| Current Toronto Time: 
Canada working to eliminate backlogs to reunite families

Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander launched the next phase of Canada’s plan to eliminate backlogs in the Parent and Grandparent program (PGP).

Citizenship and Immigration Canada received 5,000 complete applications, and new intake into the PGP program will pause until next year. By the end of 2014, an additional 20,000 parents and grandparents are expected to be welcomed to Canada, marking a substantial reduction in wait times for all applicants.

The PGP program will reopen to new applications in January 2015. Eligible sponsors can bring their parent or grandparent to Canada temporarily under the Super Visa, which is a multiple-entry visa, valid for up to 10 years, that allows a parent or grandparent to stay in Canada for up to 24 months at a time without having to renew their status.

 While new in Canada, I spent many days looking for employment. I sent out resumés, answered ads in  newspapers and followed up every possible lead.

A friend told me of an opening in Ajax, Ontario. He gave me the number of his contact at the organization and asked me to give him a call.

“Andy is a good guy, he’ll point you in the right direction,” said Pramod.

Now we lived in Mississauga and when I dialled the number, an automated message told me my call could not be completed as dialled, and that I should add one or zero before the number and try again.

I realized it was a long-distance call and I tried again, this time adding one before the number and was connected. Andy was every bit as nice as my friend had promised and after getting my details, said he’d call me back in a day or two with an update.

I was still following the old Indian habit of being careful with long-distance calls, and besides, it did not seem polite to let Andy pay for one when he was calling for my job.

“Just give me a missed call and I’ll call you back,” I told him.

“A missed call? What’s that?” he asked.

“You know, when you call me but hang up after a single ring but your number shows up and I call you back,” I rushed to explain.

“But why would I hang up? If you don’t pick up my call then you miss it, I get that, but how can I ‘give’ you a missed call?” he persisted.

And it dawned on me that the ubiquitous missed call was a unique Indian invention!

        – Rudra Ganguli

Posted: Apr 1, 2014

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