agreement

Section 102 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) allows for the designation of safe third countries for the purpose of sharing responsibility for refugee claims. Only countries that respect human rights and offer asylum seekers a high level of protection can be designated as safe third countries. Read the agreement: Full text of the safe third country agreement UNHCR defines a « stateless person » as a person whom no state considers to be a national after the application of its law. It is the action of a government that renders a person stateless, not just a declaration of statelessness by the person. This view is supported by Canadian courts to the extent that the condition of not having a country of nationality must be beyond the power of the person. In other words, one cannot « choose » to be stateless. U.S. nationals, wherever they reside, and stateless persons, if the United States is their country of habitual residence, are not covered by the agreement; Therefore, their refugee application cannot be considered ineligible under A 101(1)(e). The concept of « previous habitual residence » is relevant only if the applicant is stateless, i.e. the applicant has no nationality.

The country of habitual residence must not be the country where the applicant fears persecution. The term « previous habitual residence » implies a situation in which a stateless person has settled in a given country without the need for a minimum period of stay. Moreover, as evidenced by a number of Federal Court decisions, a country with a former habitual residence, even if the applicant is not legally able to return to that country. The agreement was signed on 5 December 2002 in Washington, D.C. by Bertin Côté (Deputy Mission Leader, Embassy of Canada) and Arthur E. Dewey (Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration, U.S. Department of State). The agreement obliges refugee claimants to seek refugee protection in the first safe country they arrive in, unless they are entitled to a derogation from the agreement. 4 exceptions allowing the treatment of rights in the third country: under the Agreement, stateless persons whose country of habitual residence is the United States are excluded from the Agreement; as such, applications for refugee protection lodged by such persons cannot be classified as ineligible under A101(1)(e). A marriage that took place outside Canada must be valid under both the laws of the jurisdiction in which it took place and Canadian federal law. It is up to the applicant to prove that his marriage is legal where it took place. Canada recognizes the common law and same-sex spouses as family members for the purposes of the agreement.

= = cannot recognize the common law and same-sex relationships for the purposes of the agreement. . . .

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