A constant rise in applications for immigration and a process complicated for many have created a growing backlog. Approximately 350,000 permanent residents were stated to be on waiting list and the numbers are said to be rising since September 2012. Just for a comparison; it was 189,886 in 2007. A 84.32 % increase in five years. The wait period is about 23 months when checked from the website. This has led to scope for immigration frauds due to a variety of reasons that would find mention below.
It is also important to note that the government maintains the position that border screening mechanisms in the United States affecting permanent residents, combined with policy changes in countries allowing citizens to hold multiple nationalities, have led to a steady increase in permanent residents applying for citizenship. It is also stated that citizenship applications have increased by 30 per cent from 2006 to 2012. The figures for 2013 are awaited. However, the figure as it stands for 2012 does not support the number of people in queue. A wait period of almost two years; an increase in wait list of 84.32% as against a 30% increase in application does not really support the tally.
Paperwork blamed for delays
Additional steps to the entire process have contributed immensely to the longer wait times. There has been a growing requirement for added documents. Now what has created the need for additional documents when the process looks simple at first sight?
Applications requiring filling a residence questionnaire are an addition to the routine. Extra paperwork also involves those who want to leave the country and are being held responsible as contributors to outstanding cases. It is claimed that the same number of employees are responsible to process an increased workload. There is more attention to crack down on self appointed immigration consultants who contribute to increase the number of frauds. The attention has been turned to increasing the paperwork and the numbers of fraud cases have not reduced to the acceptable level. In fact, there is no level which can be acceptable. So, in effect it is only a higher level of bureaucracy that has been injected into the system. The more complicated the process, the more chances of intermediaries that would tend to step in.
Tracking required but process questionable
There is every reason to be cautious and each case requires to be investigated but a dragnet so large and broad is making the criteria getting tangled in its own web of delays and it is only the government that can get the mesh untangled.
A great part of the perennial problem from where potential immigration fraud emanates is the question of how much time people are actually spending in Canada. The government generally keeps track of people returning but there isn’t a robust system to monitor when they leave. Improving the system is a better alternative than putting the burden on permanent residents and other countries to develop another system. Majority of the remedial measures rests with the government.