Con­cerns that first spots in par­ent spon­sor­ship pro­gram go to those who can pay

Asian Journal - - Nation - By Stephanie Le­vitz, The Cana­dian Press

Ottawa: Peo­ple seek­ing to bring par­ents and grand­par­ents to Canada this year were anx­iously check­ing their credit card state­ments Tues­day to see if their spon­sor­ship ap­pli­ca­tions made the cut af­ter some paid hun­dreds of dol­lars to en­sure their files were at the top of the pile. The first-come, first-serve fed­eral im­mi­gra­tion pro­gram saw de­liv­ery ser­vices re­port­edly charg­ing as much as $400, and many camped out overnight to be close to the front of the line, a sys­tem some peo­ple say is un­fair and will likely get worse next year un­less planned changes to the pro­gram ad­dress the prob­lem. Word spread quickly on­line Tues­day about which com­pa­nies ap­par­ently made good on their de­liv­ery guar­an­tees as peo­ple be­gan to no­tice the Im­mi­gra­tion Depart­ment pro­cess­ing their ap­pli­ca­tion fees, a sign that their file was one of the 5,000 ap­pli­ca­tions the govern­ment will ac­cept this year. By mid­day Tues­day, Uzair Khan’s card hadn’t been charged. His fam­ily is seek­ing to spon­sor their 83-year-old grand­mother from Pak­istan and he’d spent days try­ing to fig­ure out which com­pany to use to de­liver the ap­pli­ca­tion. Word-of­mouth sug­gested ma­jor com­pa­nies weren’t as nim­ble as smaller ones, but on the other hand, he was wary of those too. One asked for $200, he said. Sev­eral charged dif­fer­ent rates based on de­liv­ery times. Khan even­tu­ally opted for a firm that wanted $80, still steep, but he said he was left no choice, given the re­quire­ment that files only be de­liv­ered by mail. “They are charg­ing based on your emo­tions,’’ Khan said. Khan’s fam­ily put in an ap­pli­ca­tion six years ago to spon­sor his father-in-law from Pak­istan. At the time, the sys­tem had no caps and a rolling ap­pli­ca­tion process. The re­sult­ing back­log was so mas­sive, Khan’s father-in-law is only ar­riv­ing next month.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.