According to the Vancouver Sun, about 150 people who applied for permanent residency in Canada and had been approved, were issued visas and approved by mistake because of a computer error. However, this week Citizenship and Immigration Canada admitted the error and decided that those who were given visas could keep them.
“It was an administrative error on the part of my ministry,” said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “We make over two million decisions a year, a bout 7,000 a day. We are making a major IT change so I think it’s understandable that a small error of this nature would be made.” Of the 150 people, 50 are applicants while the remaining 100 are family members of those applicants.
All of the applicants were qualified to come to Canada based on their applications, and they had passed all applicable security checks for coming to Canada as permanent residents. But they applied to come to Canada through the Federal Skilled Worker Program before February of 2008, and their applications should have been destroyed when the government stopped the program to get rid of the backlog. Most people in this situation would have had to re-apply for the program and wait all over again.
Is it fair that these people got to keep their visas? Well, consider that most of them had quiet their jobs, sold their homes and already packed up and moved their families to Canada, only to find out their visas were a “mistake” at the airport. “There’s a fairness argument both ways,” said Kenney. “I think it would be fundamentally unfair to the thousands who were not impacted by the glitch and remain out of luck in terms of their bid to come to Canada. We have chosen to not punish people who have acted in good faith and who we told to come to Canada. I think that’s the best solution.”
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