This news, coming only days after it was made public that a visa application for a retired Constable of India’s Border Security Force was also recently refused a visa on similar grounds, despite visiting the country twice before in the last couple of years, raises some troubling questions of what the current requirements are to enter Canada under Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Jason Kenney’s rule. And what is it precisely that keeps people out.
The Intelligence Bureau Official in question was later granted a visa after India’s Ministry of External Affairs followed up on the application, yet the issue doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon with sources claiming the number of cases where visas have been refused for similar reasons are well over “double digits”.
Indian media outlets are outraged over what they see as “discriminating” and broad sweeping assumptions being used by Canada Immigration.
His recent overhaul of the refugee system, aiming to reduce the time and cost of processing and the deportation of false claimants, and inputting that money into resettlement programs for legitimate claimants, was presented as aiming to close the gaps that make the system open to abuse. Under the current program false refugee claimants take on average 4.5 years to exhaust their appeals and be deported. However the United Nations’ Refugee Agency has since criticised Kenney for his use of a list of “safe” countries from which failed claimants will be unable to appeal against, arguing that each claimant’s unique circumstances should be taken into account. The criticism for being broad sweeping can be attributed here too.
There is also a growing backlash against Kenney’s reforms to the LCP (Live-in caregiver program) which were implemented in April of this year, many interpreting this since as the government’s knee jerk response to wide-spread abuse to the system as reported months earlier by the Toronto Star.
Amongst other items such as reducing the number of medical exams the caregiver must undertake and allowing overtime to be included in their total hours worked, thus making it quicker for them to obtain permanent residence, Kenny also made it mandatory that the Canadian employer be held responsible for the caregiver’s airfare to Canada and all other costs that could be incurred.
The end result has seen the placement industry devastated, with the number of placements dropping by close to 90%, meaning the number of overseas caregivers entering Canada has dropped as well. Filipino groups who originally championed the changes to the LCP only now seem to be coming to this realisation. This of course comes in a time where the Canadian population is aging rapidly and Kenney‘s action in keeping much needed caregivers out of Canada is not well received.
Author can be reached at News4filipinos@gmail.com