Citizenship a lengthy process for those on Canada’s waiting list
Published Friday, November 15, 2013 5:11PM MST Last Updated Friday, November 15, 2013 6:36PM MST
For many immigrants, obtaining Canadian citizenship can be a tiring and frustrating ordeal following changes the former Immigration Minister made to the application process.
Ruslan Abdullayev has lived in Calgary with his wife and their two children for the past four and a half years after leaving Azerbaijan.
According to the latest Immigration Canada numbers, the Abdullayevs are four of the nearly 350,000 permanent residents on the waiting list for Canadian citizenship.
Abdullayevsays his family has been in Canada for the appropriate length of time and should qualify for citizenship. Instead of receiving approval of the application they submitted last year, the family was asked to fill out another application and may have wait an additional two years to receive their official papers.
“We want to live a comfortable life in Canada, which we have been so far,” said Abdullayev. “We are part of the Canadian society and we bring a lot of skills.”
“We want to be successful, because this country really is a country where you can be successful.”
With changes implemented by former Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in an attempt to crack down on residency fraud, the application process to apply for citizenship has become increasingly complicated.
Minister Kenney initiated an investigation into the application procedure. To date, the files of 3,000 Canadian citizens and 5,000 permanent residents have been reviewed, resulted in 19 citizenships being revoked.
Immigration lawyer Raj Sharma, of Stewart, Sharma, Harsanyi agrees with investigating the citizenship procedure but he believes Kenney cast too wide of a net and steps should be implemented to address the current backlog in applications.
“First I would identity the files that are causing concern,” explains Sharma. “I would have red flags for certain files and then I would throw more resources at it.”
Ruslan Abdullayev plans to send a letter to the current Immigration Minister in the hope of improving the application process for his family and anyone wanting to become a Canadian citizen.
With files from CTV's Kathy Le