Visa Crunch

Canada’s Immigration Reforms Contrast Sharply With Those In The United States

While tens of thousands of skilled Indian visa holders in the United States wait for their work permits to be renewed, immigration policies in neighboring Canada stand out in sharp contrast for many who want to make America their permanent home.

Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser announced new initiatives this week to shorten long waiting times, enhance the customer experience, and modernize the country’s immigration system. The minister also stated that the steps will be built on the work they have previously done to minimize wait times, such as recruiting 500 more processing personnel and digitizing applications, demonstrating how serious the Canadian authorities are about the improvements.

The paradox of Canada’s quick immigration processes in comparison to the Covid-19 caused delays in the US immigration system was not lost on those immediately affected by the stalled process in the US.

Boulder, Colorado-based, Priya J. told that “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 the 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 an H-4EAD would tell you that this provision helps maybe 0.1 percent of those affected. The rest of us continue to await the elusive EAD,” she says.

The US authorities have given us false optimism by implementing procedures such as the automatic extension of certain EADs with a number of criteria such as H-4 eligibility beyond the EAD’s expiration date. On the other hand, Canadian news indicates that some serious groundwork has been done to streamline the immigration process.

The Canadian Immigration Minister stated that Canada will resume its quality standards for study permits, work permits, and residency card renewals by the end of the year. The new initiatives include increasing application forms for permanent residency and improving the online processing timelines to provide up-to-date projections of how long it would take to execute applications.

There has been no practical explanation or accountability in the United States for visa delays that have financially squeezed families. There has been no acknowledgment of green card waste, which may have solved a portion of the problem. Those in the green card backlog also believe that politicians have not made a concerted effort to pass immigration legislation.

 “The difference between how USCIS is handling the situation is for anyone to see”, Memphis, Tennessee-based, Naresh Singh said. “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.”

The Shah family, who live in New Jersey, laments their decision to immigrate to the United States rather than Canada. “If we had been in Canada, we would have been citizens by now and would have chosen a senior immigration program to bring our parents there. But for the time being, we are terrified of what will happen if our children reach the age of majority and are forced to self-deport”.

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Abhishek Shah

I'm a final-year management student at NMIMS, Mumbai.

The power of words and their ability to affect others captivates me that's where my love for writing comes from. Content writing welcomes me with my own mind and gives wings to my thoughts. I'll today and forever love gaining insight by reading and writing and that's the reason I am called the father of scriptwriting in my circle.

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