Some Canadians trying to sponsor family members to Canada are upset that their applications are being delayed because of the federal government's decision to fast-track sponsorship applications from Haiti, which suffered a devastating quake that left more than 200,000 dead and more than 1.5 million homeless.
Veronique Irani said she began her quest 18 months ago to bring her husband Wael to Ottawa from Liberia, a country known for political corruption, instability and violence. She is frustrated her application with Citizenship and Immigration Canada could take even longer now that it has decided to speed up applications from Haiti. The agency is currently processing more than 3,000 applications from Haiti, with more expected.
Irani's immigration lawyer Julie Taub said it takes more than $30,000 to process one sponsorship applicant when health and social benefits are also included, money that could help more people if it were spent on relief efforts in Haiti.
Citing World Vision, Taub said $30,000 to $40,000 can help set up 80 to 100 field hospitals on the ground in Haiti.
"So where do you do the greater good?" she asked.
More than 87,000 sponsorship applications have been submitted with Citizenship and Immigration, and each one can take up to three years to process, according to the agency.