by James Metcalfe – Pace Law Firm: I have recently been receiving many emails and inquiries from Egyptians who have applications for permanent residence in Canada being processed at the Canadian Embassy in Cairo. Many of these writers are discouraged at the long processing times they face, and the lack of urgency on the part of the Embassy. There is no way to answer the question in a few words but I will give it a try.
In short, each visa office is given an annual target, which is the government’s way of saying a quota for the number of visas to be issued in a calendar year. In the case of Cairo, they have about 3800 Federal skilled workers in process, and a quota of 640 visas for 2011. To further complicate matters, there are certain streams of skilled worker applications: those dating from before February 2008, and those received after that date.
The date is critical because in February, 2008, the government of Canada placed a moratorium on new applications, and they changed the selection criteria in June, 2008. Simply put, those who applied before 2008 are going to wait longer. Given this situation, I suspect that persons who applied after February 2008 can expect to wait 3 to 4 years to have their applications considered.
Obviously this is not good news for persons who want to leave Egypt as soon as possible, and I really can’t offer an immediate solution to the delay. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to complete your application thoroughly in the first instance to avoid any further delays in processing. We can help.