Canada’s Immigration Call Centre Overworked – Now and Forever?
By Author: Admin | March 1, 2010
In a previous weblog entry, I commented on the utility of using Canada’s call centre, for, among other things, checking the status of an immigration application filed with Canada’s immigration authorities. Indeed, lawyers with proper authorization do regularly ascertain some basic information about the file through the Canada’s immigration call center. Recently however, due to the expansion of immigration call center employees, it has been more difficult to reach a person at Canada’s immigration call center and obtain information. The immigration department has confirmed that officers normally answering the phone line are currently training other people to answer calls at the call center. In addition, there’s been marked increase in the amount of telephone calls the call center has received. The normal volume of calls is around 30,000 per day, whereas earlier this week they received 70,000 calls per day.
The inability to reach somebody at the call center has caused people to try to ascertain their application’s status on Canada’s immigration website. This has overtaxed the abilities of Canada’s immigration website, and for that reason people are unable to get the status of an application on the website as well.
The reason for the recent surge in inquiries can be any number of things, such as the situation in Haiti, or the amount of visitors in Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics who may wish to extend their status. However, it is reasonable to assume, that immigration will remain an important part of Canada’s growth, given the demographic challenges that Canadian society shall face over the next 20 years. Such challenges have been outlined in a Parliamentary Budget Officer’s Report dated February 2010.
The demographic predictions in this report are consistent with what is happening in Europe and Japan where the proportion of elderly (i.e. economically non-productive) persons is increasing in relation to work-aged persons. The lack of work-aged persons in Canada and the simultaneous economic burden on Canada’s health and pension systems spells future deficits for Canada’s governments well into the future.
The demographic projections in this report were premised on current Canadian immigration levels remaining the same. Thus, pro-immigration advocates could argue that increased immigration beyond the current levels would have the effect of increasing the government’s tax base (assuming that the new immigrants are integrated into Canada’s labour force).
It is hard to see what other alternatives there could be. Relatively xenophobic and Japan is investing heavily on robots to take care of its elderly. This will no doubt exacerbate their stagnant economy as robots won’t expand their tax based as much as human beings. I’m more partial to human contact, and will likely have this opinion as I age into retirement.
Before the economic woes of 2008, Europe was contemplating increased migration from developing countries as opposed to the dead-end ‘guest worker’ programs of earlier decades.
Given the paranoia of terrorism, and the consequent inconvenient road blocks this poses for productive, legal migration, I can foresee a bright future for immigration lawyers in developed countries like Canada, as long as Canada’s economy, and the world economy, is managed responsibly.
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