Sisters say Immigration Canada's ranking system is keeping them out of Canada
Three women from Israel have been trying for three years to immigrate to Canada and they have been told they don’t qualify.
Kate and Claire Everward are highly educated and self-employed and while the process has been frustrating; they aren’t giving up.
“We fell in love with Canada,” says Kate.
Tel Aviv is known in Israel as a city of beaches but it’s also a city that’s experienced vehicle bombings and missile attacks
It’s one reason why the sisters and their mother want to leave.
“We need to get out of here, this is a country, this is a place that's either in war or between wars and in the last war, not far from our house a missile fell and took down a building and we’re scared .We don’t want it to happen again,” says Claire.
They get missile warnings every week or so and say ISIS is on all of Israel’s borders.
“They are planning the next war,” says Claire. “We don’t want to be here when that happens.”
The sisters are also worried about Israel’s growing intolerance saying it’s becoming a dangerous place to voice your opinions and women need to be worried about their personal safety.
Claire is a suspense author and Kate is her manager and publicist.
They were born in Israel but say they don’t belong there and when they researched the world they decided Canada is where they want to be.
“Do you people even realize the kind of opportunities you have in Canada?” Claire asks. “Canada invests in education, in healthcare, in seniors, and working conditions, in future leadership, in technology, in the environment, in its future.”
They applied for permanent residence but were turned down.
They tried again for an express visa but didn’t have a high enough score on Canada’s ranking calculator, which awards points for skills, education, language abilities and work experience.
Immigration Canada says Kate’s “score was not yet high enough to get an invitation to apply” and "the points system was developed to help determine which candidates would have the best chance of economic success in Canada."
“We are three English-speaking, educated women who have their own business and we're not asking Canada for anything,” says Kate. “On the contrary, we want to start and build our business over there.”
Lawyers told the 38-year-old and 42-year-old sisters and their 72-year-old mother they’re too old, they should try for a student visa; even though they have multiple degrees or marry a Canadian.
“That drove me mad!” says Kate. “Seriously, they all charged about $250.00 - $500.00 for consultation and it all started and ended with this immigration calculator on the immigration website.”
They’re now appealing to those in power for an exception.
They’ve started a blog called “Canada Guest” and have written letters to the immigration minister and to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“In all his speeches he said he wants productive immigrants, he wants the creativity that Canada deserves, “says Kate.
The women plan to continue telling their stories though social media and if they are one day successful, hope to start their new live in either Calgary or Southern Ontario.
“We fell in love with the area of Calgary, we have friends there and they've been really selling that place,” says Kate.
Immigration Canada says its ranking system was developed to help determine which candidates have the best chance of economic success in Canada.
It says the scores can be boosted by gaining work experience in Canada as a temporary worker or getting a permanent job offer.