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Canada: Iranian students’ PR delay is “detrimental”

More than 200 Iranian students and recent graduates in Canada are reporting long waits to become permanent residents, which the Iranian Canadian Congress claims is having a “detrimental effect” on their lives.

Many Iranian students are saying their applications have been stuck in the background check stage for long periods. Image: manjurulhaque/Twenty20

Applications have been stuck in the background check stage for "an extended period of time"

According to the government of Canada website, the average processing time for PR applications is normally 57 days.

However many Iranians are claiming waiting times of 16 months or more, and are reportedly concerned the Canadian government is holding up Iranian immigration applications after US president Trump issued a ‘travel ban‘ on people from Iran in 2017.

“The extended delays have many detrimental effects on the lives of these students”

In a statement on its website, the ICC said it has been approached by many Iranian students in Canada whose applications for PR have been stuck in the background check stage for “an extended period of time”.

It said the ICC has communicated its concerns to the minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, and requested that he look into the issue.

“The extended delays in processing the PR applications have many detrimental effects on the lives of these students,” the statement said.

“We believe that these individuals are valuable to Canadian society because of their skills and experience and should not face such difficulty and uncertainty in their path to becoming Canadians.”

According to the ICC, a survey conducted by a group of Iranian graduate students had revealed they are unable to make long-term plans, are “paying higher tuition fees” than permanent residents and “cannot commit to further studies or academic positions because these institutions require assurances that they can stay in the country”.

Affected students have been tweeting their frustration, using the hashtag #DelayedIranianApplications to describe the alleged discrimination by the Canadian government against their applications.

In support of the movement, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Michael Bryant has penned an open letter to Hussen, urging the ministry to take action with regards the “public reports of systemic discrimination by Canada against Iranians”.

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