Open Letter from a Suffering Member

15/03/2011 12:01


Good day to you. I am well aware that at this time, you don’t know me, are not aware of me and
obviously, know nothing about my plight. Please allow me to introduce myself.
I am a professional, trained, living and working in India. Of course, there are millions like me. You
would not expect them to write to you or to share their problems with you or expect a solution. But I am different. I am different in the sense that I worked hard, worked sincerely, developed good
language skills, saved money, had the desire and drive to live in Canada.
Propelled by this great desire to live in a great country, I applied for immigration to Canada as a
Federal Skilled Worker. It is almost 7 years since. I still remember the excitement of signing up an
agent, collecting forms, gathering documents, consolidating savings and dreaming of Canada that
filled the days of my family those days. My family of four huddled in front of computer every evening, kids asking me to show pictures of Canada and enjoying each one as it loaded on to the screen. We filled out forms very carefully, checked and rechecked them. Collected all the required documents and sent them to Canadian High Commission - New Delhi.
After the completed application forms was dispatched to Canadian High Commission, my only
pastime was reading Canadian Immigration information from where ever I got. Four of us saw
different Canadian cities on Google Earth, ran searches on housing, education, weather, job
situation and what not. When my children asked me when will the immigration come through, I
proudly told them, “ Canada is a fair country, justice prevails there. It is governed by the rule of law. That is why we are migrating. Don’t you see we are well settled. I have a steady job. I am a well trained professional. We do own a house, a car, you go to a good private school. There is enough saving despite living a comfortable life.
We want to go to Canada because I want us to live in a law abiding, sensitive and fair country where human life is greatly valued, where the government is sensitive to peoples’ needs. Where
government delivers on its promises, where officials are efficient and there is transparency in official work. Canadian Government website says applications are processed in order they are received at Canadian High Commission - New Delhi. The web site also publishes average time taken for processing. Going by the current trend, last year it took 18 months to get PR, may be by another 2 years, we will be in Canada “.
Children felt happy and reassured. However there was no word from Canadian High Commission.
Months passed by, but immigration was nowhere in sight. Time lines kept creeping up and hope
kept sliding down. Every time my children asked me about immigration, I put up a brave face and
said, “ Dear children since Canada is such a good country, everyone wants to go there. So, there is a great rush. So many families are waiting for their turn, ours will come soon”. But inside, I knew it was not that simple. Somehow processing had gone slow, there was no information available anywhere.
My agent could not give me any information. Canadian High Commission - New Delhi had a
standard reply sans information for all information seeking emails.
In February 2008, Canada government decided to introduce a new scheme. A list of 38 professions
was created and fresh applications were invited under this new scheme aptly named “ Fast Track”.
The applications were to be processed within 12 months. It was further stated that the Fast Track
applications will be processed parallel to old applications. I started reading the news again, to look
for the new quota of immigrant visas for the Fast Track that I had overlooked during first read. I read twice, thrice even four times but there was no hint of additional quota anywhere. Finding no fresh quota for Fast Track, I started looking for the ratio in which PR visas will be divided between Fast Track and old cases, but no luck here too. I was wondering where was the transparency ? It was now that the gravity of the situation sunk in.
I asked myself, - There are so many candidates in India who would qualify under Fast Track and if they are to get visa within 12 months, would there be any more visas left for the old cases. If it keeps going like this, old cases would never get a chance. My heart was filled with anguish. My eyes welled with tears.
Image of my children swam before my eyes. Will I have heart to tell them after 4 years of day
dreaming that we are not going to Canada because Canada has decided to drop its virtue of being
fair and just. How would I explain to them that after 4 years of waiting patiently, old scheme
applicants have been sidelined. It also surprised me beyond measure as to what was the need for
“Fast Track” when there were so many professionals, even in those 38 professions that were
needed under the Fast Track who were equally qualified and definitely more experienced, waiting
for 5 years ! If no separate quota was announced for Fast Track, is it not “ Last come, first served “. Did it not violate the promise made to old applicants that the applications will be processed in order they are received ? Where was the Canadian justice and fairness and transparency? Though it hurt, but I had no option but to wait. Enquiry at Canadian High Commission returned same generic response. No information was offered about the ratio in which visas are to be divided between the two streams. My fears came true. Fast Track candidates breezed through while old cases were marooned to endless wait. The wait went on and on and I kept hoping against hope. Once in a while there was some news of someone from old cases getting medicals. Even this trickle kept the hopes alive but for the last one year, this too stopped. Fast Track were flying and old cases were grounded.
My kids in the meantime had reconciled to the fact that their father had lied to them and there will be no Canadian immigration. They also stopped believing in the fairness and justice tale. But I still kept hopes alive.
Then came a new policy. The new Fast Track. This time I read the news with fear in my mind.
Fearing the worst, I read through the article. But this time at last minister Kenney had
mentioned old applicants. I saw a ray of hope. I read about the three parallel schemes that will
run now and when I analysed, the gloom settled back. The new 29 list will have 20000
applications processed, that means 80,000 visas used up if average family size is 4.
Of the remainder, Fast Track and old applications will be processed in the same old fashion
without proper division of visas between them and as Fast Track applications are to be
processed in 12 months, I am afraid old applications will have to wait till all 38 List candidates
are in Canada before their processing even begins ! Already nearing 7 year wait, will it be worth
anything if it takes 3- 5 more years for immigration to come through. In the meantime, my
children will be through their education, sadly back in India , and their qualifications will not be
recognised in Canada. Without Canadian Education and no experience in any of the desirable
professions, they will end up driving cabs. Is it what we wanted to immigrate for ?
For the last year and half, Canadian High Commission - New Delhi is processing December
2003 cases, what will be the fate of 2007 applicants if processing goes on at this speed. I am
afraid Canadian High Commission will have to consider making old immigration applications
I on behalf of all other old scheme applicants I implore you to please see our plight and injustice
meted out to us. Please do whatever you can to get us justice in the form of faster processing of
our applications. I do understand Immigration is a privilege and not a right but we request you
make government follow the First come first serve doctrine.
Please do what you can to get us justice.

Yours Truly

A 2004 PR applicant from India. 

Topic: Open Letter from a Suffering Member

Date: 09/05/2012

By: James

Subject: stop dreaming and wakeup

Why don't you Guys try for Australia ? Australia is the next Canda, everyone is shifting focus there. I suggest indians should immigrate there. Canada has the right to declare its own rules, and if they want to cancel 300,000 its their right, plus they are refunding the money. The problem is in the old system majority of applicants were v low class ppl with no skills (not everyone but majority) most of them dont even know english. why put ur life on hold , its better to move on and look somewhere else maybe its better for u. I strongly suggest people to checkout Australia for immigration, it is the future.

Date: 21/03/2011

By: Bryan

Subject: Some thoughts on Backlog

Why are you guys wasting your precious life on dreaming Canada? Immigration is driven by economic necessities and you just need to figure out how you can fit into Canadian economy. Get required qualification and reapply. There are many places in the world where people are living in far more horrible conditions/hellish conditions. There are places where people are facing civil wars, epidemics, tyrants or just some thugs ruling over them. Why then Indians think that they should be given first chance to immigrate when there are so many more deserving people out there.
As on today CIC is flooded with Indian applicants not only from India but Australia, UK and USA. So proportionately more Indians get entry into Canada under our current immigration system than any other nationality which means technically our system is biased in favor of Indians and we should figure out way to deal with this disparity. Mr. “I am Old. Old is not Gold” ask yourself is your claim to Immigrating Canada any better than the claim of a Rwandan family living in a refugee camp? Or is your suffering more than the suffering of people of Burma who are fleeing political oppression from military Junta? India for all its fault is growing economically. If you are looking for money than Asia (your India included) is the best place to be now. West, despite all technological advantage, is decaying and dying. We want Canada to be a nation of many countries not just one country eating up large portion of immigration quota.
We have worked hard to make Canada what it is today, why don’t you make your country better and teach your children to persevere.

Date: 11/05/2011

By: Randy

Subject: Re: Some thoughts on Backlog

He has not tlak about money he talks about fairness and justice much better than his country and yes we Canadians greet all citizens of the world. Applicants wait for 90 months and more which is very high compare to any other countries.
Think and write these people have invest their saving in application for 7 years and no anwer and just waited so long. You honk your car horn if someone just delayed you on green light for few seconds, they have long waited for 7 years.
I see what you are going through I will pray that all applicants will get there answers. You have wait so long but rest assure Canada is very beautiful country and Canadians greet all citizens of the world with smile that makes our country stands out, you along with for family will witness one day.

Date: 17/03/2011

By: CT

Subject: I am Old. Old is not Gold.

I was 33 when I applied for Canadian Immigration under the Skilled Worker class.

My application is still under process after 7 years.

I am 40 Now.

I have to wait till my application is processed.

If it takes another 5 years, I will be 45.

I am not getting any younger.

My productive years are finishing.

When my application is finally processed, I will be a burden on the Canadian System.

I will draw a pention, without having contributed into the Canadian system.

I will be old and therefore also be a burden on the Canadian health system.

Even my children who will have no Canadian education / qualification will remain jobless for a long period and will draw benefits form the Canadian Public Funds.

Eventually my children will land up doing un-skilled jobs, for which immigrants are not required. Those jobs could have supported some of Canada's own un-skilled work force.

If I would have migrated in my early 30s when I had applied, I would have updated my qualification by doing some Canadian courses and my children would have got Canadian degrees and both the generations would have contributed to the taxes and the society.

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