Friday, December 31, 2010

Canadian immigration experts to visit ČR in late January ČTK

General map of the Czech RepublicImage via WikipediaPrague, Dec 30 (CTK) - Canadian migration experts will arrive in the Czech Republic in late January to check how Czech authorities protect minorities and help them integrate into society, Petra Sedinova, spokeswoman for Canada's embassy in Prague, has told CTK.
The Czech Republic has called on Canada to lift the visas that were reintroduced for Czechs in July 2009 in reaction to high numbers of Czechs applying for asylum in Canada. Most of the asylum applicants were Romanies.
Czech diplomats have been unsuccessful in their effort to bring Canada to abolish the visas so far.
Prague sharply criticised the reintroduction of visas and it imposed visas on Canadian diplomats as a retaliatory step. Czechs asked the European Union to exert pressure on Canada in this respect. Ottawa has not met calls from the European Commission to lift the visas either, however.
Canadian representatives have set no deadline for the visa lifting.
Canada is to introduce a new asylum system in a year to prevent foreigners from misusing Canadian welfare benefits, speeding up the proceedings with unwarranted or fraudulent applications for asylum.
Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said last month it was hardly acceptable for Czechs to only wait for Canada to fully introduce its new asylum system.
Further negotiations are to be held next year.
Canadian ambassador to the Czech Republic, Valerie Raymond, told daily Lidove noviny earlier that Canada's migration experts will deal with the possible reasons that contributed to the exceptionally high influx of immigrants from the Czech Republic. The experts will also be interested in the Czech government's plans and strategies that are to help stop the immigration, Raymond said.
Canada reintroduced visas for Czech citizens already once before for the same reason as in 2009: in 1997 after lifting them for a short period in 1996. The visa duty was finally abolished in November 2007, three years after the Czech Republic's EU entry.
However, since Canada became a target country for a number of Czech Romanies who were claiming refugee status there, it decided to reimpose the visas last year.
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