Immigration board short of staff as backlog grows
OTTAWA -- The number of immigrants and refugees waiting for permission to stay in Canada has grown since the Conservatives took power last February, the chairman of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada told a Commons committee yesterday.
"This year, the IRB has a complement of 156 members. As of today, we have 40 vacancies," Jean-Guy Fleury said at a meeting of a parliamentary immigration committee.
When he appeared before the committee in May, Mr. Fleury said he was optimistic that the backlog of cases would drop below 20,000. And it did fall to 19,800 a short time later, he said yesterday.
But, because there are not enough people to hear cases, it has since climbed to 20,500 and Mr. Fleury said he expects it will quickly hit 24,500. The government, meanwhile, has made just eight new appointments and 12 reappointments since the January election, he said.
"In the absence of appointments and reappointments, I cannot fulfill my promises to this committee on processing times and innovative reforms," Mr. Fleury said.
Lesley Harmer, spokesperson for Immigration Minister Monte Solberg, said the minister has taken several steps to get the positions filled.
"We have brought in reforms that have reduced the process for applicants down from eight months to four months," Ms. Harmer said.
"As well, at the minister's urging, to cast the net wide and ensure potential candidates are informed, an advertisement was placed in the Canada Gazette and national newspapers to draw in a new pool of applicants for openings on the board. This resulted in more than 350 new candidates. We're also continuing to look for ways to reform the system and get competent, professional members on the board."
But opposition members who sit on the immigration committee said Mr. Solberg must act quickly to fill the vacancies.
"I think it is a very serious issue," said Bill Siksay, the NDP immigration critic. "The vacancies mean that the work's not getting done, that important decisions aren't being made, that people are being left in limbo."
Mr. Fleury said he has met with the minister about eight times since the election and that the only reason for those meetings is to discuss appointments, Mr. Siksay said. "So I think that the minister is a barrier in all of this."
Liberal immigration critic, Raymonde Folco, a former member of the Immigration and Refugee Board, said the backlog that her party started to reduce is now increasing again.
"I know from experience that it takes an awful lot of people to take care of these hundreds and hundreds of refugee claimants who come in every year," Ms. Folco said.
"Just in terms of mathematics, when you divide the number of immigration judges we have now by the number of cases that come in, you realize that gives such a load to people that they can't support it."
Meili Faille, the Bloc's immigration critic, also blamed the minister and the Conservative government for the problem.
There have been many complaints from lawyers, Ms. Faille said, "but also from people in our constituencies where their hearings are being postponed and delayed and what the IRB revealed to us this morning is that backlogs are increasing since the Conservatives have been in place."
If you believe in it, stay put - gather support. Work towards legal opinion. Not sure if IV core endorses it, but use the forum to get support.
Those who are interested must consider forming a mailing list and create a group.
Many people just take the poll, and run away if approached. Let everyone participate wholeheartedly.
IV wants all members to help in the Admin fix - "Letter to the President" campaign and it is very essential we follow peaceful methods. Please help make this campaign successful.
I did on my own. Its a time taking process but you can do it on your own. But if you can spend couple of thousand dollars for convenience then there are alot of law firms availble on internet. Just type in canada immigration lawfirm. You will find what you need.
If you want tell me I will give you the THE HINDU ( Chennai Edition) news paper dates so that you can refer to facts.
What ever the drama is being played in Srilanka by aravas if they are going to play those tactics in USA .... immidiately will be kicked out:p
Come on guys.. I can't believe that I am seeing such a support to language terrorists.
Oh, now I understand why you dont make any sense. :cool:
Something funky in this ,, where are all these religious workers on EB4 coming in US and where do they work� I think this is another fraud. Seems like folks have started using this category now to get people from India.. and EB5 where is the money to invest in this market.. Seems like another fraud happening.. or software engineers now coming to US to Religious workers..
Aren't billing rates the reason why the Indian IT biggies decided to establish business consulting practices? They are offering to bring the same employee that a PWC or Accenture brings in, but at a lower rate to the client.
The quality difference is also not huge (one lisps better in English and another doesn't); there's junk everywhere and these big IT companies also hire people at minimum H-1B wage to improve margins. Lot of times you get what you pay for.
Here is my $.02 (or maybe 200 cents)
I am here since 2001 and my family joined me in 2002. I came here at a fairly grown up age and the reason for coming here is mainly for a better life for my family. I don't make enough money to be able to send and invest in India. In fact I was sent money (more than $10K) a few times from back home.
But I do make enough money here to be able to live in a good house and have a couple of cars. In India I couldn't have dreamed of a second car (I did have a car in India) and it would have been impossible for my kids to have a car when they are 16. I know for sure I have secured the future of my kids better here in the US than what it could have been for them in India. We are educated people and we keep reading about the successes of the Ambani Borthers, Rahul Gandhi and others. Our family with average IQs and wealth can only read the news but can never have a chance to have a go and succeed like those BIG WIGS in India. Here in the US, we definitely have a chance, to become at least a millionaire before we retire. As for my kids, they could be rich at a much younger age.
My PD is Oct. 2003 EB2 India (filed everything in June 2007) and I have sustained the wait for 4 years and I am willing to take on the stress for may be one more year for my family by which time we all should have our GCs. Moving to Canada? - I would rather start my own consulting company in Canada and go there once in a while (preferably in the summer) to enjoy the weather and to take care of my business.
Sincerely - IE
You are right. A lot of us came here for a better life. And yes it is a better life. I think Canada is a good option, but it is a lot harder to uproot and move, when you are sooo settled in the US.
Thanks for sharing your story.
What a shame ! Yesterday only UPA Govt. issued a statement that because of their intensive efforts SL govt. has stopped bombing.
Congress/ Sonia is seeing this as personal which shouldn't have been the case.
Countries like Japan, Norway have condemned these attacks by SL govt/ sending diplomats and our UPA govt. PM says we can't do anything !
See the poor foreign policy by UPA govt. - Nepal has fallen to Maoist- backed by China, Taliban are rising as never before, LeT has become more stronger, Bangladesh soldiers are killing CRF personals on the boarder and India is home for more 2 Carores Bangladeshi now, China is disputing Arunachalam...and many more.
I dont' mean people in general. I mean people like you and I.
Average Joe is probably not googling 'retrogression' as he enjoys his baby back ribs.
People like you and I are.
It would increase membership. Which would increase funding. Which would enable us to lobby more. Which will have a greater chance of success.
From Einstein's famous equation:
membership+funding+lobbying+patience = chance of success
Anything else = Absolute failure.
I would say Amen to that....
The whole issue of asking for I-485 without priority date comes from the 'spouse not able to work' issue......
Once 485 can be filed....Spouse can obtain work authorization and everything falls into place because of the derivative benefits of I-485......
You see if the wait for GC was just 2/3 years...no one would ask for the 485 without PD provision.....
But how long can I keep telling my well educated spouse( Bachelors degree in computer science..MS in progress) to put her career on hold ??
There are cases of marriages falling apart because of this issue...
Now United states calls herself 'land of opportunity' and 'defender of family values'..... What about keeping our families intact....??
India has a history in Sri Lanka. It started long ago with IPKF. A lot of Indian lives were lost because IPKF had to fight the war with their hands tied. IPKF could have captured Pirbhakaran but they did not because Rajeev thought Tamils will not get their rights if they did so. Then Rajeev Gandhi got assassinated. A few years back LTTE had the upper hand and Sri Lankan govt wanted India to step in and help them. India did not sent the troops. now the battle has swung the other way. It is fairly complicated.
You can do nothing!! These forces are out of your control.
You can only do what Rocky Balboa said ...
"Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that! "
And yes if the system worked fine, the US is definitely better than aus and canada combined. Money and everything wise. I guess someone on here correctly pointed out that it is the sheer volume of immigrants combined with the fact that there is no real incentive to speed things up. The employer is happy coz there is no need to raise wages and new h1's can always be hired, the immigration attorneys are happy coz they make money due to slowness, the American techie population is happy coz there is no mass influx of tech workers to "drive the wages lower", Anti-immigrant organizations are happy coz once again no mass influx which may lead to "chain migration", the Apartment industry is happy coz if u cant buy u HAVE to rent, and lastly UCSIS/DOL people are happy coz they get more time to review each case. If there is no point to granting you the GC faster why will they? You will pay the same amt of tax b4 and after ur GC. Now in the Canadian system, there is a Fixed Path AND it is QUICK. Both have to go hand in hand. Like one of my friends pointed out, in the US ur spouse cannot work and ur uncertain. In the UK/AUS/Canada, you make less money but we are more secure coz you can both work and we can buy a house etc. Once again this sounds like a broken record, but it is true.
I just talked to my lawyer and he said that anything is possible(midmonth/early week retrogression)..Lets hope for the best and prepare fr the worst.If u can ,just target to file ur application asap.Ifwe are in the state of denial and try to console ourselves saying that nothing will happen and if something happens who is at loss.So be happy that u have some clue and file as early as possible.For things that u have cntrol on try to speed up.GOD bless us all.
As recently Narendra Modi said in Nasik that real credit for getting Oscars for Slum Dog Millionaire should go to Congress.
Recently I have E-Filed for EAD renew and have sent all the supporting documents the following day. But I have recieved an RFE for the photos I haven't sent along with the documents and asked me submit 2 color passport photos. It was my understading that I don't have to send the photos while E-filing since they will be taken at the bio-metric appt. I am done with my bio-metric appt. Do i need to contact USCIS about this or is there any thing you can suggest me.
p.s I have already responded to the RFE with 2 color photos.
So far number of efforts have been made, and many times we were defeated by our anti-immigrant friends for so many reasons. But take a look at the following
It's not about ignoring any specific group of EB immigrants.
Most of us are waiting in line for years by sacrificing their career growth and earnings with the so called consulting companies. what for? To get a green card by buying a home here? Is it sensible? common. Bring some common solution to everybody, not for few. If you want to leave some IV members behind, then you may continue with this idea. your proposal DOES NOT MAKE ANY SENSE to me.
President Obama travels by Air Force One and might not go through regular airport terminals like the rest of us. For the US, only heads of state of countries are exempt from security checks. So the current Prime Minister and President of India will not go through security checks. Note, this holds good only for current heads of state. Abdul Kalam was a head of State, but not during the time when he was searched by Continental.
Btw, the list of VVIPs in India is ridiculous, like the whole Sonia Gandhi family, including her son-in-law.