The number of immigrants losing their permanent residency over the past few years has rapidly increased, according to the latest data from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
The rule for new residents is that they must spend at least two years, or 730 days in Canada within the first five years of landing as immigrants. If not, they lose their status – a circumstance which is happening almost three times as often now as five years ago. Last year 4,587 immigrants lost their PR status compared to 1,653 in 2006.
“The increase in the number of permanent residency revocations, (especially) in 2008, is likely related to the PR card becoming mandatory for international travel in 2003 and the surge of renewal applications that occurred following the initial five-year validity period,” said a spokesperson for the department.
Whatever the cause of the trend, many of these immigrants are now left scrambling to find ways to enter or stay in Canada legally – some of whom had arrived with immediate family members who are still in the country.
“We recognize my father didn’t meet the residency requirement,” says Alina Popkova, 32, whose Russian father immigrated to Canada in 2004 but lost his residency status and is now having trouble obtaining a visitor visa to come visit his family. “[B]ut you can’t keep the family apart by denying him a visa to visit us. It is just inhumane.”
Popkova now plans on filing a sponsorship application for her father.
Source: Toronto Star