When immigrant and refugee youth lose their permanent resident card (PR card) or have incorrect information (date of birth (DOB), name spelling) on their PR card, they are often denied access to important services and resources. For example, some have not been able to register for school or apply for education funding due to lack of proper identification documents, while others have not been able to set up banking and living accommodations.
Many youth who have missing PR cards have little or no means of accessing the necessary documentation to get through the long and tedious process to attempt to replace their card. Consequently, they may become stuck in a long and complicated bureaucratic process with little chances of success. This is especially true for homeless and transient youth, as well as those who are not living or supported by family or guardians and are trying to establish their independence and self-reliance.
Lack of access to proper identification documents has lead to a wide array of systemic barriers for youth, which has in turn contributed to increasing mental health problems amongst those affected. This situation has also led many youth to become transient and resort to crime or other risky behaviors as a means of survival.
Why this project? We want to:
1. Better understand the problem. This will include identifying:
- the situations that lead to youth not having PR cards or incorrect PR cards
- the efforts made to replace or correct mistakes on PR cards and whether they are successful
- the problems in trying to replace or correct PR cards, and
- the impacts of these problems on the lives of refugee and immigrant youth
2. Advocate for bureaucratic change in order to make it easier for future newcomer youth to replace or correct misinformation on their PR card
3. Raise awareness in our communities about the impacts of missing and mistaken PR cards on the lives of refugee and immigrant youth
Hopefully, we can all work together for change!
What might come out of it?
- The CCR publishing a report
- The CCR Youth Network developing public education resources (digital storytelling, videos, pamphlets, posters, etc.)
- The submission of formal complaints to Citizenship and Immigration Canada
These outcomes are flexible, they will depend on the results obtained from the interviews.
How we work:
The CCR Youth Network has partnerships with various participating member organizations across the country who are involved in collecting youth's and service providers’ stories locally. Volunteers have to follow specific guidelines to make sure that consent and confidentiality of participants is respected. Once volunteers have collected the stories, they send their notes to the CCR Youth Network ID Committee, which is made up of newcomer youth, settlement workers, student volunteers, and CCR staff. Youth and service providers can also chose to share their story directly with the CCR Youth Network ID Committee.
Post research project, the CCR Youth Network may then contact some youth who have agreed to share their contact information with us and invite them to participate in a digital storytelling project. The goal of this digital storytelling project will be to create accessible, fun education materials to raise awareness about the issue in our communities.
Share your story:
Are you a young permanent resident (age 15-30) or a person who works with newcomer youth? Do you have a story to share with us? Click here to access the survey for youth or here to access the survey for service providers.
Would you like volunteer to help collect people's stories? Click here to learn about how to get involved.
By email: youthID@ccrweb.ca
By phone: 514-277-7223, ext. 3