Canadian resident stranded abroad after travel docs stolen


Stranded abroad for 2 months, Ekaterina Usmanova admits she’s “cried all the tears [she] could cry out.”

In August, the everlasting Canadian resident returned to Russia for the primary time in almost three years to go to her household. Like so many who have been unable to go to each other whereas on reverse sides of the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic had compelled them aside

On her return journey to Toronto, the 26-year-old had a layover in Istanbul, Turkey. That’s the place her journey took a large detour when her travel pockets and Canadian everlasting resident (PR) card have been stolen.

As panic started to set in, she recollects pondering, “I’ve simply misplaced my total life; I’ve simply misplaced every part I’ve labored for.”

She says blind spots with the safety cameras on the airport meant officers couldn’t see the offender behind the brazen theft.

Alone in a rustic she’d by no means visited earlier than, Usmanova filed a police report after which went to the Canadian consulate in Istanbul to try to substitute her PR card. She wasn’t even allowed to enter the workplace and was denied entry as a result of she’s solely a everlasting resident, not a full citizen.

Her subsequent transfer was to file paperwork with the Canadian embassy within the Turkish capital of Ankara. That was two months in the past.

Usmanova has reached out to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada on a number of events. Exasperated, she tells CTV National News: “It’s been really difficult to get a hold of anyone human, to get any human correspondence.”

Nearly defeated, she admits, “I’ve exhausted all of my emotions throughout this really stressful journey.”

Ekaterina Usmanova. (Courtesy of Ekaterina Usmanova)

Eight years in the past, Usmanova moved by herself to Vancouver as a teen to attended University. Three years in the past, she determined to maneuver to Toronto to proceed constructing her life and to start out her skilled profession as a advertising and marketing supervisor and an expert photographer.

She admits, “I don’t have a home anywhere else but in Canada, because for the majority of my grown-up life that’s where I’ve lived.”

Travelling with Canadian papers as a everlasting resident, she thought her emergency scenario as a younger girl caught abroad would expedite any processes by Canadian officers. That hasn’t been her expertise.

“I thought it would take roughly two, maximum four weeks for me to get my things in order and come back. I definitely had no clue it would have gone this way.”

She provides that the federal government’s lack of motion “is definitely adding a huge, bitter drop into my glass of tears at this point.”

Usmanova mentioned she’s needed to transfer 15 instances over a 58-day interval whereas in Turkey. She was compelled to go away the nation and return to Russia, the place she’s now ready for any phrase on when she will return dwelling to Canada.

Last week, she mentioned she acquired a message from her employer in Toronto.

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

Usmanova is not sure how she’ll cowl hire on her Toronto condominium, the place she financially helps her youthful sister who’s in school and lives along with her.

Putting on a courageous face, she says, “I don’t want to think negative. I’m a big fighter. I don’t want to think we could lose our apartment.”

Sitting of their shared Toronto condominium, her youthful sister, Sofiia Usmanova, reads the sticky notes on the fridge that the 2 would write and depart for one another.

One of Sofiia’s favorite notes reads, “Thank you for your unconditional love.”

The 20-year-old says she’s referred to as immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada a number of instances a day for weeks however at all times receives the identical irritating automated message: “We’re experiencing a high volume of calls, please call back later.”

Sofiia Usmanova and Ekaterina Usmanova. (Courtsey of Ekaterina Usmanova)

When requested if she believes the Canadian authorities is dealing with her sister’s scenario with the urgency she believes is required, she flat out says, “no, you don’t feel like you’re being appreciated or that this case is important to the Canadian government.”

Reflecting on her expertise attempting to achieve a Canadian immigration official for assist, the youthful Usmanova shares that “it’s not just about her it’s about the immigration system, the whole system doesn’t work properly.”

Canada plans to welcome almost 1.5 million new everlasting residents over the following three years, partially to fill essential job shortages in a number of sectors. However, one immigration lawyer believes Canada’s system is in chaos and deficiencies must be addressed instantly.

“The status quo is not acceptable, you’ve already got huge backlogs, you’ve got huge delays and yet you want to increase immigration simultaneously,” lawyer Matthew Jeffery tells CTV National News.

“The government has to devote greater resources to the immigration department to ensure the staffing is there to process applications in a timely way.”

CTV National News reached out to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada about Usmanova’s case a number of instances this week. However, they have been unable to offer an replace earlier than our deadline.

One day after sitting down with CTV National News, Ekaterina Usmanova acquired an e mail from the Minister of Immigration’s workplace, saying, “please be assured that every effort is made to deal with the applications received in the most efficient and effective way. However, due to COVID-19, all existing and new applications will continue to be processed but may experience delays.”

“I don’t think (the email) could remotely be considered as satisfactory,” says Usmanova.

She needs to return dwelling to the life she’s labored so arduous to create in Canada.

She shares this message with anybody who’s studying her story, together with the Canadian authorities: “I’m trying to get back to my life in Canada, I want to get back to my sister to take care of her, I want to return to the life I’ve been building for the last eight years, and my home in Toronto. Please, I want to come home.”

Usmanova has been left in immigration limbo, unable to return dwelling to Canada for 71 days and counting.


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