Three Years

Three Years

Celebrating Three Years

I realized earlier this week that my immigration journey has now been ongoing for three years.  My attorney at the time submitted my application three years ago to Sydney, Nova Scotia to the “Central Intake Office” (CIO) responsible for doing initial evaluation of Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) applications for CIC.  Little did I know that three years later I would find myself with immigration unresolved.  If I  had, I think I probably would not have filed the application – no human deserves the disrespect and dehumanization that this process represents.  I wonder if it is as dehumanizing for the workers at Citizenship and Immigration Canada as it is for the applicants they are evaluating – I suspect that at times it must be – after all, each of the applications represents the stories of real people and you either have to distance yourself from their stories or you would be deeply saddened by those same stories.

I suspect my story would not have been one to pluck at the heart-strings.  After all, I’m actually successful – I am well-known in my field and successful.  I have traveled extensively, work with people all over the world.  One would think I am an ideal candidate – I basically enter Canada with my set of skills, my own customers, and a proven track record of being able to create novel and creative work (now I have four issued US patents and I’m working on more, not to mention multiple published books in my field, many technical articles, public presentations, etc.)  Technically I barely met the bar for consideration: I had the lowest possible score (67) because of course being able to set up shop on my own doesn’t count for anything in the FSW category (they give you big points for having arranged employment, but nothing for being able to create a new firm and bring your customers with you.)  I struggle by in my rudimentary French (I only studied three years back in High School and that was many years ago with very little intervening use since then.)  I only have a Bachelor’s degree, albeit with many years of experience.  My evidence of English were my published books, articles, talks, and the fact that I was born in the US in a household in which English was our only language (ok, American English, so it’s not quite the same as Canadian English.)

At any rate, here we are, three years later and the application is still not technically completed – after all, I still have a pending application before the Federal Court challenging the decision.  And of course, I haven’t heard anything on that either.  Since Monday July 2, 2012 is a statutory holiday (Canada Day) I won’t hear anything before the 11 week mark at this point.  Even though I have a second option (spousal sponsored immigration) I am forever bound by my unconditional promise to pay for my medication, should that prove to be necessary – I realize there is no legal mechanism for enforcement, but I recognize it as an immoral act to violate my own solemn sworn oath.

It is ironic that I now must worry about my sponsorship.  My spouse’s family is very unhappy about our marriage and is using every emotional tool in the arsenal to force a return home (where for them “home” means where they are, not where we are.)  I don’t expect that to happen, but I have to consider what I will do should it happen (of course, at the same time I am being as supportive as I can because regardless of what my spouse decides I know it will be for the best.)

If that does happen and the court decides not to hear my case (which seems likely at this point – it’s now pushing three months) then my plan is to go back to the US.  Sad, to be defeated and unwanted by both Canada and one’s own country – at least the US has no choice but to allow me to return.

We shall see what happens…

Wishing everyone a Happy Canada Day.


Nine Weeks

Today’s image is a tribute to my own little dog, whom I’ve had since he was nine weeks old.  I am quite sure he’s far more patient than I am, and he’s always happy to see me when I return home from one of my frequent trips.

With that said, today marks nine full weeks since we filed the application with the Court.  As much as I struggle with trying to ignore this issue, it is surprisingly difficult to ignore something with such a profound impact on one’s life.  I’ve obsessively reviewed numerous other applications in various cases – I know that most applications are never even completed by applicants and such applications are typically rejected out-of-hand.  Most applications are granted or denied within two months – I have not looked at every application, but I have looked at hundreds at this point, and I can state that I have not seen any that have gone more than two months without a decision one way or the other.

Despite the fact that it is patently unwise to try and read anything into this, I find myself succumbing to this temptation.  I know that it’s at least meriting serious review – one of those files that cannot be dismissed out-of-hand (or it would have been dismissed by now) but without any insight into how the Court decides to grant (or not grant) such cases it is difficult for me to say if the delay is because they have decided to grant review and are now awaiting the appropriate resource (ergo, a court room and a judge to hear the application) or it is bouncing around between judges (“I don’t want to deal with this case, but it seems substantial, perhaps you want to handle it?’)  Who knows?

I realized today that one thing the immigration process certainly teaches one is how insignificant any one individual is in its face.  As I stare out at the north Pacific, 4 meter high waves crashing into the shore, I get the same sense : that I’m really not very important in the grand scheme of things.

One person I know takes umbrage any time someone challenges the system; I often wonder if he is right and it is morally wrong to question the decisions of one’s society – so if Canada views me as a person without worth, or at least without sufficient worth to allow me to remain with my family, friends, home and work, perhaps they truly are right and perhaps it is morally wrong of me to challenge their judgement – after all, who am I to question them?

Nevertheless, I have challenged the system.  While I truly hope that the judiciary is independent of political considerations, I suspect that any judge reviewing the application will realize the political implications were the application to be successful – and perhaps that will be the actual reason they ultimately reject my application.  Of course, if that happens, I will never know that this was truly the reason, since the Court does not explain why they choose to refuse an application.

None of this changes the basic fact: I will have to wait to learn the outcome of the application.  I truly wish I was able to simply set it aside and forget about it.

Eight Weeks and Counting:

8 Weeks

While 8 Weeks is enough for optimum health, it isn’t enough for the court to make a decision.

It’s been quite a while since I posted anything on this blog. It isn’t because I haven’t been busy – I know I’m spending more time in various online forums reading and answering a broad range of immigration questions and constantly marveling at the inane and dehumanizing nature of the process.

No, I haven’t been posting anything because I’ve been both busy working and patiently waiting, thinking that I would be seeing a decision – on pretty much anything – at some point soon.

As of today it has now been eight weeks since the Registry first forwarded my file to the Court for disposition.  The Court rules say that the handling will be in a timely fashion but they never bother to define what that means precisely.  Certainly, at some point it will reach a stage at which it is ridiculous – is that six months or a year?  Presumably, at that point a separate filing (to the Appeals Court?) for a Writ of Mandamus would be a potential option, but I’m certainly not expecting it will take that time.  I read an interesting case yesterday of someone who has been waiting since 2006 for completion of the processing of their family class (spousal) sponsored permanent resident application.  That person even had a letter from CIC saying “Therefore, it appears that this application is proceeding normally with no unexpected or unwarranted delays“.  It reminded me that Mandamus is always an option, provided that one can reasonably argue it’s been “too long”.  Two months, while annoying, isn’t quite in that camp.

I suspect, but cannot confirm, that the issue is there’s real substance to the arguments, which means the case cannot be summarily dismissed.  In addition, the Court rules state that if a decision to grant review is made, the hearing date must be between 30 and 90 days from the date review is granted (at which time a scheduling Order is entered).  Thus, to issue a positive determination, they must have a courtroom and a judge.

At any rate, it’s more of the same: hurry up and wait.  Eight weeks might be enough to get to Optimal Health, but it isn’t enough to get to a Court decision.  Not yet at any rate.