Justice for Immigration Applicants
Good day to you. As you are aware, Canada is preparing to legislate
away backlog of immigration Application. Before saying any word of my own, I
would like to reproduce a message from one of my fellow applicant which
appeared on a Forum.
Good day to you. I am well aware that at this time, you don’t know me, are not aware of me and obviously, know nothing about my plight. Please allow me to introduce myself.
I am a professional, trained, living and working in India. Of course, there are millions like me. You would not expect them to write to you or to share their problems with you or expect a solution. But I am different. I am different in the sense that I worked hard, worked sincerely, developed good language skills, saved money, had the desire and drive to live in Canada.
Propelled by this great desire to live in a great country, I applied for immigration to Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker. It is almost 7 years since. I still remember the excitement of signing up an agent, collecting forms, gathering documents, consolidating savings and dreaming of Canada that filled the days of my family those days. My family of four huddled in front of computer every evening, kids asking me to show pictures of Canada and enjoying each one as it loaded on to the screen. We filled out forms very carefully, checked and rechecked them. Collected all the required documents and sent them to Canadian High Commission - New Delhi.
After the completed application forms were dispatched to Canadian High Commission, my only pastime was reading Canadian Immigration information from where ever I got. Four of us saw different Canadian cities on Google Earth, ran searches on housing, education, weather, job situation and what not. When my children asked me when the immigration will come through, I proudly told them, “Canada is a fair country, justice prevails there. It is governed by the rule of law. That is why we are migrating. Don’t you see we are well settled? I have a steady job. I am a well trained professional. We do own a house, a car; you go to a good private school. There is enough saving despite living a comfortable life.
We want to go to Canada because I want us to live in a law abiding, sensitive and fair country where human life is greatly valued, where the government is sensitive to peoples’ needs. Where government delivers on its promises, where officials are efficient and there is transparency in official work. Canadian Government website says applications are processed in order they are received at Canadian High Commission - New Delhi. The web site also publishes average time taken for processing. Going by the current trend, last year it took 18 months to get PR, may be by another 2 years, we will be in Canada “.
Children felt happy and reassured. However there was no word from Canadian High Commission. Months passed by, but immigration was nowhere in sight. Time lines kept creeping up and hope kept sliding down. Every time my children asked me about immigration, I put up a brave face and said, “Dear children since Canada is such a good country, everyone wants to go there. So, there is a great rush. So many families are waiting for their turn, ours will come soon”. But inside, I knew it was not that simple. Somehow processing had gone slow; there was no information available anywhere. My agent could not give me any information. Canadian High Commission - New Delhi had a standard reply sans information for all information seeking emails.
In February 2008, Canada government decided to introduce a new scheme. A list of 38 professions was created and fresh applications were invited under this new scheme aptly named “Fast Track”. The applications were to be processed within 12 months. It was further stated that the Fast Track applications will be processed parallel to old applications. I started reading the news again, to look for the new quota of immigrant visas for the Fast Track that I had overlooked during first read. I read twice, thrice even four times but there was no hint of additional quota anywhere. Finding no fresh quota for Fast Track, I started looking for the ratio in which PR visas will be divided between Fast Track and old cases, but no luck here too. I was wondering where the transparency was. It was now that the gravity of the situation sunk in.
I asked myself, - There are so many candidates in India who would qualify under Fast Track and if they are to get visa within 12 months, would there be any more visas left for the old cases. If it keeps going like this, old cases would never get a chance. My heart was filled with anguish. My eyes welled with tears. Image of my children swam before my eyes. Will I have heart to tell them after 4 years of day dreaming that we are not going to Canada because Canada has decided to drop its virtue of being fair and just? How would I explain to them that after 4 years of waiting patiently, old scheme applicants have been sidelined? It also surprised me beyond measure as to what was the need for “Fast Track” when there were so many professionals, even in those 38 professions that were needed under the Fast Track who were equally qualified and definitely more experienced, waiting for 5 years! If no separate quota was announced for Fast Track, is it not “Last come, first served “. Did it not violate the promise made to old applicants that the applications will be processed in order they are received? Where were the Canadian justice and fairness and transparency? Though it hurt, but I had no option but to wait. Enquiry at Canadian High Commission returned same generic response. No information was offered about the ratio in which visas are to be divided between the two streams. My fears came true. Fast Track candidates breezed through while old cases were marooned to endless wait. The wait went on and on and I kept hoping against hope. Once in a while there was some news of someone from old cases getting medicals. Even this trickle kept the hopes alive but for the last one year, this too stopped. Fast Track was flying and old cases were grounded.
My kids in the meantime had reconciled to the fact that their father had lied to them and there will be no Canadian immigration. They also stopped believing in the fairness and justice tale. But I still kept hopes alive.
Then came a new policy, the new Fast Track. This time I read the news with fear in my mind. Fearing the worst, I read through the article, but this time at last minister Kenney had mentioned old applicants. I saw a ray of hope. I read about the three parallel schemes that will run now and when I analyzed, the gloom settled back. The new 29 list will have 20000 applications processed, that means 80,000 visas used up if average family size is 4.
Of the remainder, Fast Track and old applications will be processed in the same old fashion without proper division of visas between them and as Fast Track applications are to be processed in 12 months, I am afraid old applications will have to wait till all 38 List candidates are in Canada before their processing even begins! Already nearing 7 year wait, will it be worth anything if it takes 3- 5 more years for immigration to come through. In the meantime, my children will be through their education, sadly back in India, and their qualifications will not be recognized in Canada. Without Canadian Education and no experience in any of the desirable professions, they will end up driving cabs. Is it what we wanted to immigrate for?
For the last year and half, Canadian High Commission - New Delhi is processing December 2003 cases, what will be the fate of 2007 applicants if processing goes on at this speed. I am afraid Canadian High Commission will have to consider making old immigration applications inheritable.
I on behalf of all other old scheme applicants I implore you to please see our plight and injustice meted out to us. Please do whatever you can to get us justice in the form of faster processing of our applications. I do understand Immigration is a privilege and not a right but we request you make government follow the First come first serve doctrine.
Please do what you can
to get us justice.
A 2004 PR applicant from India.
Last two days, since reading this news on Internet I am going through a tough time I know Immigration is not a right, but here it is not the question of right. We are feeling that we have been robbed, our dreams, our plans, and precious time of our life … many many things. Canadian Government can return our fees but what will happen to:
- Dreams of my family.
- The time wasted just in waiting for immigration
- Time invested in gaining language skills
- Amount spent on learning language skills, appearing in tests etc
- Amount paid to consultants
- Most importantly SIX precious years of life, in which we missed many opportunities because we could not commit ourselves to those.
Where do we go from here? Who can answer question? Is there
any justice for us? Who is going to do justice to us? Questions like these and
many more come to our mind as well as in kid’s minds. We have no answer to
It seems funny when Mr. Kenny says; “It’s unreasonable to keep applicants waiting for another five years”. What he was doing all the time in last 8 years. Even if he introduced Fast Track, CIC should have picked applicants from old backlog first - matching the job description. It is a great injustice in-fact I would say a Mass fraud done to innocent people done by Government of Canada. They played with our lives and those of our families and kids.
Today when I saw the Newspaper, my heart was itching after seeing the Advertisement of Immigration to Canada. I wish Governments all over the world ban these kind of ads particularly related to Canadian Immigration. These should be treated a MASS FRAUD.
Please do Justice. Block this Legislation. Fast track our application. Stop intake of further applications till backlog is cleared.