CIC has been doing background checks on my dad’s file for two years.

I am one of them immigrants-turned-citizens who has sponsored her dad to come live in the country with me. My dad is a healthy, 54 year old man (when I sponsored him he was 49). My mother and sister are both already well-established in Canada; it’s just my dad who is waiting.

I applied as a single working permanent-resident in February 2009. I am now a citizen, married, working mother of two (a 5 year old and a 4 year old), and we’re planning on our third child (and possibly fourth!) through local adoption.

In January 2012, the Mississauga office finally approved my application to sponsor. At the Mississauga office they confirm the eligibility of the application, make sure you have enough funds to sponsor and sustain those who you sponsored.

In April 2012, we heard good news – they requested medicals and police certificates. That’s great progress! We sent them on our way, and by July 2012 we had sent all the police certificates.

In August 2012, we got ANOTHER request for police certificates. This was weird. We asked for GCMS notes which are basically intake notes of everything they are doing with the application. The GCMS notes clearly indicated that they received the police certificates. What the heck was going on?

So I contacted our MP asking her what’s going on. After faxing some consent forms, etc. she got on the phone with the local CIC office (which we tax payers have no access to) and they claimed that they don’t have the police certificates. So I pointed out the section in THEIR notes which clearly indicate that they received the certificates; we sent them tracking numbers of the documents that were mailed to them; we also sent them photocopies of everything that we had sent originals of.

A week later, the MP updates me and said that CIC’s letter to us was misleading. They have all the police certificates except the one from UAE.

…Except that UAE doesn’t issue police certificates. We had sent in police certificates for Dubai, which is an Emirate (effectively a province/state) in UAE. CIC’s own website says that they accept a police certificate from just the Emirate and don’t need a federal one (as that is non-existant). So I asked to let them know that Dubai is part of UAE and their own procedure says to submit a clearance from just any of the Emirates.

Ugh.

In October 2012, the MP notified me that the application is actually going to be moved (the CIC officer didn’t like being informed about geography or their own rules, I guess?), since my dad is an Indian citizen (he resides in the US). It was going to be moved from the Ottawa office to the New Delhi office. This was slightly annoying given that they had just moved to the Ottawa office from the Buffalo office, after the Buffalo office was closed down.

In November 2012, we were notified that the file had reached the Delhi office. New Delhi office, unlike the North American offices, requires a proof of relationship. So now began the process of me sending my birth certificates which had my dad’s name, report cards from school which may have had my dad’s name…anything and everything that had my dad’s name and my name on it.

In March 2013, the medicals that we had sent the previous year expired. You can’t “pre-send” medicals until they request them again, so we just had to wait. The MP from our local office contacted the CIC office again and they said that everything is good and they are running background checks.

In May 2013, they finally requested proof of my relationship to my dad. We sent it.

In August 2014, they asked for medicals since the previous ones expired. We did new ones and sent them again.

In November 2014, we were asked for FBI clearances again. So we sent those. You see, police certificates are requested when you are close to being accepted. They make sure they have the most updated record of these to make sure you haven’t committed a crime recently or something. But by the time they actually get to review the application, they become too outdated…

Now it’s February 2015. Two years ago they began running background checks on my dad. And today, our MP called CIC for an update, and this is what the email said (from my MP to me):

With regard to your father’s PR application, I spoke to CIC. They said eligibility was pass on September 5, 2014, background checks are still in progress and medicals are valid until September 2015.

Yep, they began these background checks in March 2013. And they are still running them.

Just tell me who to bribe, seriously.

Facebook is not the place to speak your mind!

I’ve recently added a whole new set of people on my facebook — members of my church family. Facebook is no longer a place to post my thoughts and opinions, as it turns out that people are really easily offended.

Becoming a Canadian Citizen is more expensive now and a lot of people are calling this a new tax, which is baffling to me. The fee has been increased to match what it actually costs. It’s the second year it’s being done because initially the fee was $100. Instead of going from $100 to $500, they decided to do $100->$300->$500. The $100 fee has been in place since 1995!

I am not sure what people expect here. If we don’t change the fee, then other Canadians are on the hook for paying for to-be-Canadians to become citizens. In fact, if the fees are not increased, then taxes are actually increased. If the fees are kept at what they are, then whoever is using the service pays for it.

Is the argument that the poor can no longer become Canadian Citizens? Frankly, most people in position to fly into this country and then quality for citizenship are usually economically well off. The only exception to these are refugees.

As an economic immigrant myself, I feel no sympathy for those struggling to become a citizen. Heck, even for those brought in with family…get the family to pay. However, I hold refugees very close to my heart. The world is a terrible place, and these guys are constant reminders me to me on why we must keep fighting. Our church supports a few refugees rescued from Congo, and hearing their stories is heart-wrenching.

I do think refugee fees should be either entirely waived, or there should be a private fund (setup by members of community) to support these refugees for applying for citizenship.

But everybody else? Stop leeching.