Federal court expands definition of espionage in decision regarding international applicant


A Federal Court judge has denied Chinese resident Yuekang Li permission to enter Canada to study at the University of Waterloo in a move that CBC and the Globe and Mail note changes the traditional definition of espionage. Li applied for a study permit in 2022 after being accepted into a PhD program at UWaterloo. A visa officer deemed Li inadmissible due to multiple concerns with his application, including his anticipated field of study and the way China has used students as “non-traditional collectors of information.” Upon review of the ruling, Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton sided with the visa officer. Crampton said that Li’s proposal falls under the definition of “non-traditional” espionage, thereby broadening the traditional definition of espionage. Immigration and refugee lawyer Lorne Waldman said that the ruling has sweeping implications for international graduate students and “creates an extremely broad ground of inadmissibility.”

CBC | Globe and Mail (Acct Req)