CIC should avoid prolonged immigration processing times for immigrants going to Canada

Canada is a country of choice for people all around the world mostly because of its immigration policies and its multiculturism. Citizenship and Immigration plays an important part in streamlining the process and making sure that the security and protection of Canadians remain intact at all times.

Though CIC has devised many programs to bring in the skilled workers, unite families in Canada, and protect people in danger but the functioning of this department is far from being perfect. Many changes are needed for the betterment of the country because it is no hidden fact that Canada cannot thrive without immigrants.

The first change that CIC needs to implement is to introduce a study program before recruiting its staff. Just like there is a full course to become a Canadian immigration certified consultant, there should be a course to educate the officers who will be assessing the immigration applications and making decisions. If they are better informed of the programs available, they can serve the applicants better. Then there should be mandatory continuing education for them to update their knowledge and skills in the field. When an applicant is applying for a work permit for the position of kitchen helper in British Columbia; the application should not be refused by CIC with the only reason that the applicant has no intention of returning to the home country!

When a Canadian employer is unable to find local workers then he can request Service Canada for labour market opinion to hire foreign workers. Once a positive LMO is issued, the foreign worker can then apply at his local CIC office for work permit. Now the processing time at some of the CIC offices is more than six months. A business might be on the verge of closing by then! If CIC and Service Canada communicate with each other many problems can be fixed. For instance, if an employee/employer complains about an employer/employee at CIC or Service Canada; the shared communication will help the respective department to hold on to a work permit or LMO depending on the nature of the complaint.

South Asian Community is one of the biggest communities in Canada now. Work permit under Live-in-caregiver at this point takes almost three years from India. It is ridiculously long. Nobody can know three years prior that they will have a baby after three years and when the nanny finally comes after that long, baby is already going to pre-school. CIC should process the live-in-caregiver applications as a regular work permit application. In fact, priority should be given to such applications so that the mothers can return to work and add positively to the already declining economy once they are sure that their little ones are in safe hands.

Recently, an announcement was made to enforce strict laws to curb fraudulent marriages and they are yet to come in force. The waiting period to sponsor second spouse has been increased to five years and it applies to both parties. An open work permit should be issued for a period of two years before a permanent residence card can be issued. Though this seems a flawless rule but it does not address the situations where the marriage was really genuine and breaks down due to other reasons. It would be very hard to prove this but it is unfair to make such people wait for five years to sponsor their second spouse.

United States has a family preference system under which a permanent residence can sponsor parents and siblings and the parents can sponsor married or unmarried children. If CIC also adopts this, the problem of fraud marriages can be reduced by up to 80%. Canadians should be able to sponsor their parents without any quota but a limitation on certain number of visas per year can be imposed to sponsor married children and siblings.

CIC has also proposed to detain the refugee claimants for 30 days until their claim is processed. It will cost them thousands of dollars to provide for the shelter, food, and clothing for the detained people. Then there would be people employed to guard these detention shelters. Why do CIC not expand its staff instead to process these claims much faster? It definitely will save a lot of taxpayers’ dollars!

CIC gives out a list of occupations under skilled category for fast track processing of professionals that are urgently required in Canada. The average wait time for the specialist in Canada is 12 to 18 months. By the time an appointment is provided, the problem is already escalated to higher level. An oncologist from UCLA or a gastroenterologist from AIMS with several years of experience should be allowed to migrate to Canada and practice after registering with the appropriate authority in Canada. Priority should be given to applicants who demonstrate interest in settling down in regional areas of Canada.

One of the foremost arguments in a successful immigration application under Humanitarian and Compassionate grounds is that the applicant had an established residence in Canada and they have Canadian born children. Come to think of a situation where the applicant had a failed refugee claim and then a refused appeal and then the processing of the H & C application. The whole process takes anywhere up to 6 to 7 years and it is pretty natural that the applicant will have established himself in Canada during this period and will have children by then. Ă 

Implementing the above changes and hiring more educated personnel can make CIC better in many aspects as it will be able to reduce its processing times by many folds and majority of the problems that CIC is facing today is because of the prolonged processing times!

Renu Goel
Immigration Program Student at Ashton College
under the tutelage of Jose Godoy Toku

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