Immigration committee did a research on the impact of coronavirus on Canadian immigrants

Canadian immigrants

Staying apart from the family and uncertainty is affecting mental health of Canadian Immigrants. Due to travel restrictions, separated family members, approved permanent residents unable to travel to Canada. Because of such reasons people and families are suffering in a pessimistic manner.

The Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration of Canada is directing a research study to inspect the impact of COVID-19 on the Canadian immigration system over the course of no more than eight sessions.

After completion of the study a report with the findings will be submitted to the House. The government then will have 120 days to take actions accordingly; however, they are not obligated to make any change in policy.

The research will cover the issues mentioned below that are relevant to the coronavirus impact on Canadian immigration:

  • Application backlogs and processing times for the different streams of family reunification and the barriers preventing the timely reunification of loved ones, such as denials of  Temporary Resident Visas (TRVs) because of  section 179(b) of the Immigration and Refugees Protection Regulations, and the on-going closures of Visa Application Centres;
  • Examine the government’s decision to reintroduce a lottery system  for the reunification of parents and grandparents; to compare it to previous iterations of application processes for this stream of family reunification, including a review of processing time and the criteria required for the successful sponsorship;
  • TRV processing delays faced by international students in securing TRVs, particularly in francophone Africa, authorization to travel to Canada by individuals with an expired confirmation of permanent residency, use of expired security, medical, and background checks for permanent immigration.

 

For such issues, the House has arranged a session and the committee is meeting at 3:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Rest discussion and decisions will be taken in another meeting scheduled on November 16, and 18. Immigration minister, Marco Mendicino, has also been invited to appear before the committee on November 25 and December 2.

Among other early findings, the mental health of immigrants and their Canadian family members was examined in two scenarios relating to family separation.

Their survey took a mental health snapshot of 548 respondents, who had been separated from family for months or even years at a time. Of these, a reported:

  • 18 per cent have suicidal thoughts;
  • 22 per cent had to stop working;
  • 70 per cent have anxiety and 44 per cent generalized anxiety;
  • 35 per cent started having panic attacks;
  • 78 per cent have periods of severe depression;
  • 76 per cent have severe energy loss;
  • 57 per cent now have physical pain;
  • 52 per cent gained or lost weight abnormally;
  • 85 per cent have sleep problems.

 

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