18 Dec, 2021
The immigration process for Canada has been hampered by the Covid pandemic and has left many Canadian Punjabis in limbo.
Parminder Kaur is tired of waiting for her permanent residency (PR) application to make its way through Canada’s immigration system. Parminder, who is living in Canada, said: “It’s been three years that I haven’t met my family. I applied for PR in 2019 but my file is still under processing.”
Similarly, Deepak Talwar left his well-established business, sold his house in India, and immigrated to Saskatoon in Canada in 2017. Talwar submitted PR applications for his family and himself, but no progress has been made on it since January 29 last year. He now regrets immersing his family in uncertainty.
Canadian MP Jasraj Singh Hallan had raised the issue in the Canadian Parliament and tweeted: “Immigration backlogs are at 1.8 million. These aren’t just numbers; these are families that remain separated.”
Appreciating Hallan for raising the issue, Anchal tweeted: “I had applied for PR in July 2020 and so far, eligibility review has not been done. There is no response to any messages, tweets or calls.”
Another immigrant, Kanwaljeet Singh, had tweeted on Hallan’s wall: “My wife is alone in Canada and is going under depression. She is emotionally weak. I request Canadian immigration authorities to look into spouse visas and clear all backlog as many spouses are waiting to meet their loved ones for long time.” Similarly, Ravneet Kaur tweeted: “I am waiting for spousal visa since last 2.5 years and have not got any response even after medical and biometrics have been done.”
Amanpreet Singh of Charlottetown said he had applied for PR in November last year but had yet not received it. Singh had come to Canada on study permit on August 14, 2017. When his father died soon after, Singh was not in a position to return home and now his grandfather is ill and wants Singh to visit home. “The thought of not being able to do so is heart breaking,” he said, adding that he knew some 25 other applicants in Charlottetown stuck in similar situation.
A large number of Punjabis, living in Canada or India, have been separated from their families due to this delay in immigration system. Before the pandemic, processing time for PR applications averaged six months.