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程序公平系列文章(三):信息来源

  程序公平就是签证官要给申请人一个解释的机会,让申请人打消签证官的顾虑。然而,并不是在任何情况下,签证官都需要给申请人一个解释的机会。签证官用用材料中直接体现出来的信息拒签,比如给联邦技术移民的申请人算分发现不够67而拒签,是不需要给任何解释机会的。这个原则在Hassani v. Canada, 2006 FC 1283一案中得到总结。

…it is clear that where a concern arises directly from the requirements of the legislation or related regulations, a visa officer will not be under a duty to provide an opportunity for the applicant to address his or her concerns. Where however the issue is not one that arises in this context, such a duty may arise. This is often the case where the credibility, accuracy or genuine nature of information submitted by the applicant in support of their application is the basis of the visa officer’s concern…

  而需要给解释机会最常见的三种情况有(1)签证官用模式化和概括性的理由拒签申请人,(2)签证官从申请人不知道的第三方渠道获取了信息拒签和(3)签证官怀疑申请人的信用而拒签。

模式化和概括性理由

  简单地说,签证官不能开“地图炮”,一竿子打翻一群人,却又不给申请人解释的机会。这个原则在Hernandez Bonilla v. Canada, 2007 FC 20说的比较清楚,也被后来的判例大量引用。
  在这个案子中,申请人Luz Marina Hernandez Bonilla是16岁的哥伦比亚公民,想去加拿大读4年高中。签证官认为,申请人在“形成性格”的年龄去加拿大读4年书,会导致申请人和哥伦比亚家庭、社会、语言等脱节,回国之后无法适应,所以因为不相信申请人会学完离开加拿大而拒签。
  法官批准了司法复核,主要观点如下:

[26] 我认为在本案中,签证官用了一个概括性的理由拒签了申请人。这个概括性的理由导致所有申请读4年高中的学生都应该被拒签,因为他们被自动考虑回国后与家庭、文化脱节了。显然任何申请去加拿大读4年高中的申请人都会在这段时间离开祖国,然而并不是所有这些人学完之后就无法融入祖国进而非法留在加拿大。
[26] It is my opinion that the visa officer relied upon a generalization when he refused the applicant’s application. The generalization in question is that all applicants who apply for study permits which cover four years of high school should be denied, since they would automatically be unlikely to return to their home countries due to long-term separation from their families and cultures. Clearly, any individual who applies to study in Canada for four years of high school would be away from the aspects of their home country noted by the visa officer. However, it is not necessarily the case that all young people in these circumstances would become unable to function in their home countries following a four year period of study in Canada, and as a result, would be unlikely to leave Canada.

[27] 在这个案子中,申请人并没有递交不完整的申请,而是签证官主观臆断申请人在完成学习之后不会回到哥伦比亚。在我看来,签证官在此情况下应当给予申请人一个回应的机会。申请人无法知道签证官认为在她在“形成性格的时期”来加拿大学习长达4年之久会导致她最终非法滞留。签证官未能给申请人一个解释的机会,在本案的事实中,构成了违反程序公平。因此我批准本次司法复核,申请人的签证会返回给另外一名签证官重新审理。
[27] This is not a case in which the applicant’s application itself was incomplete, but a situation where the officer subjectively formed an opinion that the applicant would not return to Colombia following the completion of her studies. In my view, the officer in this situation should have allowed the applicant an opportunity to respond to his concerns. The applicant had no way of knowing that the visa officer would act upon his view that those in their “formative years” may not study in Canada for a four year period, since they would be unlikely to leave the country. The visa officer’s failure to give the applicant an opportunity to respond to his concerns, on the facts of this case, amounted to a breach of the rules of natural justice. The application for judicial review is therefore allowed and the matter is referred to a different visa officer for redetermination.

  这个案子是很多在中国被拒签的申请人上诉时候用于驳倒移民局的灵丹妙药。

第三方渠道获取的信息

  如果签证官从第三方获得了信息,并且依据这个信息拒签申请人,那么是一定要给申请人一个解释的机会的。这个原则被大量的法院判例引用和重申,并构成了程序公平的基石。
  我们来看看下面“教科书式的违反程序公平”,在Wu v. Canada, 2013 FC 838一案中,签证官给申请人的雇主打电话询问职责,然后得出申请人的职责不符合NOC定义的1112从而拒签。法官的意见如下。

[15] 当签证官获取了申请人并不知情的信息,申请人必须要得到一个机会来打消签证官从这个信息中产生的疑虑。然而这个通话的存在和通话的内容都没有告诉给申请人。事实上,签证官的信中特意误导性地忽视了这次通话,给申请人造成了签证官的决定仅仅是从申请人递交的材料中作出的错误印象。直到最后移民局的所有文件都公布出来,申请人才知道了这次通话的存在,以及签证官拒签决定的依据。
[15] Where an officer has access to information of which the applicant is unaware, the applicant should be given an opportunity to disabuse the officer of any concerns arising from that evidence. Neither the existence nor the content of this call were disclosed to the applicant. Indeed, the officer’s letter misleadingly omits any mention of the call, giving the applicant the untrue impression her application had been decided solely based on the record she submitted. It was only upon the disclosure of the certified tribunal record in this proceeding that the applicant learned of the existence of the call and the officer’s reliance upon it.

[16] 因为申请人必须要进行昂贵的司法复核才能获取移民局的所有文件,我要鼓励签证官在披露拒签决定的时候做到足够透明。
[16] Given that an applicant must decide whether to pursue the costly step of initiating an application for judicial review before gaining access to the certified tribunal record, I would encourage visa officers to be transparent with an applicant about the reasons for refusing an application.

[17] 这是一次教科书式的违反程序公平的例子。我已经不需要考虑第三个问题(签证官的决定是否合理)。这次司法复核的申请得到批准并且移民申请会被打回重新审理。
[17] This is a textbook example of a violation of the duty of fairness. I need not decide the third issue. The application for judicial review is granted and the matter should be returned to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for redetermination.

怀疑申请人信用

  如果签证官不相信申请人,比如怀疑申请人的材料有假,通常需要给解释机会。
  北京、上海和香港的签证官非常喜欢用这一条拒签:“银行证明/工作证明的打印在质量很低的抬头纸上”。这样的理由出现在我们的拒签调档业务查出的大约1/4的拒签结果中。
  如果签证官怀疑申请人的银行证明/工作证明有假,签证官理应给申请人一个解释的机会,否则违反了程序公平。
  什么样的问题是“诚信问题”,不同的法官有不同的理解。在Ransanz v. Canada, 2015 FC 1109一案中,签证官不相信申请人会在提名的魁北克省居住,并且怀疑申请人去魁省找房子找学校的是为了应对即将到来的面试,法官认为这是在怀疑申请人的诚信,应该给予解释机会。

[34] Finally, I find that a credibility issue was raised with respect to the suggestion by the respondent’s counsel that the research into real estate and schools in Montreal was only undertaken in anticipation of the in-person interview. If the Officer suspected that the applicant’s wife’s recent trip to Montreal had only taken place because the applicant was aware of his upcoming interview, as the respondent implies before this Court, the Officer should have raised this concern and given the applicant an opportunity to respond during the interview, as this issue directly went to the applicant’s credibility…

  但是在Kamchibekov v. Canada, 2011 FC 1411一案中,申请人就没那么幸运了。申请人的雇主推荐信照抄了移民局对NOC的定义,移民局认为签证官的拒签决定不是怀疑申请人的诚信,而是因为照抄NOC的职责不足以让签证官确定申请人真实的工作到底是什么,法官居然采信了这种说法。而一旦被认定是申请人材料准备不足,就可以直接拒签不给解释机会了。

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