Thursday, April 5, 2007

Refugee fee called 'a mean barrier'

Rallies protest processing charge. Mar 31, 2007. By Nicholas Keung

Refugee advocates will stage demonstrations across Canada today, calling on Ottawa to stop charging refugees a hefty fee to apply for landed immigrant status – a hurdle that limits some from being reunited with their families.

The Conservative government reduced the landing fee paid by all immigrants to $490 from $975 – and exempted UN Convention refugees altogether. But the Tories retained a $550-per-adult processing fee to become permanent residents.

Critics say some refugees, especially women and children, can't cover the fee.

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