People Pay Extra to Couriers to Submit Family Reunification Program Applications

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We all understand the concept of first-come first-served application on Canada’s immigration programs. What’s not so clear is how each application reaches its destination once they are sent out.

According to Toronto Star,  sponsors are reportedly paying a premium to get their applications considered ahead of most others for Parent and Grandparent program.

The said program imposes a quota of 5,000 new applications a year, cutting off intake after the number is reached. Paperwork applications must be submitted to a single government processing center in Mississauga by mail or registered courier. And, as expected, applications are considered in the order in which they arrive at the facility.

The demand on immigration applications has been so high that the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has stopped receiving applications just three days after the program opened in Jan. 4 because it already took 14,000 submissions. Those who missed the cut will have to wait another year to apply.

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Applicants who are anxious to be reunited with loved ones are now turning to local couriers who offer special sponsorship services and guarantees their clients’ applications will be among the first to land in government hands. The companies charge up to $400, according to The Canadian Press.

Using courier companies might improve chances of moving up in the application queue.

For a fee between $80 and $200, “immigration delivery” services of VW Express, a courier company based in North York helps people make complicated sponsorships in order, and takes them to the government immigration processing center hours before it opens. Delivery crew wait outside the processing center at 6 in the morning, an hour and half earlier than national couriers typically arrive.

“You want to just be in the first group, so that you can increase your chances of getting your application within the quota,” he said. The company’s website boasts customers can “be first in line with VW Express,” said Lennox Walters, one of its owners.

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Another courier company, Metro Mississauga Courier Service, claimed it’s even at the facility 10am the day before it opened. According to its CEO, it delivered 192 sponsorship applications this year.

Some applicants even think that those close to the government processing center have the advantage.

“I think the people living in the Toronto area, they have really an advantage over us,” said Calgary-based Maggie Li, who is trying to bring her parents over from China.

As the trick of employing these private courier companies to submit applications might just be worth the money, more are expected to follow suit and prepared to shell out more money.

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“Next year it will just be worse,” said Neeraj Sappal, who is hoping to bring his parents from India.

“Everyone will know about the small companies and they’ll end up charging $1,000 and just deliver all the applications.”

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