I just sent an email to Jim Brown @ CBC news Calgary. He is the host of Calgary eyeopener show.
I would like to tell you that the eyeopner show is really informative and I always tune into cbc radio 99.1 every morning when I go to work. Your program and the way you host this program helps thousands of people to get up to date about what is happening around the world and specially in Calgary.
The reason I am writing this email to you is that, nowadays people have been talking about reduction of immigration visas for parents and grand parents. As you know that Immigration Minister Jason kenney has been claiming that by reducing these visas, they will be able to attract some skilled workers and he also says that family reunification is the first priority. It is also in the constitution that a Canadian permanent resident can legally sponsor his/her wife and kids and these application will be processed ASAP. But this is not the case for Pakistani people, CHC-Islamabad is been taking almost 2 years to process spouse applications and the sad thing is they don't even look at your application within first 12 months. I sponsored my parents last year and that time the processing time was 80 months and now it seems to be taking 13 years. I also applied for my brother's visitor visa and he was refused twice without any reason. People have similar issues that CHC-Islamabad is not sincere with Pakistani people as oppose to other embassies in other counterpart countries.
I came here 3 years ago on a work permit as a skilled worker. I work for a software company here in Calgary. I sponsored my wife almost 10 months ago and I still do not know the status of my application. Every time I send an inquiry request to CHC-Islamabad, I get a generic reply from the embassy that "Your application is currently in process and is in queue for initial review". After 10 months they have not touched my file and it is taking almost 2 years to get a spousal visa. I have also complained about this issue to High Commissioner and Deputy High Commissioner at CHC-Islamabad but did not get any reply.
Minister Jason Kenney claims that the delay at CHC-Islamabad is due to some extra background checks (specially for Pakistani people) and he also claims that Visa officers are highly trained to find out whether the marriage is genuine or not by looking at the supporting documents. But the reality is, hunderds of famillies have been suffering for this never ending delays and the most frustrating thing is CIC charges almost $1100 up front to process one application and their online status system shows that your files is "IN PROCESS" even after you have received your visa. There is no way to find out how long it will take to process these applications.
People have filed complaints to Immigration Minister and Prime Minister but their offices reply after 1 or 2 months and in that reply they say that we are already aware of the situation, your complain has been forwarded to the concerned departments.
I plan to bring this issue to Government officials, Opposition leaders, Immigration judges, Mayor of Calgary and Media from all over Canada and I will request everyone to please bring this issue forward and try to resolve this ASAP. I also request you to please broadcast this on the radio or TV and also ask questions from Minister Jason Kenney and from all the concerned authorities.
I have been following some immigration forums specially for Canadian embassy in Islamabad and I will post those links later in my email so that you can read and find out how many people have been suffering.
Here is a letter from MP. Peter Julian from House of commons. He wrote a letter to Minister Jason Kenney in January 2011.http://www.keepandshare.com/doc/2593414/letter-to-minister-of-citizenship-and-immigration-january-2011-2-pdf-february-11-2011-11-05-p?da=y
Following are the two forums which I have been reading for last 3.5 years.
There are some facebook groups about processing delays at CHC-Islamabad.http://www.facebook.com/pages/CIC-Islamabad-Pending-Cases/120356291328093http://www.facebook.com/?sk=lf#
Following is the link of CIC website and you can read that they claim to complete 80% of spousal applications within 12 months which also includes step 1 of the process which gets processed at CPC-Mississauga.http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/department/service-standards.asp#family
Here is another petition site which discusses about temporary Resident visas for spouses while their applications are In PROCESS.http://www.gopetition.com/petition/31391.html
Another petition website for processing delays at CHC-Islamabad. It has been signed by 121 people in the past.http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/spouse-immigration-delay/
A visitor visa concerned was raised by Olivia chow, Member of Parliament NDP.http://www.oliviachow.ca/2010/12/chow-introduces-bill-c-604-the-visitor-visa-fairness-act/
These activities have happened in the past but we did not see any outcome because media was not involved. Therefore, I request you to please look into this matter and bring this issue forward and ask questions from the concerned authorities. Your help can make a huge difference in hundreds of peoples lives and they will be relieved form this waiting pain, if this is resolved soon enough.
Hope for a positive response and would appreciate your help...
jani99 (on behalf of Pakistani Community)