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Canadian resident stranded abroad after travel documents stolen

Ekaterina Usmanova, who was stranded in a foreign country for two months, admits that she “was in tears.” [she] I could scream

In August, Canadian permanent residents returned to Russia for the first time in almost three years to visit family. In, the COVID-19 pandemic forced them apart

On the return trip to Toronto, the 26-year-old had a layover in Istanbul, Turkey. Her journey took a detour here when her travel wallet and Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) card were stolen.

When she started to panic, she remembers thinking,

She says a blind spot in the security cameras at the airport meant police officers couldn’t see the culprit behind the brazen theft.

Alone in a country she had never visited, Usmanova went to the Canadian Consulate in Istanbul to try to exchange her PR card after calling the police. Being a permanent resident rather than a full citizen, she was not even allowed into her office and was denied access to her.

Her next move was to submit documents to the Canadian Embassy in Ankara, Turkey’s capital. That was two months ago.

Usmanova contacted Immigration Canada, the Refugee Service and the Citizenship Service numerous times. Outraged, she told CTV National her news:

Nearly devastated, she admits, “During this really stressful journey, I used up all my emotions.”

Ekaterina Usmanova. (Courtesy of Ekaterina Usmanova)

Eight years ago, when Usmanova was a teenager, she moved to Vancouver alone to attend college. Three years before she moved to Toronto and continued to build her life, she decided to start her professional career as a marketing manager and professional photographer.

“I don’t own a home outside of Canada because I’ve spent most of my adult life in Canada,” she says.

Traveling with Canadian documents as a permanent resident, she figured the emergency of a young woman stranded in a foreign country would expedite the process by Canadian authorities. That’s not her experience.

“I thought it would take about two weeks, four weeks at most, to pack up and come back. I definitely didn’t expect it to be like this.”

She added that the government’s lack of action “is definitely adding a big, bitter drop to my tear glass at this point.”

Usmanova said she had to move 15 times in 58 days while in Turkey. She was forced to leave her country and return to Russia. She is currently waiting to be contacted as to when she can return to Canada.

Last week, she said she received a message from her employer in Toronto.

“Unfortunately, my company had to exit my position after two months of instability,” she says.

Usmanova doesn’t know how she’ll be able to pay for her condo in Toronto. She attends college and financially supports her sister, who lives with her.

With a brave face, she says. I’m a big fighter I don’t want to think that we could lose our apartment. ”

Sitting in a shared condo in Toronto, sister Sofia Usmanova reads the sticky notes on the fridge that the two write and leave for each other.

One of Sophia’s favorite notes is “Thank you for your unconditional love.”

The 20-year-old has been calling immigration, refugees, and Canadian citizenship for weeks, but she always gets the same frustrating automated message.

Sofia Usmanova and Ekaterina Usmanova. (Courtesy of Ekaterina Usmanova)

When asked if she thought the Canadian government was responding to her sister’s situation with urgency, she was firm. ”

Reflecting on her experience trying to seek help from Canadian immigration, the young Usmanova said, “The problem is not just her problem, it’s the immigration system, the whole system is not working properly.” I’m here.

Canada is set to welcome nearly 1.5 million new permanent residents over the next three years. This is also to make up for severe job shortages in multiple sectors. But one immigration lawyer believes the Canadian system is chaotic and deficiencies need to be addressed immediately.

Attorney Matthew Jeffery told CTV National News:

“The government should devote more resources to immigration departments to ensure they are staffed to process applications in a timely manner.”

CTV National News reached out to Immigration Canada, Refugee Service and Citizenship Service several times this week regarding Usmanova’s case. However, they failed to provide an update by the deadline.

The day after Ekaterina Usmanova sat down with CTV National News, she received the following email from the Immigration Service. However, due to COVID-19, all existing and new applications will continue to be processed, although delays may occur. ”

“[Email]doesn’t feel very satisfying,” Usmanova says.

She wants to get back to the life she worked so hard to create in Canada.

She shares this message with everyone reading her story, including the Canadian government. The life I have built for the last eight years and my home in Toronto. Please, I want to go home. ”

Usmanova has been placed in an immigration stalemate and has been unable to return to Canada for 71 days.

Canadian resident stranded abroad after travel documents stolen

Source link Canadian resident stranded abroad after travel documents stolen

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