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Ongoing immigration delays leave Calgarian waiting 5 years to reunite with parents

Ongoing immigration delays leave Calgarian waiting 5 years to reunite with parents

The very first thing Vikramjit Brar does each morning is examine his telephone, hoping for excellent news from Canada’s immigration division — that he’ll lastly have the ability to reunite together with his getting older mother and father for good.

Tens of hundreds of kilometres away in Punjab, India, his mother and father do the identical factor.

However after 5 disappointing years and rising, the household is dropping hope.

Brar, a longtime Calgary resident who lately moved to close by Airdrie, utilized to sponsor his mother and father for everlasting residency in 2018. He says it’s been three years since he’s seen any progress made on their software.

“We wish to maintain them. We would like them to be a part of our lives,” mentioned Brar, who has lived in Canada for greater than 15 years.

“They’re wired, we’re wired and there’s no final result. No person’s even listening to our story.… They’re not even taking a look at us.”

Vikramjit Brar’s mother and father, Bakhtaur and Surjeet. They’re in Sri Muktsar Sahib, India, as they wait for his or her everlasting residency software to be accredited. (Submitted by Vikramjit Brar)

Determined for solutions, Brar says he’s been in contact with a number of immigration consultants, and he often sends net varieties to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) however not often receives a response. Lately, he’s been capable of get updates solely when his native MP reaches out on his behalf, he says.

“The final three years, the reply they’ve been giving me is that the file is within the background examine [process],” mentioned Brar.

From 2015 to 2018, his mother and father have been in Canada on an excellent visa, however Brar says an extension was denied. He reapplied for them in 2021 however once more didn’t hear again from IRCC, he says.

The 34-year-old says he’s put his life on maintain. He and his spouse are ready till his mother and father have arrived to have a child. However at this level, he doesn’t know when that might be.

He’s not alone. Based on the newest knowledge from the IRCC, greater than two million immigration purposes are ready to be processed, together with:

  • 632,000 everlasting residence purposes. 
  • 1,080,000 non permanent residence purposes.
  • 294,000 citizenship purposes.

Of all these purposes, 809,000 are backlogged — together with 51 per cent of everlasting residence purposes.

IRCC didn’t present particular knowledge for the mother and father and grandparents program that Brar utilized underneath, however immigration attorneys say that is an more and more widespread story and one thing wants to alter if the federal authorities intends to proceed welcoming immigrants to Canada.

No invites to use in 2023

Jatin Shory, an immigration and refugee lawyer at Shory Legislation in Calgary, says a five-year wait is unreasonable.

Based on the IRCC web site, standard processing occasions for guardian and grandparent purposes is at present 24 months.

“Whereas we are able to recognize that there’s a necessity for the immigration system in Canada to be diligent … households clearly undergo,” mentioned Shory.

He says sure components, just like the nation they’re shifting from and their careers, can play a job in delays.

A screenshot of the IRCC's website that shows processing times for parents or grandparents at 24 months
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s web site exhibits processing occasions for guardian and grandparent purposes are sitting at 24 months. Vikramjit Brar and his mother and father have been ready greater than double that point. (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada)

Underneath this particular stream, Canadians should submit curiosity to IRCC to sponsor their mother and father or grandparents for everlasting residency. From there, IRCC attracts names — like a lottery — to ask them to use. Folks can solely submit an software in the event that they’ve been invited and are eligible.

Shory says IRCC often has a draw yearly. However there have been no attracts in any respect this yr, he says, and IRCC hasn’t introduced if or when the following draw might be made.

“It’s unlucky that it does get placed on the again burner every so often,” mentioned Shory.

“The most important concern proper now’s what’s taking place subsequent. Are we going to get a solution when it comes to whether or not that is going to be a precedence for the federal government or not this yr?”

Household reunification a precedence, says IRCC

Michelle Carbert, a spokesperson for IRCC, wouldn’t touch upon Brar’s particular case, citing privateness laws.

Nonetheless, she mentioned in a press release that household reunification is a precedence for IRCC, which is why the company has elevated targets in its newest immigration ranges plan.

“In 2023, we glance to ambitiously welcome 28,500 people by way of [the parents and grandparents program], growing to 36,000 people in 2025,” mentioned the assertion.

“Whereas guardian and grandparent purposes are processed within the order they’re obtained, extra complicated purposes might take longer for quite a lot of causes particular to the case,” mentioned the assertion.

The web portal for individuals to use has been closed since December 2022, she mentioned, and confirmed no announcement has been made on the following consumption however data might be supplied on their web site and social media when it’s obtainable.

Not prepared for wave of immigration

Calgary immigration lawyer Evelyn Ackah says the reason for delays is easy: IRCC continues to be working by way of backlogs from the pandemic, and a few teams are paying the value.

“They’re prioritizing individuals which might be going to come back to Canada and contribute on to the Canadian economic system,” mentioned Ackah.

“Sadly, I feel the mother and father and grandparents class just isn’t seen as an important class whereas they’re nonetheless catching up on delays associated to COVID.”

A lawyer wearing a yellow floral dress posing for a photo
Evelyn Ackah is a Calgary lawyer and founding father of Ackah Enterprise Immigration Legislation. (Submitted by Evelyn Ackah)

She says the immigration division is continually working to enhance the effectivity of its system, however she doesn’t assume it’s able to welcome 1.5 million immigrants by 2025 — a plan the federal authorities introduced final yr.

“I don’t assume the system is kind of prepared and arrange and secure sufficient for that to occur,” mentioned Ackah. “There will certainly be issues alongside the way in which.”

In the meantime, Ackah says she has one piece of recommendation for Brar: preserve hope alive.

“It can get to the place of approval, and I hope that the mother and father will have the ability to be in Canada quickly so he can begin his life with them right here.”

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