A few weeks ago, news broke of the Canadian government’s intention to reject the immigration application of two individuals, potentially due to their association with the Chinese telecom company Huawei.
What was first reported by the South China Morning Post, exploded onto an international stage as outlets were made aware that the Canadian government was citing espionage under section 34(1)(f) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
It was recently revealed that what was thought to involve two Chinese individuals in reality involves four, one of them being the spouse of a Huawei employee who was rejected on the basis of association.
The individuals have refused to publish their names, and according to the Globe and Mail, seem to have nothing in common with each other excluding their association with Huawei.
Furthermore, the Globe spoke to a Toronto immigration lawyer Chantel Desloges who stated it’s extremely rare that Chinese immigration applications are rejected on the basis of espionage, and that in fact, she’s never personally seen one.
Huawei operates fairly unrestricted in Canada, though the Chinese company has faced security allegations in several other countries. While Huawei operates in the United States, it’s banned from partnering with larger telecom companies like Verizon or AT&T. Furthermore, Australia blocked Huawei in 2012 over cybersecurity concerns.
Both refused groups are being represented by Jean-Francois Harvey, a Canadian immigration lawyer based out of Hong Kong. Harvey told the Globe that he finds the timing suspicious, seeing as the applications were unrelated to each other. The only common factor was the applicants’ employment with Huawei.
The applicants had apparently reached the final stages of the 2-year application process when they were refused, much to Harvey’s surprise.
At the beginning of May, the SCHP reported that a Canadian immigration officer told two Huawei employees that they were part of an “inadmissible class of persons” under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. MobileSyrup previously reported that Huawei had made significant investments in Ontario, including a pledge to invest $500 million in the province by 2020.
The Canadian government has given the applicants 30 days to provide more information about their case, which Harvey claims to have filed, and are now waiting for a response.
Related reading: Immigration prepares to deny two Huawei employees entrance to Canada
[source]The Globe and Mail[/source]