Indians in the US hard hit by Covid-19 forced delays highlight the difference
As tens of thousands of qualified Indian visa holders in the US await their work permit renewals in the US, immigration reforms in neighboring Canada stand out in stark contrast for many hoping to make America their permanent home.
This week, Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced new measures to reduce wait times, improve client experience and help modernize the country’s immigration system.
Highlighting how serious the Canadian authorities are about the changes, the minister also informed that the measures will be built on the work they have already done to reduce wait times such as hiring 500 new processing staff and digitizing applications.
The irony of how efficiently Canada is handling its immigration processes as opposed to the Covid-19 forced delays in the US immigration system was not lost, especially on those directly impacted by the derailed process in the US.
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Boulder, Colorado based, Priya J. told the American Bazaar, “I lost my job last year, as I await my work permit. The US authorities have been giving us false hopes by putting in place measures such as automatic extension of certain EADs with a number of prerequisites such as having H-4 validity beyond the last date of EAD.
“Anyone who is on a H-4EAD would tell you that this provision helps may be 0.1 percent of those affected. Rest of us continue to await the elusive EAD,” she says. “On the contrary, recent news coming out of Canada shows that some real ground work is been done to smoothen the immigration process.”
The Canadian Immigration Minister assured that Canada will return to its service standards by the end of year for study permits, work permits and residence card renewals.
The new measures include – expanding online applications for permanent residence applications as well as updating online processing times tool to give up-to-date estimates of how long it will take to process applications.
Memphis, Tennessee based, Naresh Singh says, “The difference between how USCIS is handling the situation is for anyone to see.”
“In the US, there has been no practical explanation or accountability on visa delays that have financially strained families,” he says. “There has been no acknowledgment of green card wastage that could have potentially solved a part of the problem.”
Those in the green card backlog also feel that there has not been much effort on part of the lawmakers to push immigration bills.
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New Jersey based Shah family regrets their decision to choose the US in place of Canada for immigration.
They share, “If we were in Canada, we would have been citizens by now and would have been perhaps opting for a senior immigration program to get our parents there. But right now, we are living in the fear of what happens if our kids age out and have to self-deport.