The government's decision to cancel almost 300,000 Canada visa applications has angered many applicants.
17 May 2012
Lawsuit brought over cancelled Canada visa applications
Rejected Canada visa applicants are taking the Canadian government to court over its decision to return almost 300,000 applications in order to eliminate the backlog.
Toronto immigration lawyer Lorne Waldman said he had been inundated with calls from angry would-be immigrants, furious that their Canada visa application had been rejected after almost five years.
As part of Canada's federal budget released in March, the government said it would be returning almost 300,000 visa applications, along with CA$130 million (£81.5 million) in refunds, to applicants who had applied before 2008 in an effort to deal with a backlog of applications.
Mr Waldman said he now had 40 clients, with more expected to join, who were angry at apparently playing by the rules, only to be told they now had to begin the process all over again.
"The irony of that is this is a government that's constantly telling us that people shouldn't jump the queue," said Mr Waldman.
"We have all these people who went into the queue, paid their money, followed the law, and now the government is saying it's too bad because we changed our mind."
The government's announcement was an unpopular one when it was made, with a Facebook protest group from many applicants based in India was start almost immediately.
The government has said the move was necessary in order to create a more efficient Canada immigration system which can respond to the changing needs of the labour market.
"The government is confidents that the provisions in Bill C-38 to eliminate the federal skilled worker backlog will withstand any legal challenge," said a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.