Citizen and Immigration Canada continue to deny a four-year-old child entry into Canada to join his permanent resident parents on the grounds that they did not indicate his name in their initial permanent residence application. Critics say the incident highlights the exaggeration of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s boast that Canada has “the most generous immigration and refugee system in the world.”
With Indian nationals Bhavna Bajaj and Aman Sood having battled for the past three years to get their son Daksh Sood to join them in Canada, the couple says they will have to give up their permanent residence status and move back to India if their request is denied for much longer. The child currently lives with his paternal grandparents in India, who say they are unable to take care of him for much longer as they are elderly and unable to do so.
More than 10,000 people have signed a petition to grant the child entry into Canada, but thus far CIC is showing no sign of reversing its position.
The parents are now trying to secure permanent resident status for the child on humanitarian and compassionate grounds. However, the process may mean an additional two year wait to be reunited.
The couple first applied for permanent residence in 2011 with only their names on the application, claiming that their son was not born at the time. This explains why the name was not included on the application. After gaining permanent resident status in 2013, the couple allege that the Canada Border Services Agency found out about their son and threatened them with immediate deportation unless they agreed to forego their right to sponsor their son for permanent residence.
At a time when Canada’s immigration and refugee policy is coming under intense scrutiny and criticism for its harsh policies and restrictive rules, the case, one of many with similar issues, places CIC in an unfavourable light.