After being stuck in immigration limbo for years, people around the world who had applications for permanent residency assigned to a Canadian immigration officer – notoriously known among them as the worker who fell asleep,” useless” or idle – are finally seeing significant movement on their records.
Some immigrant hopefuls have even landed in Canada in recent weeks while others are booking one-way tickets with newly stamped passports in hand – just months after CBC News broke their stories of the torturous wait under an officer known only to them under the code “DM10032”.
The agent had left their claims largely untouched for years, prompting questions about their status as employees or even the person’s existence.
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) confirmed to CBC in January that DM10032 was an active employee, but did not explain why dozens of candidates assigned to this officer have been left in the dark since applying. to become permanent residents in 2019. says he doesn’t “comment on personal details.”
It now appears that the department has largely cleared a backlog of permanent resident (PR) applicants who have been waiting for more than two years under DM10032.
I go to sleep most nights very sad. I think I lost a bit of me.– Ikechukwu Uketui, Nigeria Public Relations Candidate
“As soon as this story was published, we found out that the officer…started working on these cases,” said Oluwaseun Adewolu, who has seen his residency finalized in the past two months after nearly three years of incarceration. waiting.
“Two months later…literally everyone in my WhatsApp group has all had PPR [passport requests]. We have a number of people from this same group who will be landing [in Canada] This weekend.”
Adewolu, who is a member of several social media groups created around Canada immigration delays and DM10032, said she knows more than 30 candidates assigned to this agent who have had significant movements in their files over the past two last months.
According to IRCC’s written responses submitted to the House of Commons last March, officer DM10032 was overseeing 77 applicants as of February 2, 2022 – 59 of these applicants waited over a year, and only five who waited over two years.
It’s unclear if those with the longest wait times have been reassigned to other immigration workers, or if Agent DM10032 has been able to speed up the processing of applicants since their story was published in late January. .
Adewolu said there was now a “happy” atmosphere among the candidates.
“It’s like giving birth to a new baby, like getting a promotion at work,” Adewolu said. “People joke around more, people are just more open…compared to when we were all depressed and sad about the 26, 27 month wait.”
Adewolu’s family left Nigeria and landed in Winnipeg in March. She enrolled her children in school and did job interviews.
“It’s been three weeks, but to a large extent I’ve seen the glamour, I’ve seen the reality of Canada, I’ve seen how welcoming the country is.”
Jibi Mathews in India had told CBC that she last heard of DM10032 in March 2020. In an update to CBC, she said she had received her passport application (the last step before to become a permanent resident) a few weeks ago.
“[I] I would like to thank IRCC and Officer DM10032 for finally making a decision on my PR request after two years,” she wrote.
‘Waiting is killing us,’ family says
But some are still waiting.
Kiranjot Randhawa, who made a PR request in November 2019, said she was one of the few people still waiting under DM10032 for more than two years.
“[We] try to stay positive about our candidacy, that one day we will get this golden email,” she said from India. “This hope keeps us alive. But the waiting is killing us.”
While she’s happy for others who have seen movement, she said the wait has become “more torturous” for her family in recent months.
“They book their tickets and shop and everything, and I’m still waiting every day to check on my status,” she said.
Those assigned to DM10032 are just a small sample of the mountain of files pending at IRCC. Canada had a backlog of more than 1.8 million immigration applications as of February 1, according to IRCC data.
Since January, CBC has received more than 100 emails from desperate candidates assigned to various officers asking for help in sharing their stories – some waiting up to five years for a decision.
“It’s been very depressing, like I go to sleep very sad most nights. I think I’ve lost a bit of myself,” said Ikechukwu Uketui, an optometrist in Nigeria. He applied in November 2019 and his file was assigned to the agent code “AB14712”.
“It really breaks me mentally, sometimes I just cry…I just can’t wait for it to be over.”
IRCC hopes $85 million will help reduce wait times
In an email response to CBC News, IRCC admitted it needed to improve its operations and said it was “taking steps” to reduce its app inventory which has increased during the pandemic.
He noted that the federal government has proposed $85 million in new funding for the department this fiscal year, which would help hire more staff to work on the backlog and help reduce wait times.
“Please note that the processing of an application may involve more than one agent and that applications may be transferred from one processing center to another to make processing as efficient as possible,” the spokesperson wrote. ‘IRCC, Jeffrey MacDonald.
Ottawa morning8:13Formerly inactive immigration officer is now working on inactive cases, applicants say