Visa delays hurt an entrepreneur

Visa delays hurt an entrepreneur


A Quebec businessman risks losing a $3 million contract due to the Government of Canada's delays in issuing visas. 

« It's terrible because we don't know where we're going,” laments Luc Harvey, president of Harvey Medical and former MP for Louis-Hébert for the Conservative Party of Canada from 2006 to 2008. 

Mr. Harvey has contracted with a non-governmental organization in Uganda, which provides medical care on the front line with Somalia via neighboring countries, for refugees and surrounding populations.

This group wishes to acquire medical equipment as well as generic drugs “as a matter of urgency” in order to supply, according to him, the bush clinics.

Discussions with this partner were undertaken in July 2021 and in February last, officials asked to visit Quebec suppliers through Mr. Harvey, who is a consultant in the field.

The delegation includes four people in all, including health care workers.

Deadlines over deadlines 

To do things right and fairly To avoid unnecessary delays, the businessman has retained the services of a Quebec lawyer.  

“Technically, all that remains is to print the visas. I was promised that it would be done before the end of August. »  

Two months later, still no visa in sight; and Mr. Harvey fears collateral damage to his reputation. 

“I have excessive pressure from all sides. […] We are not talking about immigrants returning via Roxham Road. These are people who come to spend money here.

“I make promises. Worse, I look like a jerk to suppliers. I'm losing my credibility everywhere,” adds Mr. Harvey, who is completely helpless in the face of this situation.

The businessman no longer counts the steps taken with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to resolve this file, which is making him lose face. Just in legal fees, he incurred costs amounting to $10,000. 

“This is a case that is becoming very heavy and costing me dearly in money and credibility. . » 

Shop Elsewhere

Recently, Mr. Harvey learned that his clients have obtained their visas to go and buy what they need in Switzerland rather than in Canada. They got their visas in two weeks, he says.

While the game may not be over yet, the entrepreneur maintains that it is one to midnight.

< p>IRCC recognizes that there are delays in processing all types of applications, including visitor visas.

“Due to the backlog of applications from the ministry and despite our efforts, we know that many applicants are experiencing considerable wait times for the processing of their applications. We continue to do everything we can to reduce processing times,” said Isabelle Dubois, spokesperson.  

Ten times more visa applications&nbsp ;

  • Over 746,000 visitor visa applications were issued from January 1, 2022 to June 15, 2022 by the Government of Canada compared to 76,000 during the same period in 2021.
  • In the 2021 economic and fiscal update, $85 million was provided to reduce delays.
  • En last August, Minister Sean Fraser promised to hire 1,250 new employees by the end of the fall to increase processing capacity and reduce short-term delays.

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