Aravind Shaju, 25, had to resign from his job as an engineer at a lab in London, Ont., due to the economy’s impact from the COVID-19 epidemic. There is no problem with Shaju’s work or the functioning at Shamir Canada, which makes eyeglass lenses. Shaju, who was born in India and moved to Canada in 2017, is unable to work legally since his application for permanent residency is stalled.
Shaju applied in April 2020 under the Canadian experience class stream, and he was advised that a response period of six to eight months is common. He has finished his studies at Fanshawe College. Shaju is still waiting for his permanent residency application to be processed 14 months later. He claims that even his application’s security check appears to be stopped.
“My entire life is in jeopardy due to this massive delay,” he told. “It’s generating a lot of financial stress and is affecting my mental health.” Shaju has spoken with other candidates for permanent residency, and he claims that many people who applied in the first and second quarters of 2020 have had longer-than-usual delays in getting their applications completed.
People in the same predicament are using the hashtag #Finalize2020Q1Q2InlandPR on Twitter to urge the government to finalize permanent residency applications for Canadians who applied in early 2020. There is also a petition online with over 3,100 signatures.
According to Shaju, being unable to work is causing enormous hardship for people who are already estranged from family members. In addition, because he lacks residency, he is unable to obtain health care. “They are, in reality, tampering with people’s lives here,” he stated.
According to a statement from the agency, the pandemic has caused processing delays because offices are closed and immigration workers have moved to work from home. According to the statement, the ministry is also working to modernize the immigration system in order to expedite applications.