CIC’s reaction to the Turkish government’s exit permit requirement for privately sponsored refugees

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Resolution number: 
8
May 2004
Whereas: 
  1. There have been long-standing difficulties in obtaining exit permits from Turkey for privately sponsored refugees.
  2. CIC has decided unilaterally to close all current private sponsorship files, including cases which have already been accepted by the visa post to come to Canada.
  3. The Sponsorship Agreement states that the Private Sponsorship of Refugees Program “is a symbiotic partnership between SAHs and CIC wherein each relies on the other to fulfill their responsibilities in order for the program to succeed” and “the partnership … provides a framework where SAHs may collaborate with CIC to respond to special measures … and emergency situations” (Principles b and g).
Therefore be it resolved: 

That the CCR:

  1. Urge CIC to keep all current private sponsorship files in Turkey open until all avenues have been pursued and until such time as an agreement can be reached with the SAH representatives, and to lift the ban on new undertakings, pending a solution(s) to the exit permit issues.
  2. Urge the government of Canada to continue working with the Multilateral Technical Committee to find a solution(s) to the current and future Turkish exit permit issues.
  3. Urge CIC to respect the terms of the SAH agreement (Principles b and g) and work in full collaboration with elected SAH representatives in further negotiations.
  4. Urge UNHCR to take proactive steps to assist in facilitating the departure from Turkey of persons accepted by the Canadian visa post.
Working Group: 
Overseas Protection and Sponsorship