Canada should improve protections for temporary residents amid visa application surge: advocates – National


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OTTAWA — Purposes for momentary resident visas issued to guests, college students and momentary staff in Canada have greater than quadrupled since 2015, stretching the Immigration Division’s skill to course of them, in keeping with a federal report.

The Immigration Division’s annual plan reveals that within the fiscal 12 months that ended March 2018, officers issued greater than 5.7 million momentary visas and digital journey authorizations, a rise from the 1.three million issued two years earlier.

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Federal officers say the surge is due partly to a rise in worldwide tourism in Canada — one thing the federal authorities has been making an attempt onerous to realize.

“The promotion of tourism to Canada and strengthening people-to-people ties has been part of Minister (Ahmed) Hussen’s message when travelling overseas,” stated Hursh Jaswal, a spokesman for the immigration minister.

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“As a authorities now we have promoted tourism throughout the globe via varied ministries … At IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) now we have additionally targeted on tourism via our ‘apply early’ marketing campaign and selling the right way to apply as a customer via our social media channels.”

Numbers offered by the division present greater than 1.three million customer visas have been issued in 2018 — a 45-per-cent improve over 2015 for one class of entry allow.

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This determine doesn’t embody the variety of digital journey authorizations, referred to as eTAs, issued to vacationers throughout that very same interval, below a streamlined course of for low-risk momentary guests from sure nations, together with the US. As of Sept. 30, 2018, greater than 9.9 million eTAs had been issued since 2015.

The spike in demand for momentary visas has created logistical challenges for the division in processing purposes. To assist with this, 17 new abroad visa-application centres have been opened and there are plans for additional expansions this 12 months.

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Up to date expertise can also be permitting visa places of work to maneuver purposes round digitally to be processed at visa places of work that aren’t as busy.

However the rise in demand can also be setting off alarms with advocates for momentary staff and worldwide college students.

The Migrant Employees Alliance for Change says the numbers spotlight Canada’s rising reliance on migrant staff who don’t have the identical rights and protections as different immigrants.

Syed Hussan, co-ordinator with the alliance, says migrant staff and college students needs to be given everlasting standing upon arrival in Canada.

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“We’ve got a multi-tiered immigration system the place persons are coming into the nation with non-permanent-resident standing on arrival, and that lack of permanent-resident standing is tied to restricted entry to rights and providers,” he stated.

Migrant farm staff, for instance, are usually not allowed to unionize, don’t make minimal wage and are usually not paid additional time. There have additionally been numerous documented circumstances throughout the nation of those staff going through labour exploitation, human-rights abuses and squalid housing conditions.

Worldwide college students additionally face limitations in Canada, Hussan stated.

His group is presenting a petition with over 50,000 signatures to Hussen’s constituency workplace on Friday highlighting the case of 1 worldwide pupil going through deportation as a result of he exceeded the utmost variety of hours he was allowed to work in per week.

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Jobandeep Sandhu, a global pupil from India, was arrested and handed over to immigration enforcement after Ontario police found he had been working as a industrial truck driver longer than the 20-hour weekly most permitted for worldwide college students finding out in a public post-secondary establishment.

“What is occurring to me is occurring to lots of people. Worldwide college students don’t get the identical labour rights that everybody else will get. There’s a broader structural problem in our legal guidelines that restrict these rights to only some,” Sandhu wrote on his petition web page.

Hussan, the migrant-workers’ advocate, says this case is only one instance of many during which momentary staff and college students are usually not afforded the identical primary rights accessible to all different newcomers to Canada.

“They should have the identical rights as each different immigrant within the nation and that’s standing on arrival. In any other case we could have these tales of exploitation and abuse, and I can let you know so many.”

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