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Couples separated for more than a year by stalled immigration paperwork

   March 20, 2021 2:52 AM
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by Natalie Kalata

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Canada Toronto
Spouses waiting for their loved ones' immigration paperwork to be processed for over a year are speaking out after they say applications sent to a Mississauga, Ont., processing office have stalled completely.

The spouses who spoke to CBC News say they expected delays because of the COVID-19 pandemic — but nothing like this.

"Each passing day, just sitting and waiting and hoping that something would happen is [getting] more and more depressing," said 31-year-old Ravdeep Singh Khanna.

Khanna, a permanent resident, married his wife Chamanjot Kaur, 29, in India in December 2019, and says he began the paperwork for her to come to Canada right away.

But despite repeated calls to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada case processing centre in Mississauga, and to his member of Parliament, and even protests outside the building, Khanna is now one of several who say they have no choice but to speak publicly about their wait.

At first, he says, things went smoothly.

"I was very hopeful she would be with me within a month or two because of the process, the speed at which the process was going. But then the pandemic happened and everything got shut down," he said.

Khanna says the last update he received from the processing office was over a year ago, on March 9, 2020, saying his wife had passed IRCC's medical requirements.

The stress and anxiety caused by the silence since then, he says, is starting to take a toll.

"I've been suffering through depression, and I was diagnosed with gastritis induced because of stress," he said, neither of which he had before.

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