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There are quite a few stories hitting the web these days about people who have immigrated to Canada and are facing the threat of deportation. Some of them have medical problems that are prohibiting them from applying for permanent residence; some have lost their family breadwinners in accidents and others simply overstayed their visas and got caught.
Bad luck, happenstance and immigration violations create the aforementioned situations, but what if law-abiding, hard-working families are in danger of being thrown out of their new homes because of someone else’s error in an application form?
As reported in the Toronto Sun by Joe Warminton, The Mallozzi family, originally from England, came to Canada three years ago when Lee Mallozzi obtained a temporary work permit. Currently, the family resides in an Oakville home they paid for themselves – a suggestion by immigration officials, who according to the family said that getting a work permit extension would be just a formality for the family and they could feel free to settle in and establish roots.
Because the Mallozzis are well aware of how the Canadian immigration system works, they applied for an extension of the work permit five months before they needed to, just to ensure everything would go smoothly.
It didn’t. Months later, just as the initial permit was set to expire, Citizenship and Immigration Canada sent the family a letter demanding they leave the country. The letter also stated their children were forbidden to attend school in Canada.
All of this, because Lee Mallozzi’s employer made mistakes on the application on his side of things.
After the story broke, a representative of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney has said that the family can relax for now because the application process has been restarted – and properly. But can they? Lee Mallozzi cannot legally work until the situation is resolved, and neither of his two children can attend school. Not to mention the stresses on the family, who told the Toronto Sun that they feared being taken away in handcuffs at any moment.
One has to wonder why all of a sudden the family is allowed to stay, and it’s fair to guess that immense media attention and support from Canadians played a hefty part in pushing CIC to rectify the issue. However, this is just another case of a tiny error on an immigration form snowballing into a giant mess. This case goes to show just how it is absolutely essential to have all your immigration applications and documentation carefully reviewed, prepared and evaluated before they are submitted. It could mean the difference between staying or being deported from Canada.
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