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A Canadian immigrant who is on a work permit is stuck in an immigration nightmare after making two innocent mistakes resulting in being denied entry to Canada and then being issued a deportation order.
Satvir Singh came to Canada in 2008 and has been working as a long-haul truck driver on a valid work permit that doesn’t expire until June of this year. As a part of his job, he regularly crosses the Canada-US border as his paperwork allows him to do.
But his immigration paperwork is only good for travel between Canada and the United States, something he did not realize when he left for his home country of India to go to his sister’s wedding late last year. When he returned in February to the United States and attempted to enter Canada, he was told he needed a temporary resident visa.
Satvir didn’t understand his options and ended up returning to the same border crossing the day after but he had not gotten the temporary resident permit – he was subsequently given a deportation order.
He was in Seattle, attempting to return to where he lived in Vancouver. But the Canadian consulate in Seattle had closed, and he could only go to the Los Angeles office which is severely backlogged and his temporary resident visa could take a year to process.
In addition, he can’t work legally in the United States and is running out of money, while his permanent resident paperwork is being processed and he can’t enter Canada to get it.
If Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney can’t step in and help, he could lose his current immigration status and his job while being barred from Canada.
The impact of the closure of one Canadian consulate is clear, but this case seems extremely unusual otherwise.
If you are in Canada on a work permit or you are traveling from Canada to the United States, make sure that you understand what you are permitted to do and not permitted to do with regards to international travel.
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