Online immigrant-sponsor application claimed ‘profoundly discriminatory’ after it opened and shut within 10 minutes

One could argue that the online system was designed to select those more likely to integrate easily, given computer skills and official language knowledge (or engaging a good lawyer or consultant).

The over-subscription suggests that the 10 year multiple entry visa approach is not viewed by many as an adequate substitute.

See Howard Anglin’s good tweet thread on the ongoing challenges to the parents and grandparents program :

A new first-come-first-served online application for immigrants seeking to sponsor their parents and grandparents to come to Canada is being condemned as “profoundly discriminatory” after the program opened and closed in less than 10 minutes on Monday.

All 27,000 openings for the family-reunification program in 2019 were spoken for within minutes of the application form’s going live online Monday, sparking outcry from disappointed would-be applicants.

Matthew Genest, a spokesman for Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, says an initial analysis shows no technical problems with the system.

He says anti-bot features were also used to ensure all applications were legitimate and not from automated computer programs grabbing spots faster than humans could.

Genest says with over 100,000 people competing for 27,000 spots, there was simply more demand than there were spaces.

But immigration lawyer Clifford McCarten is among many now raising concern about the fairness of access to the program, as only those with reliable Internet access, quick typing skills and good understanding of English or French would have had any hope of success.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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