New Express Entry system triggers CEC backlog, would-be immigrants frustrated
British endocrinologist Satya Dash has lived in Toronto for four years and loved his job and the city so much he applied for Canadian permanent residency in August 2014.
With his work experience in Canada, the Cambridge-educated physician applied under the old Canadian Experience Class or CEC, which at the time took less than 12 months to process.
In July, Dash was supposed to start as a staff physician at the University Health Network and teaching at the University of Toronto, but a backlog has put his new job on indefinite hold.
Across Canada, the backlog — said to be the result of Ottawa’s deployment of much needed resources on the new Express Entry system — has wreaked havoc on the lives of thousands of CEC applicants.
While Dash can still remain at his fellowship job until 2016, Ukrainian 3D graphics artist Illia Guliaiev’s work permit with Gameloft in Montreal expired in June, and he waited 145 days for a bridging visa toward a new job at a computer game developer in Toronto in November.
“This is devastating for a great number of skilled workers from around the world who chose Canada as their new home and who are willing to give their best to become a driving force of Canada’s economy,” said the 27-year-old from Kyiv, who applied for CEC in June 2014.
“People who applied under CEC have already proven their ability to become valuable members of society through their hard work, taxes and community involvement,” added Guliaiev, who borrowed money from his parents and couch-surfed at friends’ homes to survive because he couldn’t work without the bridging visa.
Fabio Fantuzzi, 35
Came in 2011 from Italy with wife, Laura Ferron, for a commercial helicopter licence and stayed on as a pilot in Calgary;
Left Canada in May 2014 after work permit expired and bridging visa was refused;
Applied from overseas in August 2014 and the couple is still waiting in Italy.