Out of the blue, I received an email from Ahmed office about the petition. Hope he wants to do something about it, we are not expecting less from him. But one thing is clear, the petition is knocking doors already, earlier that what I expected.
( I had to review my answer to him to correct my english a bit before posting here, but is in essence the same message )
Thanks McMillan for your extended explanation on this matter. It is really important for me and for all of us involved to know the details of the process and your point of view. As many other emails that I am receiving this days, in favor and against this petition, I want to assure you that I have completely confidence that the process to evaluate visitor’s visa is done in any case without discrimination of race or political view, but can we say the same from a financial and economical point of view?. Why is our family exempt to visit us because the rest of Latin America is poor and sub developed, for example?, isn’t it as well economical discrimination when you denied somebody to visit Canada, having been invited by their own relatives because they don’t have travel history or own properties or money in the bank?. We live in the XXI century McMillan and today we expect more from you.
If you read the petition itself or the information associated at https://online-petition.blog, it is my concern that we are not taking serious the opportunity that we have in front of us to improve our immigration mechanism, specially the process involving our visitor’s visa program. As many others had mentioned before this days, it is a “privilege” to obtain a permit to visit us here but should it be when talking about our families?. Why we don’t make a distinction with our relatives and friends and consider our invitation letter as a fair and honest document?, why is not good enough that both parties involved sign a legal document understanding the conditions of the visitor and swearing he or she won’t apply or use any other immigration program available during his/her visit?. It will be naive to ignore your point that many may abuse their visit, you are talking to one of them. I am a political refugee in this country since 2001, but please understand I am not asking for advantages but to take a look at what we have and how we can find a common ground to satisfy every citizen involved. Saying NO to a possible visitor invited by a Canadian because is poor, possibly an immigrant and had never traveled before , is not god enough. Canada is better and should be better than that. And that is specially true when you have on your hands a “a standard refusal letter” that doesn’t explain anything to anybody but you. It is just an insult to people that have their best intentions on mind.
You see McMillan, we trust our government, but is on this cases, when we need to be trusted, that our government failed to us and that put on doubt our reciprocal respects. That is the reason why every concern and criticism that any citizen could have about how we go around our business to be a country for all, should be consider seriously and find a solution for it. You are there, paid by tax payers to find a solution for it, not to defend the status quote, that is not the job of our politicians or our functionaries. Is to say I will try, it is to say you have a good point, let us take a look at it. That is what I am expecting from Ahmed, from you, from Jenny Kwan, from Oliphant, from the members of our Senate, specially the Human Rights committee, that did not care to answer my email, an many as others that we trust every day with our future and our demands. You guys had been selected to find solutions to difficult problems, that is why I pay you all double or triple or even more than my own salary. Not to dismiss my points with excuses.
Yes, some visitors may violated the travel agreement, Yes, some will try to stay in Canada, Yes, some will have to be deported. But we have a mechanism to deal with that problem, is called our Refugee program. Our Primer Minister is bringing to Canada 25 thousands Syrian immigrants to live here, and I understand, they need it the most, don’t get me wrong, but Trudeau also invited the refugees in USA to come to our borders at the same time that you denied my sisters and brother to visit me here for a week. Doesn’t sound weird to you?. Does it sound fair to you guys?. We have a refugee program for those that need it the most, and if eventually somebody will broke his/her promises and apply for it while visiting, maybe she actually need it. Now, the petition propose that the person that is inviting should automatically lost its chance to invite anybody else in the future under this family visitor program ( that is how it call what the petition if asking for ) but by allowing him or her to stay they may be spare, we may be saving their lives by considering their applications while in Canada. Do we really want to honor our refugee program by been scare that others may use it?.
It will be great if we start by trusting each other and then, when the person inviting failed to the program, we should denied his/her chance to invite somebody else to visit Canada again, now with a good argument in our pocket. Today you are holding honest people in the same convenient bag of everybody else, and that is not fear, it hurts. Ahmed is not been fear and that is my personal opinion ( Diego Cobian ).
McMillan, a person that live from $100.00 a month, like is the case with my family, can’t improve its status, how can they start traveling if you are refusing their chances to travel for the first time?. It just somebody’s else problem?. How can they find “judicial review by the Federal Court of Canada” from a country like Cuba, when by just considering living the country you can lost your job?. Why do we need a consulate in Habana if they are ignoring this details with our families?. Just examples that the current mechanism under which you are considering applicants to visit us is not only convenient for only one side, it doesn’t seem to be intended to help an honest applicant to visit us. Under what circumstances would you put on doubt that the intentions of my sister to visit me involved any other reason than to meet me?, other than statistics?. What has she done to you before?, to Canada?. What about my invitation letter, does it count?, do you respect its intentions? If not, why you ask me for one?. Once I have to produce an invitation letter, the invitee is not the only one involved and should not be the only one evaluated. Now I am involved too and by discarding my letter as suspicious and not considering me part of the process, you are putting all the weight on the traveler, the weakest point of the system and that is why this petition exist today, to call attention to something that is wrong. It also proposes that in the case that is our family who visits, we allow the resident in Canada to show his/her ability to cover the visitor’s expensive because my family, as many others, will never be able to do so but they are still my dear family and I will love to see them, as many others do. Do you like to see your family any time you want?. Me too, they live 5 hours from our borders and I haven’t see them for 18 years, as many others, waiting for you to take a look at this problem and fix it, that is all that we want.
This petition is dealing with a very sensitive issue, no doubt, is actually a difficult balance, understood, but as I told my MP, Kennedy Steward, as citizen I am using the mechanism available to find a coordinated solution and is the government, on the words of our Minister of Immigration, in this case represented by you, who doesn’t believe we should change what is wrong and unfair. When people question why do we need a government at all, today you are been part of the answer. Think about it!.
Now, think if we could be a great Canadian family that helps each other and is fear to each other and consider each other communes, as we like to call our parliament. Is a great name that we sometimes lost, confused with our day by day business. That is the Canada and the country that I want to live in. Please understand that this is just my effort on that direction.
Money McMillan will disappear one day as we know it and we will be shame of rich and poor as we are today with our past in relationship to races and slavery. Then our kids will ask themselves why we discriminate each other in the name of an illusion, like money and economical status is. I won’t want you sincere apology that day McMillan, I don’t want it at all.
Thanks again for your letter, I really appreciate it.
Sorry for my english. Some people say that reading helps to improve it but it really doesn’t.
From: Ministerial Correspondence / Correspondance Ministérielle (IRCC) <IRCC.MinisterialCorrespondence-CorrespondanceMinisterielle.IRCC@cic.gc.ca>
Sent: April 10, 2018 04:46
To: ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ <email@example.com>
Subject: Response from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (Correspondence Ref. #: 2018-00979226)
Dear Diego Cobian:
Thank you for your correspondence of February 18, 2018, addressed to the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, regarding Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) applications. I have been asked to respond to your concerns.
I have noted your concerns regarding TRV refusals at certain Canadian visa offices, including the Canadian visa office in Havana. Each visa office throughout I Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s overseas network faces unique program challenges that reflect the types and volumes of the permanent and temporary resident applications that are processed. However, I can assure you that applicants from around the world are assessed against criteria that do not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, religion, gender, or membership in a particular social group or political opinion. The principle of non-discrimination is consistent with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and it reflects Canada’s tradition of fairness, natural justice, and our nation’s multicultural character.
Designated officers, who are trained in the assessment of applications and the requirements of Canada’s immigration legislation and policy, have the authority to issue a TRV. Foreign nationals wishing to come to Canada as temporary residents must show that they will respect the conditions that apply to temporary residents. One of these conditions is that they will voluntarily leave at the end of their visit. To determine this, officers consider such factors as the applicants’ ties to their homeland, employment, family, future plans, reasons for visiting, and previous dealings with Canadian immigration officials. If the officer is satisfied that the applicant is a genuine visitor, a TRV can be issued.
The onus rests solely with the applicants to establish that they meet these requirements. They are given the opportunity to present their case by providing documentary evidence and any other relevant information to support their application. A decision is made only after all factors have been considered. Unless the officer is satisfied that the applicant is a genuine visitor, a TRV cannot be issued.
All applications are reviewed on a case by case basis. As such, IRCC is not in a position to assist in your request for a mechanism that would guarantee TRV approvals for family members or friends.
Hosts in Canada often make sincere assurances that the applicant will return home. They are ultimately powerless, however, to compel the departure of guests who choose not to leave. For this reason, officers must form an opinion about the visitor’s intentions independent of the hosts’ assurances.
If an application for a TRV is refused, the applicant is given a standard refusal letter that outlines the general factors that are assessed when determining the bona fides of an application. Often, the officer will also mark off specific points of concern on the letter.
A refused applicant’s situation changes substantively, or if there is additional information that was not previously considered, he or she is welcome to reapply for a TRV at any time. The new application will be considered on its own merits; however, unless all requirements are met, no assurance of success can be given.
While it is not IRCC’s intention to deny persons the privilege of visiting relatives or friends in Canada, it is the Department’s responsibility to ensure that all visitors are bona fide and will leave after a temporary stay.
Detailed information on the factors considered when assessing a TRV application can be found on the IRCC Website at: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/corporate/publications-manuals/operational-bulletins-manuals/temporary-residents/visitors/eligibility-admissibility-considerations.html.
If an applicant is not satisfied with an immigration or visa officer’s decision, the applicant has the right to seek judicial review by the Federal Court of Canada. An application for leave and judicial review must be filed within 15 days if the decision occurred in Canada or within 60 days if it occurred outside Canada. The applicant can obtain more details about judicial review from the section Policy and Program Manuals – Enforcement – Chapter 9 at: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/ircc/migration/ircc/english/resources/manuals/enf/enf09-eng.pdf.
IRCC realizes that an officer’s decision to refuse an application can come as a great disappointment. Please be assured that decisions are only reached after all factors pertaining to the circumstances of a case are carefully assessed, thoroughly and fairly, in accordance with the provisions of Canada’s immigration legislation. Since officers are obligated to uphold the provisions of the legislation, they cannot accept those applicants who do not meet all requirements.
I realize that this is not the response you had anticipated, and I regret that a more positive response cannot be provided.
Ministerial Enquiries Division
This electronic address is not available for reply.
Hi Ahmed, My name is Diego Cobian, I am a resident of Burnaby, BC.
Ahmed, I am looking for a Member of our Parliament that will support my petition, proposing a mechanism that could warrantee that members or family and our friends be able to visit us in Canada without our invitation been denied or our intentions been questioned. Is my opinion that we need a mechanism that will guarantee to our government but also to the visitor(s) in question that they are not going to abuse our Immigration’s mechanisms either will be treated as a second class visitor because their country of origin or economical situation.
In my particular case, I have been living in Canada since 2001 as a Political refugee from Cuba and I had not been able to visit home since. Last year my invitation extended to my sister to visit me in Canada was denied twice, and if the denial is painful, the reasons for it are even worst. It seems to me that we are classifying visitors from rich and poor countries, even if they are invited from members of their family resident in Canada, as delinquents that are trying to get advantage of our immigration’s benefits. My petition is trying to propose a solution or at least, to bring to your attention, a problem that is affecting many of us and is not only unfair but also discriminatory with a situation very close to our hearts.
Would you please recommend an MP that will consider supporting my e_petition to you?. I will really appreciate it. You can also visit my website, created to this effect for more details.
Please notice that Jenny Kwan and Rob Oliphant, Elizabeth May, Tom Mulcair and my own MP, Kennedy Stewart have showed not support for it recently.
I will also like to bring to your attention that the procedure in place to submit e_petitions to our parliament is limiting the total amount of words to 250, what is not very helpful to include the details of a serious problem that we are trying to bring to our Parliament’s attention. That is the main reason why I had created a website to include and make references to the text of my original petition.
Thanks Ahmed, Please let me know.