22 February 2010

Four Olympic spectators seeking Canadian Immigration refugee status

Four people who entered Canada as spectators for the Olympic Games are seeking refugee status, Canadian immigration officials say.

Canadian Immigration said that by Friday, four people had sought asylum, although because of privacy laws officials could not release specific details about their identities or home countries.

Hundreds of thousands of overseas nationals are visiting Vancouver for the Games: including athletes, their families, Olympic officials and spectators.

Participants and officials in the Olympics are given accreditation through the Vancouver organising committee, known as VANOC, after background checks by Canadian Immigration.

Around 7,000, from countries like India, Pakistan, China, Turkey, Uzbekistan, North Korea, Iran and Lebanon, of the 27,000 in total accredited by VANOC would have normally required a Canadian visa to enter the country.

Those who are accredited by VANOC receive a unique Olympic/Paralympic Identity and Accreditation Card, which also serves as an entry document into Canada for participants from visa-required countries.
The four refugees will be processed individually, with each case assessed on its owns merits.

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Canadian Visa applications to the Canadian High Commission.

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