Immigrants up in arms over Canada residence holdups

Immigrants up in arms over Canada residence holdups

Immigrants up in arms over Canada residence holdups

Recent immigrants who arrived in Canada up to and over two years ago are protesting against long delays in the processing of their permanent residency applications.

Migrants from Morocco, France, Italy and many other countries have had their lives put on hold by delays they see as unnecessary, with many now having no option but to return to their home counties. All have filled in lengthy forms and spent thousands of dollars in fees.

More than two years later, their files are still sitting in immigration offices, unprocessed and leaving applicants unable to undertake work legally or access Canada’s health services as they cannot get insurance. One 35-year old female immigrant was forced to refuse a job offer in the engineering sector as her temporary work permit had expired, and is now back in Casablanca living with her parents.

Opposition lawmaker Jinny Sims blames the backlog on the layoff of 300 immigration employees and closure of 19 foreign and regional immigration offices which took place last year as part of government cuts. At an Ottowa press conference, she stated that the present government has turned the Canadian dream into a nightmare for many thousands of immigrants.

Sims added that inmigrants’ files were callously ignored, turning the lives of the people involved upside down and denying them their new futures. Michelle Dorion, the spokeswoman for the ‘Buffalo Forgotten’ group of over 10,000 migrants, believes that as many of half of those she is representing have already given up and left the country.

According to Dorian, would-be permanent residents have suffered severe anxiety states, a high level of stress and broken relationships as a result of the delays. She is skeptical about a government promise that the remaining 85 per cent of the Buffalo files will be processed by September, even although a ministry spokesperson has also promised a total reorganisation of the North American processing network.

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