Sergiy Baydachnyy

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Playing casino with government or my message to Justin Trudeau

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Hi Justin,

My name is Sergii Baidachnyi, and I live in Canada for almost three years. I was relocated inside my company from Ukraine, and I am trying to be Canadian since that time. I always follow all Canadian rules and regulations, and pay taxes from my world-wide income even if I am getting my income not in Canada. In fact, I like Canada, and I thought of Canada as of my new home.

I didn’t vote for you, because I don’t have this privilege yet, but I voted for you in my heart, since you promised transparent government, clear processes and equal opportunities for everyone despite their status. Therefore, I was waiting for Canada Day as a special day to celebrate 150 years of diversity, innovation and community, and I could not imagine that I would be forced to celebrate it in the USA due to such a strange and complex discrimination that didn’t allow to get a short-term visa for my minor daughter who wanted to spend her summer vacation with me in Canada.

My 13-years old daughter, Mariia, legally lives in the USA with her mother, who is getting PhD in Purdue University. She worked hard this year, so we thought that spending her summer in Vancouver would be a good idea. We would visit lakes for fishing, u-pick raspberry on local farms, hiking, cycling, take private ballet lessons in Vancouver ballet and so on. In February, we requested a new foreign passport from Ukraine to avoid any problems with expiration dates, updated her I-20 form and, finally, at the end of May we filled our application for a visitor visa. Of course, we submitted all requested documents and I had explained that my daughter could have been a part of my PR application or could have had a student permit by law when I moved to Canada in 2014, but I didn’t ask for anything like this because she is going to spend a couple more years in the USA.

Everything looked good and system confirmed a few times that once any additional documents are required, they would be requested:

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And here:

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The processing time to receive Canadian visa from the USA is 21 days, but it was manageable.

You may be surprised, but there is no way to call to New York office (where her documents were processed), there is just a web form, and even the call center cannot answer anything about visa processes there (after 40 minutes waiting on the line). So after 21 days have passed, and I did not get any reply about her documents, I contacted Canadian visa center through the web form, explaining that my daughter has to go back to school in the beginning of August and we would be happy to get the visa before this time. The answer that I got from the government was useless:

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It looks like an automatic reply about nothing. Pay attention that at the same time I emailed to the USA consulate in Vancouver about extending her F-2 visa to the US (after all, we found that we don’t need it to go back to the USA), and you can compare how many details the answer of the American officials has compared to the answer from the Canadian government (including many ways to contact them):

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Finally, in 30 days after application was submitted we got a standard message that our visa application is refused:

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Of course, my first question was: Is it a casino? You have to put some money into the system, click a button and see if you win. I answered all questions, provided all the requested documents, and the system has been telling me all the time that everything was OK, and should some additional documents be needed they would be requested. But the visa was refused without attempts to request these documents, any replies to my inquiries, and after more than 4 weeks of processing time!

I cannot explain it at all. Should I assume that a person in the New York office is discriminating people by status or nationality? If it’s true, I would like to know if it’s an official government position? Probably, they need to reach some internal KPIs (like number of refused applications) or the process is simply broken. In this case we cannot talk about clear processes at all. It’s even not about why Donald Trump’s administration thinks that my daughter may attend the US school, but the Canadian government has an opposite opinion about her legal presence in the USA (not even Canada). It’s exactly about the absence of the clear processes and transparent government, because there is no way to make government employees be responsible for their discriminating decisions.

You can invest huge amount of money to IT infrastructure, but it’s really not helpful, because a person in the New York office will waste all this investment being is too lazy to find an attached I-20 form (which was attached to the application in our case) or request any additional documents that system hadn’t ask before – it’s much easier to click ‘refuse’ and request one more application (and make people wait another 30 days plus collect additional processing fee).

You know, last year I participated in some projects to make Canadians’ lives better and safer. We developed a software solution to help people manage after global disasters, we worked on a solution for a better environment for people with disabilities, etc. So, if you need my help to develop a bot that will be able to improve the process, just let me know.

In two hours after our visa was refused I opened the Twitter and found this message:

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I really wanted to recommend Canada as a host for all International events, but I have mixed feelings now. I don’t want people to go through the same nightmare with irresponsible government officials that I did. I still hope that my issue is not related to Canada in general, and it’s just New York office’s mistake. But my daughter’s vacation is ruined anyway.

Of course, I resubmitted the application, paid the fee again, attached a huge amount of additional documents to my case, but Mariia will not need any visas in 30 days because she will start her classes at the US school. I filled out one more web form asking them to speed-up the process, but there is no much faith any person reads those or cares. This time I didn’t even receive an auto reply. That’s why I am in the USA right now and I am spending my Canadian money here to grow their economy.

Best regards,

Sergii

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Written by Sergiy Baydachnyy

07/07/2017 at 5:08 PM

Posted in Uncategorized