A Sri Lankan man, who successfully claimed refugee status in Canada after fleeing the country, is still waiting to become a full Canadian citizen because his case is snarled due to the changes in the Immigration Policy, the CBC News reported on Thursday.
The 36-year-old man N.A.M.N. came to Vancouver during the war in Sri Lanka in 2008.
His lawyer Doug Cannon has said the Lankan followed the rules when he made two return trips home, but now that Canada's immigration laws have changed, he's caught in a legal limbo.
"He's a law-abiding refugee who is now being told to get lost," said Cannon, who has filed for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, questioning whether or not refugees are equal to other immigrants.
The case could affect hundreds of other refugees impacted by legislative changes made by the Conservative government in 2012.
Those changes allow the government to revoke permanent residency status for settled refugees, if the person travels back to their home country, uses their old passport or applies for a new passport.
The rules are based on the fact that a refugee fleeing from a dangerous situation needs Canada's protection and can't return to their home.
N.A.M.N. says that when the civil war was over three years later, he returned home twice to visit his ailing mother and then to get married.
When he returned from his trip with his new wife, they dreamed of starting a family in Vancouver. But in the meantime, changes to the law allowed officials to reopen asylum files.
Cannon says the focus on pushing people out suggests "refugees really are just opportunists — or they are a constant burden on our society, and we should get rid of as many as we can.
N.A.M.N. only learned he was being flagged for his earlier trips home after writing his citizenship tests in 2015 and awaiting word of the date for his swearing-in ceremony.
Nilam's wife, Fathima, 30, has obtained permanent residency status — but Nilam may now be deported, despite living in Vancouver, working as a taxi driver, paying taxes like a "model citizen," says his lawyer.