OTTAWA — Canadian officials in Nigeria are working with the U.S. on developing tools to flag Nigerians applying for U.S. visas who may be at “high risk” of entering Canada illegally across the U.S. border.
So far this year, the majority of illegal migrants in Canada are Nigerians who have recently issued U.S. travel visas.
Canada’s Immigration Department says it is working with the Americans to stop Nigerian travellers to the United States from using their U.S. visas as a ticket to Canada, with Canadian officials in Nigeria working directly with their U.S. counterparts on new screening tools.
A U.S State Department spokesperson says work is ongoing to improve screening processes, keeping in mind the need to balance safety and protection concerns with legitimate travel and immigration to the United States.
So far, there have been no changes to U.S. visa application processes.
Kehinde Olalere, a Canadian immigration lawyer who grew up in Nigeria and regularly travels to the country, says he believes Nigerians fleeing the violence of Boko Haram and other systemic persecutions in Nigeria see the U.S. as merely a transit point on the way to Canada.
The Canadian Press