This is the case of the family of Hadis Afghanfar, 10 years old. He managed to board a plane at Kabul airport eight months ago. He eventually made it to Toronto, where he lives with his grandparents. Her parents were not so lucky and are still in Afghanistan.

I love my parents so much, I want them hereHadis told The Canadian News.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada ensures that certain requests from Afghan refugees are treated as a priority and that the goal of welcoming a total of 40,300 of them has not changed.

However, according to the immigration consultant hired by the family, it is impossible to have an update on the status of the application of the parents of little Hadis.

A traumatic experience

Hadis last saw his parents as they were weaving their way through crowds at Kabul International Airport in August 2021 in order to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban took over, says his step-grandfather, Mohad Asef Faqiri.

Hadis, his two younger brothers, his grandparents and his aunt were among the thousands of people trying to flee by air. Mr. Faqiri says they spent two nights sitting on floors covered in rubbish and urine and the sound of gunfire sounded all around them.

Hadis’ mother, who was nine months pregnant, eventually had to leave the airport with her husband and other children as they feared for their safety. Hadis, her aunt and her grandparents finally managed to board a plane and escape.

Hadis’s parents managed to cross the border into Pakistan in January. They have since been trying to join their son in Canada.

Five people on a couch.Enlarge image (New window)

Hadis, left, celebrating her father’s birthday in April 2021 in Kabul.

Photo: courtesy of Mohad Asef Faqiri

Since then, Hadis has enrolled in school and made friends, says Mr. Faqiri, but he constantly misses his parents.

Mr Faqiri fears the meager funds with which Hadis’ parents escaped to Pakistan are running out, especially now that they have an eight-month-old baby to feed.

They have nothing to eat therehe said.

Mr. Faqiri is also worried about Hadis. He feels very alone. He’s a little stressed and depressed. He worries a lot about his family. […] He needs his parents. He needs their love.

Automated responses

Kimia Moshiri, an immigration consultant, helps the family reunite in the country. She claims that all members have already completed the mandatory paperwork, which includes mandatory fingerprints and retinal scans. She adds that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told her that the application had been put on hold.

No matter how many times we follow up with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada or call, we only receive automated responsesshe says.

There’s really no one to hold to account. »

A quote from Kimia Moshiri, Immigration Consultant

Ms Moshiri says the family contacted MPP Doly Begum and MP Bill Blair. These represent the riding of Scarborough South West, where Hadis and his grandparents live. She says they were promised letters of support, but they were not received.

In a statement to CBC Toronto, Ms. Begum’s office said it take the necessary steps before sending a letter to the legal representative of the family.

Our social worker makes sure they get the letter as soon as possible said Mayeesha Chowdhury, a spokeswoman for Ms Begum.

For his part, a spokesman for Mr. Blair’s office said he works with family representatives on the next steps of their case.

This is an extremely difficult time for the family and we are committed to doing everything we can to support them.reads an emailed statement from his office.

Rapidlyif possible

One of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s policies since the Taliban took over was to prioritize visa applications for Afghans who have immediate family in Canada. But since August of last year, only 11,500 Afghans have arrived in Canada, far fewer than the 40,300 the federal government has pledged to welcome.

Moshiri says a representative from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada told her that the application would be processed quickly, since Hadis is a minor.

In an emailed statement, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada would not give details about Hadis’ family, but said its commitment to provide protection to 40,300 Afghans did not weaken.

Arrival times are based on the current location of the individual or family and the ability to process their requests accordinglythe statement read.

If we can move people quickly, we will, while ensuring that when people arrive in Canada, they have access to a place of safety and that they land in communities that have the capacity to help them integrate with success.

When the federal government announced its intention to welcome 40,300 Afghan refugees, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said it could take two years to reach that number.

With information from The Canadian News



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