IRB – Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (Author)
The following information was obtained in a
telephone interview with an immigration official at the High
Commission for Kenya in Ottawa on 15 January 1996.
According to the official, eligible
Ethiopians would have received convention refugee status, which
would have permitted them to live anywhere in the country and to
obtain employment. Kenyan citizenship would not have been
automatically offered to them, although they could apply in the
future if they met the terms of the Kenyan Citizenship Act.
The official stated that immigration
authorities would have issued an "Alien's Card" if the Ethiopians
had been granted convention refugee status. Processing of refugees
in Kenya is jointly handled by the Kenyan authorities and the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). For travel
documents, refugees must obtain a "Convention Travel Document" from
the UNHCR, which is recognized by Kenyan authorities.
The official added that the status accorded
any person entering the country is determined by the person's
circumstances and the terms of the Immigration Act, which has not
changed since 1991.
According to the Schedule of the Classes of
Entry Permits of the Immigration Act, a convention refugee would
receive a Class M entry permit, which allows entry to the country
(1968). Article 6.3 of the Immigration Act allows for a Class M
permit holder to obtain employment, conduct business or practice a
profession, subject to the laws of Kenya (ibid.). In addition, a
Class M permit holder may be accompanied by a wife or child over
the age of thirteen (ibid.).
This Response was prepared after
researching publicly accessible information currently available to
the DIRB 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.
High Commission for the Republic of
Kenya, Ottawa. 15 January 1996. Telephone interview with
Republic of Kenya. 1968. The Immigration
Act. Rev. ed. Nairobi: Government Printer. (UNHCR/REFLEG