Continued long delays in processing at Nairobi

In 2010, Nairobi continued to be one of Canada’s slowest visa offices, particularly for refugee families.  Privately sponsored refugees wait on average over 3 years; family members of refugees, including children, wait on average 2 years and 4 months.

These long delays leave refugees without protection and children separated from their parents.  There are also significant costs – not just to the individuals affected, but also to Canadian society, as the long delays increase the integration challenges.

Some good news: the government has increased staff at the Nairobi office in 2010.  However, it is not clear that the increase is enough to bring processing times in line with the rest of the world.  And in the meantime, processing times at Nairobi for family members of refugees, already the slowest in the world in 2009, WENT UP in 2010.

 

Ernestine (not her real name) was recognized as a refugee in Canada in early 2008.  She had been forced to leave behind all but one of her children, cared for by various family friends (her husband had been killed previously).  Because they live in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the applications for the children were handled by the Nairobi visa office.   Ernestine’s children finally arrived in December 2010, nearly three years after she was accepted as a refugee.

 

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