Despite recently announced relaxations by Justin Trudeau’s government targeting necessary administrative formalities, the situation remains difficult in Warsaw, Poland, where the majority of refugees fleeing war and Russian army attacks are congregating.
Several testimonies received by Radio-Canada in recent days evoke a still “catastrophic” situation, with long waiting times and a large number of people trying their luck, either at the Canadian embassy or at that of the Polish one Capital accredited visa application center Ottawa to register biometric data.
This step is essential for certain groups of people to obtain the Canada-Ukraine Emergency Travel Authorization, a program that started March 17.
It’s always too complexdeplores Michael Shwec, President of the Quebec Section of the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians.
His organization, he explains, has just sent three people to Warsaw
To facilitate and help people with these steps.
” We know that some have successfully completed these steps, but we want this process to go faster. »
More than 110,000 requests
To date, Ottawa has received more than 110,000 applications from Ukrainians hoping to come to Canada, according to data provided on Thursday on the sidelines of a news conference by Immigration Secretary Sean Fraser with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
More than 30,000 requests approved, said Radio-Canada Aidan Strickland, spokesman for Minister Fraser.
recognizes the latter
recent concerns in Warsaw because of a
increase in demand.
Many Ukrainians, for example, would come without having made an appointment online, it is said. However, this is mandatory.
” We are also aware that many clients are eager to obtain their visas and come to Canada for temporary refuge. »
In addition, Immigration Canada mentions communication problems between this center in Warsaw, managed by the company VFS Global, and Ukrainians who want to regain their passport once the immigration process is complete.
Customers who receive notification that their passport is on the way should await further instructions from the VAC before coming to a VAC in personsays Secretary Fraser’s spokesman.
catastrophedeplores the Bloc Québécois
Everything that is happening is proof that Immigration Canada is a disaster, announced Bloc Québécois member Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe. The latter is said
furious and doesn’t mince words about Ottawa and this
Bureaucracy that plagues this ministry.
The problem, he argues, is that it affects people’s lives. How is it that a second center announced with great fanfare has not yet opened? It’s unfortunate and sad. People suffer from war and experience another tragedy simply because of this incompetence. Immigration Canada no longer takes the helm, but the whole ship has to be changed.
A second center is waiting to open
In view of this strong demand, the Trudeau government let go of some ballast at the end of March.
The obligation to provide biometric data, which has been sharply criticized by the opposition parties, had previously been lifted for three groups: those under 18, those over 60 and everyone whose visa for Canada had already been approved.
Ottawa had also pledged to open a second center to process these biometrics in Warsaw soon. However, for reasons
administrativewe are told it is not operational yet.
Nevertheless, this new center should see the light of day
in the next few days, we explain in the wake of Secretary Fraser. Another similar office is also opened in Berlin.
” We continue to react in real time, expand capacities and adapt our processes. »
We deployed additional personnel, material and equipmentadds Aidan Strickland and refers to a
unprecedented measure and
volumes to handle unusual cases.
The Ministry will continue to monitor the situation and will allocate additional resources as needed to ensure application submission [d’autorisation de voyage] make their appointment to collect biometric data and have their visa application processed in good timeshe argues.
From the point of view of the Congress of Ukrainian Canadians, the establishment of charter flights, which has been under discussion for several weeks, must now be seriously examined by the Trudeau government.
A mother who arrived in Poland with two children in her arms has to buy three plane tickets. It’s really difficult. We would like the government to take a leadership role on this issue, but that is not possible and it is a small gapsays Michael Shwec.
No announcement has been made on the matter — at the moment — but Ottawa has kept the door open to that proposal. Talks were being held with airlines, Minister Fraser said at the end of March after being bombarded with questions on the issue by the Bloc Québécois.
With the collaboration of Yanik Dumont Baron
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