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CIC Processing Leaves Applicants In Limbo

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The Toronto Star newspaper, one of Canada’s leading media outlets, has reported over recent days that errors continue to infiltrate Canadian immigration processing. The errors have led to unnecessary delays — or even rejections — on applications to immigrate to Canada, as well other applications to work or study in the country.

CICnews covered a similar story earlier in 2015.

The Vegreville immigration processing centre in Alberta, which deals with permanent residence applications, was among the immigration operations that came under the microscope of the government’s quality management reviews. A total of 996 files processed between November 1 and December 6, 2013 were examined, and human error issues were found in 617 request letters sent to applicants, according to the department review. This represents a 62 percent error rate on the files that were reviewed.

Staff failed, for example:

  • to use the correct form letters,
  • to address the problem of missing documents, and
  • to give applicants accurate timelines.

The Toronto Star reported that the following incidents occurred over the course of recent months:

  • A Jamaican man got an official notice that his immigration application was being processed. Months later, he was told his incomplete package had been returned to him a long time ago, and nobody knows where his file is now.
  • A student from India received a new student visa with the same expiry date as his old one. He was forced to miss a term of college while waiting for the problem to be corrected.
  • A Toronto resident’s sponsorship for his parents in Syria was denied because officials said he had failed to respond to letters the family claimed it never received.
  • A Croatian widow, now 76, is still waiting for a decision on a permanent residence application, seven years after her son applied to sponsor her. She now faces deportation after unknowingly paying only the old $75 visitor visa renewal fee, which had been raised to $200 a year previously.
  • A Filipino woman moved to Canada as a live-in caregiver in 2007 and applied for permanent resident status in July, 2010, as soon as she met the employment requirement. Today, she is still waiting to get her papers and be joined by her daughter, 17, and son, 9.

“People want, and deserve, transparency and fairness in the processing of their Canadian immigration applications. But in many cases, that’s not what is being delivered. Over the past decade or so, CIC processing has become increasingly rigid and inflexible. It really is heartbreaking at times,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“While it’s not right that lengthy delays or refusals are often the result of simple errors on the part of applicants, the surest way to avoid those delays or refusals is to avoid making errors on applications in the first place. Immigration to Canada may seem straightforward on the surface at times, but a successful application requires expertise and know-how. In spite of these stories, Canada remains an incredible place to build a career and grow a family.”

To find out if you are eligible for any of over 60 Canadian immigration programs, please fill out a free online assessment today.

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