We are often asked if there are ways to speed-up the processing of an application for a Canada Immigrant (Permanent Resident) Visa. There are.
Archives for August 2006
The Liberal Party of Canada always faired well with Immigrant Canadians, however Harper’s Conservative government is attempting to challenge conventional wisdom and position itself as Canada’s new “Party for Immigrants”.
The Party is putting serious effort behind its attempt to win over the hearts and minds of ethnic Canadian voters. In fact, since being in office, the Prime Minister has signed-off on at least a half-dozen policy initiatives which directly affect Canadian Immigrants. “The bar is [set] higher for us,” says Goldy Hyder, a Conservative strategist, in reference to his party’s bid to shed any pre-conceived notions of intolerance once associated to it.
As if to demonstrate the Conservatives willingness to be seen as “Immigrant-friendly”, Mr. Harper has made some deliberately “liberal” choices in appointing his Cabinet Ministers. His government is clearly encouraging a more “grass-roots” approach to electioneering and is engaging Canada’s ethnic constituency at the community level.
Environment Minister Rona Ambrose speaks Portuguese and is often present at Portuguese community events. MP Barry Devolin speaks Korean and is also quite visible within the Korean community, and Health Minister Tony Clement, who is of Greek lineage, is doing his best to show Canada’s Greek immigrants his ancestral roots. Mr. Harper has even appointed a Muslim-Canadian, Wajid Khan, as his personal advice or on the Middle East and South Asia.
In fact, on one particularly busy, marathon-like weekend of Conservative image-building, MP Jason Kenney attended a dozen events, including gatherings of Afghans, Tamils, Sikhs, Armenians, Hindus and the Jewish community. Rattan Mall, Editor of The Indo-Canadian Voice Newspaper in British Columbia, says the Party’s gestures are not going unnoticed. Even the Chinese Canadian National Council has gone on record saying that the Chinese head tax has had a “restorative impact” on that particular Canadian community.
The Conservative push to build a solid immigrant constituency has included:
- Instituting a new ‘Simplified Application Process‘ facilitating immigration to Canada.
- Reducing the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) by half.
- Allowing foreign students enrolled in public Canadian post-secondary institutions to apply for off-campus work permits.
- Announcing that a federal agency will be developed in order to recognize foreign credentials in Canada.
- An apology and redress for the Chinese head tax.
- Defending Canada’s immigration policies, and re-iterating his government¡¯s commitment to an open, inclusive, and multicultural, Canada.
- An inquiry into the Air India tragedy.
- A statement recognizing the Armenian genocide.
- A promise last weekend to address the turning away of hundreds of Indian passengers aboard the Kamagata Maru in 1914.
- Congratulating Italian Canadians on the victory of the Italian soccer team in the World Cup.
The Government reached out to Atlantic Canada’s largest Lebanese community recently, promising to do what it could to ease the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.
Immigration Minister Monte Solberg met with Lebanon’s honourary consul in Halifax. Mr. Solberg wanted to stress that his government was doing “everything it could” to help Canadian citizens in Lebanon adding that it has also “done what it can to bring peace to the Middle East.” He continued by saying that “People can disagree about the [Canadian government’s] methods”, however the goal is clear. “We want to make sure they’re [Lebanese Canadians] safe […] It is a moral obligation.”
Calls from loved ones caught between the crossfire of the most recent Middle East conflict are pouring in all across the country. Lebanese Canadians, numbering over 30,000 in Lebanon alone are frantically trying to return to Canada. In addition, there are a number of Lebanese citizens and university students already in Canada on visitor visas who are unwilling to return to their war-stricken homeland.
A fast-track process is available for Lebanese immigrants whose applications are in the system, said Solberg. Canada’s Immigration Department has designed a priority program to expedite the processing of applications by refugees who are in Canada and who want to reunite with dependent family members still in Lebanon.
The Immigration Department is also making all existing family-class applications in Lebanon a priority. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Monte Solberg was quick to stress that fast-track processing must still go through all the usual immigration medical and security checks.
DFAIT’s Emergency Operations Centre has been responding to phone calls and e-mails from both Canadians currently in Lebanon, and their family and friends in Canada.
We urge Canadians affected to contact the Emergency Operations Centre. From Canada, you can call toll-free at 1-800-387-3124.
From Lebanon, Canadians can call the Embassy at 961 (4) 713-900 or collect at 001-613-996-8885 or by e-mail at either email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org