Citizenship and Immigration Canada Under Fire for “Absolutely Outrageous” Mix Up

Canadian-permanent-residence-visaAs recently reported by CBC, citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is currently experiencing a wave of criticism and complaints for failing to tell applicants for the Canadian Experience Class Program that the cap had already been reached months before.

Many had previously rushed to apply for the Canadian Experience Class Program so that their applications could be processed before the introduction of Express Entry on January 1, 2015. However, it turns out the cap for their desired program had been reached back on October 22, 2014, and all applicants since have been dubbed “essentially a waste of time”.

Castela’s story

One of the unfortunate applicants affected is Vasco Castela, whose work visa is set to run out on Friday after having worked full-time as an ethics teacher in B.C. for a total of seven years.

Castela, originally from Portugal, possesses a PhD in ethics and spends his working days teaching at two Metro Vancouver colleges. His first application for permanent residency was turned down in 2013 because at the time, Castela didn’t quite meet the number of working hours required – mainly due to the fact that CIC didn’t include the hours he spent marking and preparing assignments, along with teaching at the front of a classroom. 

With just a couple of months left on his visa, Castela was able to apply again with what was deemed the correct number of working hours, although this time he received his application back unprocessed due to the fact that the cap had already been reached earlier last year.

“Absolutely outrageous”

As applications continued to surge in the face of the upcoming new Express Entry system, CIC failed to update their website to show that the program had closed.

In fact, information that the cap had been reached back in October was only released to the public in early February – over two months later. Castel said, “It’s absolutely outrageous.”

Michael Niren, a Toronto immigration lawyer, went so far as to suggest that the error was good grounds for a lawsuit. He said; “They have an obligation, a procedural fairness we’ll call it, to announce on a timely basis when a cap has been reached and they obviously haven’t done that… There could be good grounds for a class action suit.”

Castela said he had always intended to make a home for himself in Canada, although he now doesn’t expect to qualify for permanent resident status under the new Express Entry program. His plan is to apply for a visitor visa to buy a bit more time in the country and explore the options left open to him. 

He said; “I am very angry. I’m angry, and I’m going to say goodbye to my students today and yeah, it’s going to be a very emotional time.”

Were you Affected by CIC’s Mix up?

If your unprocessed application was returned to you, you could still qualify for permanent residency under Express Entry. However, your application needs to stand out from the crowd. Given that there will be thousands of people applying for this program, the competition will be very tough. As such, it would be advantageous to have an immigration expert on your side. That is where we at Niren & Associates come in handy.

We will work with you to ensure that your application stands out from the crowd. We will assess your case, highlight the best aspects of your application, and make sure that the government notices you! Call us today for an assessment to see if you are eligible for Express Entry to Canada, or fill out our online assessment form.



Michael Niren

About Michael Niren

Michael is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Canadian Bar Association’s Citizenship and Immigration Section and the Associate Member of the American Bar Association. Read more

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