Canada squanders economic, social benefits by keeping out new Canadians’ relatives

More an opinion piece than factual reporting. Would be useful if Canada would have overstay data comparable to other countries like the USA:

Canada is losing manifold economic and social benefits and going against its own values when it denies visitor visas and study permits to family members of new Canadians. Denials are rooted in belief that visitors with family ties in Canada are more likely to overstay their visas, but while no data exists to back up this claim, why should that even be a concern?

In the last century, Canada has earned a great reputation for accepting a large number of immigrants and valuing multiculturalism. Immigrants are a great boost for the economy. In fact, Canada’s current plans to accept 411,000 immigrants in 2022 and 421,000 in 2023 were touted by former Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Marco Mendicino as a way to help the Canadian economy recover from COVID-19.

Such framing emphasizes how immigrants benefit our economy not just by filling labour force shortages and paying taxes, but also by significantly increasing employment creation.

Despite this warm welcome, new Canadians often face hurdles when their family members wish to come to visit. When applying for a visa, relatives of new Canadians frequently receive the following response: “I am not satisfied that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident, as stipulated in paragraph 179(b) of the IRPR [Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations], based on your family ties in Canada and in your country of residence.”

The first three thoughts that come to mind when I encounter a sentence like this are: Do people with family ties stay and those without them return? Is this a favourable decision for the Canadian economy or even the IRCC’s plan? Do officers denying visas consider the repercussions of such a decision?

For this article, I spoke with 11 new Canadians whose family members had gotten multiple denials because of their ties to Canada. These dismissals have affected each of them in various ways.

Many said they felt guilty, believing that rather than being of assistance, they were obstructing their families’ dreams. This is especially true for those whose siblings had education or job opportunities but were turned down because of their familial ties.

Some of the people I spoke to said their family members, particularly their parents, felt Canada could reject their submission multiple times. This resulted in either familial issues or a sour relationship.

Source: Canada squanders economic, social benefits by keeping out new Canadians’ relatives

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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