This from today's Toronto Star:
New immigration reforms put applications on hold
Ottawa officials are awaiting instructions from ministry about which candidates will be processed
June 21, 2008 - Nicholas Keung
Newly passed immigration reforms, which the federal government said were aimed at reducing a staggering backlog of applications by would-be immigrants, are creating a new logjam.
The backlog, which stood at 925,000 before the legislation was brought in, could grow by an additional 90,000 because officials have stopped processing new applications.
Prospective immigrants who submitted applications after Feb. 26, when the legislation was introduced, have been told by Citizenship and Immigration Canada that their applications are being put on hold until further notice.
It is expected that Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration will, within the next several months, be providing instructions to visa offices as to which applications are to be accepted for processing and which are to be returned unprocessed," Canadian visa officers explained in letters to applicants.
The move to stop processing new applications has baffled immigration lawyers and consultants, with some worried their clients' applications will be discarded altogether and they will be asked to reapply. Immigration officials declined to comment yesterday. The immigration reforms, passed by the Senate this week, give Immigration Minister Diane Finley the power to reject applications even if applicants meet all the criteria, and to instruct officials to cherry-pick immigrants based on labour market needs.
With the minister's instructions not expected until the fall, the number of people waiting in this latest queue could reach almost 90,000.
Also, while an applicant will get a refund of the processing fee if an application is returned, fees for professional help from lawyers and consultants are not refundable.
According to immigration's notification to applicants, once the instructions are issued, officials will start processing those applications received on Feb. 27, the day after the legislation was introduced, and proceed in chronological order.
Our process took over 2 years from the time the application was received by the Buffalo, NY consulate.
I can't imagine how long it will now take. Of course, the ReformaTory's new-and-improved system is supposedly going to speed up the processing time.
Somehow , I don't think "speed up" is the operable phrase here.
Molasses. Think molasses . . . .