Join the CCR in calling on the Canadian government to establish a standard of 6 months to reunite separated children with a parent in Canada by writing to your Member of Parliament.
If possible, we encourage you to follow up after you send the letter by asking to meet with the Member of Parliament to discuss the request.
Below is a template letter that you can use as a starting point. Adapt it as relevant!
Name of your Member of Parliament
[Find your MP at https://www.ourcommons.ca/members/en]
[You could also – or instead – send a letter to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship]
Re: Reuniting separated children with parents in Canada in 6 months or less
Dear Mr./Ms. (family name):
I am/We are writing to join the Canadian Council for Refugees in calling on the Canadian government to establish a standard of 6 months to reunite separated children with a parent in Canada.
Describe briefly your organization and its concerns for family reunification (if writing on behalf of an organization), or say a few words about yourself (if writing as an individual). If writing to a local MP, mention that you /your organization are in their constituency.
Currently, many children wait years to be reunited with one or both parents in Canada, while the government processes the immigration application.
The long wait is particularly unacceptable for children who are separated from both parents. In some cases, both parents have been forced to flee as refugees, leaving their children temporarily with a grandparent, another family member or even a neighbour. In other cases, one parent has died or is otherwise not available to care for the child, and the parent in Canada struggles to look after their child at a distance.
Canada is legally obliged under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to deal with family reunification applications “in a positive, humane and expeditious manner” (article 10).
If you/your organization knows of separated children waiting for family reunification, summarize their situation as an example of the problem. Otherwise, you could use one of the profiles here as an example: https://ccrweb.ca/en/separated-children-awaiting-reunification.
In the case of people who made a refugee claim in Canada and who were accepted, they must seek family reunification by applying for permanent residence for themselves and for their family members, whether in Canada or abroad. According to current processing times, the parents in Canada can expect to wait 23 months for their permanent residence – only after that will their family members overseas be able to finalize processing and travel to Canada. The government does not disclose the processing times for family members overseas.
In the case of resettled refugees, family members from whom they have been separated can be processed through a One Year Window application. The government similarly does not disclose these processing times.
I hope you agree that Canada can and must do better!
Can we count on you to take action to ensure that separated children are quickly reunited with parents in Canada?
We would be grateful for an opportunity to discuss this matter with you.
Your name and title (if writing on behalf of an organization)
c.c. The Hon. Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Minister@cic.gc.ca
Looking for guidance on the correct forms for writing to MPs, or Ministers? See https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/protocol-guidelines-special-event/styles-address.html#a2