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Delays in your Canadian immigration application? A writ of mandamus can help

Delays in your Canadian immigration application? A writ of mandamus can help

Delays in your Canadian immigration application? A writ of mandamus can help

August 18, 2023
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The Canadian federal courts have recently addressed the pressing issue of processing delays in immigration and study permit applications through two significant cases. Applicants sought legal intervention in the form of a writ of mandamus to compel Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to process their applications promptly.

A writ of mandamus is a legal recourse used to request the courts to direct IRCC or other administrative bodies to issue a decision within a specific timeframe.

In one of the cases, Tala Ghaddar, the primary applicant, along with her spouse and three children, pursued a writ of mandamus to oblige IRCC to process their application for permanent residence. This application, initiated in 2016, had extended for over six years. The family had utilized the Express Entry pathway and received nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). By 2017, Ghaddar had received an invitation to pursue permanent residency through the PNP. Nonetheless, since 2018, Ghaddar repeatedly requested updates from IRCC, only to be met with inadequate information about her application’s status.

The court determined that the family fulfilled the prerequisites for obtaining a mandamus order, given that the delay was evidently unacceptable and unjustifiable under the circumstances. Moreover, IRCC could not offer any valid justification or clarification for the prolonged wait.

Consequently, the court directed IRCC to finalize the family’s application processing within 90 days and granted the family compensation of $1,000 for the considerable duration of uncertainty.

In a parallel scenario, another applicant pursued a mandamus writ to compel IRCC to arrive at a decision regarding his study permit application. Armed with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from Zhejiang University in Canada, the applicant secured admission to the University of British Columbia’s PhD program. In 2021, he submitted his study permit application.

The court ruled that the applicant failed to demonstrate substantial prejudice stemming from the delay, as he was able to commence the program remotely from China. Moreover, it was determined that no profound disadvantage was incurred as the option to pursue studies elsewhere remained open.

These cases underscore the significant implication that a mandamus writ is an extraordinary recourse, necessitating the fulfillment of cumulative conditions for its issuance. As evidenced by these instances, the conditions and requisites for a mandamus can be intricate to meet, granted solely in scenarios marked by substantial prejudice and an absence of alternative remedies.

In the event of facing substantial application delays, the mandamus writ could be considered as an option, albeit typically explored as a last resort. Exploring alternative steps prior to resorting to a mandamus could be beneficial.

What Are Your Available Courses of Action?

While IRCC has established service standards to outline typical processing durations for applications, delays can sometimes occur beyond these benchmarks, resulting in longer processing times than the set service standard.

To commence, it’s imperative to ensure that all mandatory documentation and requisite applications are current to avert unwarranted delays. Additionally, you can conveniently monitor your application status on IRCC’s official website, utilizing the processing tool designed to provide accurate estimations of anticipated waiting times.

You also have the option to initiate a webform inquiry or connect with the IRCC customer center to seek elucidation on your application’s status, gaining a substantive explanation for any delay. If your queries to IRCC remain unanswered or prove unsatisfactory, you might explore the possibility of enlisting a local member of Parliament to request a status update.

Furthermore, you can initiate an Access to Information and Privacy Application (ATIP), through which you can obtain an applicant’s Global Case Management System (GCMS) notes. Alongside GCMS notes, you may also request Computer Assisted Immigration Processing System (CAIPS) notes or Field Operations Support System (FOSS) notes.

These notes encompass insights into concerns or uncertainties expressed by IRCC officers regarding your application, offering valuable insights into potential issues. They also provide you with the opportunity to furnish supplementary documentation or evidence to address any identified concerns.

Ultimately, engaging a legal professional might be worth considering. They can assist in drafting a formal request letter via IRCC’s webform. This letter could elucidate the adverse impact of application delays on your circumstances and outline the diligent efforts you’ve undertaken to engage with IRCC.

Explore these avenues thoughtfully to address processing delays effectively and proactively.

How Processing Times are Calculated:

Processing times within IRCC are established using historical data, specifically gauging the duration it took to process 80% of previous applications.

Initiating from the moment IRCC receives your comprehensive application, processing times extend until a decision is reached.

Exact processing durations are challenging for IRCC to predict, given the distinctiveness of each application and the variable timeframes they entail. Nevertheless, IRCC does furnish an approximation based on the nature of your application.

For instance, individuals applying for provincial nomination via Express Entry can anticipate processing spans of approximately nine months, whereas those seeking a study permit from outside Canada typically encounter an estimated period of seven weeks.

How ASI Immigration Can Help:

In the face of application delays, ASI Immigration is your partner in navigating the complexities of Canadian immigration. Our experienced team offers personalized guidance tailored to your situation. If you’re experiencing significant delays, consider contacting us to explore various avenues, such as checking your application status on IRCC’s website, inquiring with IRCC customer support, filing an Access to Information and Privacy Application (ATIP), or engaging a lawyer to communicate formally with IRCC.

Remember, IRCC’s processing times vary based on application types, and ASI Immigration can assist in deciphering and addressing these delays effectively. Our expertise ensures that you are well-informed and empowered to make informed decisions throughout your immigration journey. Turn to ASI Immigration to help you overcome processing delays and navigate your path to successful immigration to Canada.

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