A Balanced & Fair Immigration - Giving Canadians a fair chance at family reunification

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Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada

Government of Canada

Re: Taking down the unnecessary barriers that prevent Canadian citizens to be reunited with their loved ones i.e. their parents (immediate family members)

Bringing the families of Canadian citizens together should not be determined by a lottery system, but in fact, it is something that should be encouraged and supported with the same degree of compassion as any other humanitarian program.

A letter addressed to all Canadians:

When a mother sends her only child to a land far away so he could have a better future and hopes that someday she could be reunited with him in his adopted country, only to later learn that it may never happen as a result of the cruel policies which the Government implemented: it sounds a lot more like a broken promise, seems a lot more like a nightmare that got you up in the middle of the night-Doesn't it?. An immigration policy in Canada directed at reuniting the families of young Canadian citizens does exactly that: it tears families apart, and often times for an indefinite period of time.

Last year, Canadians took pride in accepting 36,000 refugees from war torn nations such as Syria and Iraq and displayed their compassion on a world stage, and yet the very same country has the policy that enjoys tearing families apart of its own citizens. I have raised my voice today, because I do not think Canadians should be put in a position where they are forced to perceive that spending time with their loved ones is a matter of luxury not a basic right that they should have an access to.

Now, let's talk about our family reunification policy, and later on, I will also compare it with the family reunification policies administered by the United States.

Canadian Family Reunification Category (FC 4) Parents of Canadian citizens and legal residents

A lottery system: The Government will randomly select a total of 10,000 principal applicants out of a pool of an undefined number of candidates. 

A Government that says "Diversity is our strength" and "we will support any one who is need of protection" is sure taking a hard line approach on an issue that is directly related to bringing the families of Canadian citizens together. Charity begins at home, and by preventing Canadians to be reunited with their loved ones creates a society that is unhappy, not engaged and the one that re-thinks their move to Canada in the first place.

Canadians: If you can show an incredible amount of compassion towards people who are fleeing war and prosecution, then I have faith in you - please do not let your fellow Canadians believe in the notion that they would need to win a lottery if they want to be united with their loved ones. I went to a Canadian college and a university and I am playing my role in being a contributing member to our society; there are a lot of people like myself, who are Canadian citizens and right now, they are second guessing their move to Canada. 

Much like the United States, Canadian citizens should be given the permission to bring their mother and father over on a priority basis.

On a personal note, I moved to Canada when I was 17 years of age and I will be turning 26 next month. All these years, I just wanted one thing and it is something I would do anything for: I just wanted to be with my mom and dad. I just wanted to have a family like most of my friends in college and university have. I have given this country almost 9 years of my life, and Canada has done a lot for me as well - in fact, it is the country that provided me with a college and university level education and made me the person I am today, for that I thank Canada from the bottom of my heart. But I have lost a lot in the process as well.

Dear Canadians, if as a nation, you can accept 36,000 and growing individuals, then why can't this country accept parents of people like myself?  Why do they have to go through a lottery system in which the odds of winning are only 20 percent? It sounds  a lot like a double standard- Doesn't it?

I would encourage to Government to take another look at a family reunification program so Canadians can be reunited with the ones they love...it is not a matter of luxury, it is a matter of basic human right.

The Government can implement the following policies to streamline its PGP application intake:

1. Balance of Family Test 

In simple terms,

Parents living overseas seeking immigration benefits can only be accepted, if the following conditions have been met:

1 Child = Canadian citizen = Yes

2 Children = 1 Canadian citizen, 1 Foreign national = Yes

3 Children = 1 Canadian citizen, 2 Foreign nationals = No

4 Children = 3 Canadian citizen, 1 Foreign national = Yes

& so on...

Australia has a similar system in place for family reunification petitions.

2. Concerns of Canadian citizens about the health care issues linked with Immigration intake for Parents:

Canadians: No one sets foot out of jet liner thinking they are going to become a burden on the Canadian health care system, therefore, please do not think that immigrants arrive in this country to access our health care system. But I wanted to address this issue anyways:

The Government can implement a new regulation in which admissions under FC4 are only entitled to a publicly funded health care system once they worked in the country for a period of 5 years. That condition can be removed when the very same immigrant applies to renew his or her PR Card after 5 years as part of the current renewal process. They will have to submit their notice of assessments for the past 5 years(NOA) from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) proving that they in fact were engaged in an employment opportunity. Inability to prove this will not result in the removal of a condition that bars them from accessing the health care benefits.

Having this in place will give the young Canadians like myself, and I am an only child, that their parents can actually live with them indefinitely, which is the only thing most of us really care about. 

3. Abolish the lottery system

It is an unfair system that allows people who do not appear to meet the requirements for the program to submit their expression of interest taking spots away from other candidates.

4. Scale back the Income requirement time-frame from 3 years to 1 year 

This requirement does nothing but delays the overall reunification process. People like myself spent almost 7 years in a post secondary institution and have good paying jobs. It does nothing but penalizes those who chose to put themselves through school to obtain a degree or other form of higher level education.

Australia has a requirement similar to this, but the Government of Australia only requires that their citizens are well settled before they make a sponsorship application. Their is no mention of income requirements or the time frame in which they have to meet those requirements within their immigration regulations.

5. Parents of Canadian citizens with no other child should be given a priority as part of our family reunification agenda.

6. Retain the medical, criminal, and other admissibility requirements as it is important to our overall nation building agenda.

7. Remove the limit of permanent resident (PR) visas issued to the parents of Canadian citizens, similar to the practices followed in the United States.

8. Adjudicate petitions for sponsorship from Canadian citizens in under 12 months. 

9. Retain the requirement that the sponsored parents of Canadian citizens can not go on welfare and become a burden on the system.

The things I just talked about would ensure that the program facilitates the entry of parents of Canadian citizens while keeping the national interest intact. Having these requirements in place would not only ensure that young Canadians like myself live their lives happily and in peace but also create a stronger Canada.  

I am doing this because I want to keep my mom and dad in my life, and while our compassion goes to others who need our help, I hope that you [the citizens of Canada] can extend just a little bit of compassion towards me as well because I need it too.

Thank you so much for reading this article.

Yours truly,

Parminder Kooner

 



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