Update to CAN29767.E of 21 July 1998 pertaining to letters and cards certifying Baha'i membership [CAN33344.E]

During a 30 November 1999 telephone interview the Manager of the Department of Records of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada provided some clarification of his correspondence with the Research Directorate dated 17 July 1998 and cited in CAN29767.E of 21 July 1998. He stated that letters of credential are given to those persons who the National Spiritual Assembly has confirmed as being Baha'i and who are in Canada on a visit, for example, to friends or family. Membership cards are issued to those persons who are in Canada for a longer duration, such as students, refugee claimants, and persons with permanent resident status. He stated that the National Spiritual Assembly determines whether to issue a letter or card - after it has confirmed Baha'i status - on the basis of what the Assembly is told by the person who is to be issued the letter or card. As such, if the person states that they are here only for a visit, then they are issued a letter of credential. If they state they are a student, or that they have applied for refugee status, then they are issued a membership card. He also stated that a person who has been issued a letter of credential can be subsequently issued a membership card if their status in Canada changes, through an action such as an application for refugee status from within Canada.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum.


Manager, Department of Records, National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada, Thornhill, Ont. 30 November 1999. Telephone interview.