The recent closure of the Canadian immigration office in Buffalo has resulted in long delays for thousands of highly desirable skilled applicants.
Approximately 10,000 files were transferred to Ottawa from Buffalo last spring, which was formerly the designated processing office for applicants who are in Canada at the time of filing their papers. This means that a large portion of those files were from temporary foreign workers and international students – some of the most desirable newcomers according to the federal government.
The move has resulted in long delays for these applicants, some up to two years while other locations are processing files much more quickly. Most of these applicants-in-wait are unable to work while they wait and this is leading to increased frustration and distrust among the so-called “forgotten ones of Buffalo.”
“I followed all of the rules, I did everything I was told to do,” says Loic Kerbrat, who came to Quebec from France three years ago and is awaiting his permanent residency. “Mostly I was disturbed by the lack of information from the government. I just want this to be over. I don’t understand how this kind of thing could happen in Canada.”
Representatives from Immigration Canada say that new files are now taking less time overall to be processed, down to nine months from fifteen, and that they are still working on clearing the backlog from Buffalo which should be done by summer 2013.
“By centralizing more processing in Canada, particularly for files that are more straightforward and with lower risk, we can be more efficient and create jobs in Canada,” said CIC spokesperson Remi Lariviere.
Source: Calgary Herald