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Hope turns into limbo: Family stuck in immigration application delay in P.E.I.



SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — When Tuan Pham and his household moved to P.E.I. from Vietnam in 2020, he was stuffed with hope.

He considered the Island as a secure place from COVID-19, and he was hopeful in regards to the enterprise he was planning to open in Summerside, referred to as Asia Meals Inventory Grocery.

Most significantly, he got here to the Island for his youngsters to have higher alternatives.

“I need to do one thing for my youngsters, just like the schooling and their work sooner or later,” Pham instructed SaltWire in an interview on June 4.

Whereas the shop has been doing significantly better than he anticipated the previous three years, his youngsters haven’t.

He feels that his youngsters are being denied quite a lot of alternatives as a result of family members haven’t but obtained their Canadian everlasting residency. The Vietnamese service provider utilized for that just about two years in the past, however he hasn’t heard again from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) in regards to the standing of his software.

His son, who’s in Grade 11, needs to work part-time, very similar to his associates, to realize expertise. However he isn’t allowed to try this due to his pupil visa standing fairly than everlasting residency. 

Pham’s daughter, an aspiring badminton participant, was unable to hitch the Island’s badminton crew for the 2023 Canada Winter Video games resulting from citizenship or everlasting residency necessities. 

“I would like them (to) have a great life right here … however now they can not,” Pham mentioned. “We’re very unhappy about that.” 

Immigration backlogs

Pham is just not alone. His software is amongst greater than 2,000,000 purposes presently being processed by IRCC, encompassing short-term residence, everlasting residence and citizenship, in accordance with IRCC’s web site. Greater than 800,000 of these purposes stay backlogged. 

The shop proprietor is now left questioning if his software is among the many many backlogged instances. 

More than 2,000,000 applications are currently being processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. - Contributed
Greater than 2,000,000 purposes are presently being processed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. – Contributed

SaltWire reached out to IRCC in regards to the case, however the division declined to touch upon particular person instances resulting from privateness laws. 

“Each software is dealt with on a case-by-case foundation. Extra advanced purposes might take longer for quite a lot of causes particular to the applying,” the division mentioned in an e mail on June 6. 

There was progress in decreasing backlogs, IRCC mentioned, with 60 per cent of purposes processed inside service requirements as of April 30, an enchancment from 56 per cent in March. The division continues to be engaged on finalizing older purposes. 

The aim is to get 80 per cent of recent purposes being processed inside service requirements, it mentioned. 

“We all know there’s extra work to do, and we are going to proceed to do what it takes to get there.” 

Pham mentioned he believes his software, which he submitted to IRCC in October 2021, falls among the many older ones nonetheless awaiting processing. 

The duty of gathering all the required paperwork to submit that software was arduous. 

Tuan Pham, left and his wife, Thao Le, are still waiting to hear about the status of their citizen application. They applied through Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in October 2021. - Kristin Gardiner/SaltWire
Tuan Pham, left and his spouse, Thao Le, are nonetheless ready to listen to in regards to the standing of their citizen software. They utilized via Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada in October 2021. – Kristin Gardiner/SaltWire

Languishing in uncertainty 

Pham and his household arrived in P.E.I. in 2020 below the Work Allow Stream, an immigration program inside the Provincial Nominee Program, which implies he and his spouse are right here below work permits. 

They wasted no time and opened their retailer within the fall. After a few yr, Pham gathered numerous paperwork, together with a certificates from the province that nominated him and his household for everlasting residency and stuffed out all the required types wanted earlier than submitting the applying to IRCC in October 2021. 

There hasn’t been a closing resolution made on the case since then. The extended wait is taking a toll on the household’s psychological well-being, Pham mentioned. His spouse has grown more and more anxious about their unsure future, significantly as they’ve seen others who arrived on the Island after them already acquiring everlasting residency. 

“She at all times thinks about that. She asks me, ‘Honey, when can we get our PR?’” 

The extended delay has additionally had an influence on their enterprise. Pham has been desirous to develop the shop, seeing a rising variety of immigrants arriving in Summerside and the encircling areas. He’s trying to buy extra merchandise to satisfy the rising demand and spend money on tools reminiscent of freezers. 

His makes an attempt to get a mortgage have been met with rejection resulting from his short-term resident standing. This has brought on him quite a lot of stress, Pham mentioned, as he merely needs to develop the enterprise in Summerside, which he considers his everlasting house now. 

“I’m 50 years outdated proper now … I can’t get a job at one other (place) however right here I can get cash from my grocery (retailer),” he mentioned. “My enterprise is sweet.” 

Tuan Pham has been seeing the simple phrase, "In progress," for a number of months when checking the application's progress on the IRCC portal. - Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire
Tuan Pham has been seeing the easy phrase, “In progress,” for numerous months when checking the applying’s progress on the IRCC portal. – Thinh Nguyen/SaltWire

The necessity for improved communication 

Pham mentioned there’s nothing else the household may do now apart from wait, however they’re annoyed by the dearth of communication from IRCC. 

Over the previous eight months, he hasn’t obtained any e mail updates concerning the standing of the applying, Pham mentioned. When checking the applying’s progress on IRCC’s portal, he’s met with the easy phrase, “In progress.” 

IRCC mentioned the division has been working to offer candidates with extra details about the processing actions associated to their purposes. It launched a system again in 2021 referred to as Utility Standing Tracker. 

“IRCC understands the significance of permitting purchasers to see extra software standing info and the division is working to modernize its processes and expertise to make sure that purchasers can precisely monitor their purposes in a well timed method,” the e-mail assertion reads. 

Thinh Nguyen is a enterprise reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He will be reached by e mail at [email protected] and adopted on Twitter @thinhnguyen4291.

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