The federal government has announced plans to close immigration files that have been stalled due to applicants’ failure to attend required tests or interviews.
The so-called “dormant” applications are said to be clogging up the system with an estimated 12,000 inactive files expected to be closed in the coming weeks.
A department spokesperson says that over the past three years approximately 54,000 applicants have not attended their scheduled citizenship tests. Additionally, the government will look at closing files submitted after April 17, 2009 if they still have not received proof of residency after two notices.
The government does acknowledge that sometimes applicants are forced to miss a scheduled interview or test under extenuating circumstances and are willing to address those concerns. However, applicants who have proven to consistently miss crucial deadlines and procedures will be treated differently from others who have been shown to “take Canadian citizenship seriously.”
“Those who take their citizenship seriously will not have to wait in line behind those that don’t bother showing up to their citizenship test, interview, or who don’t respond to a residence questionnaire,” said a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.
Average processing times are currently at 25 months for regular files and 35 months for more complex applications. The application backlog was at 349,249 at the end of 2012. The government hopes this new policy on dormant applications will help to further streamline the process.
Source: Ottawa Citizen