Canada immigration backlog causes parents huge debt after birth of baby

Published:  12 Jun at 6 PM
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Canada’s immigration authority’s worsening backlog of applications waiting to be heard will cause financial hardship for a Hamilton family for years to come.

Canadian citizen Carey McGregor met and married his wife Sylvia in 2007, before moving to Taiwan to take work. The couple lived in the Far East for several years, enjoying a satisfactory lifestyle including an attractive apartment and a car, and Sylvia gave birth to their first child.

However, the McGregors decided to return to Canada in order that their children might enjoy a better quality of life. Leaving everything behind, they had to start over again, and life seemed good until Sylvia became pregnant with their second child.

Sylvia was not a Canadian citizen, and had applied for permanent residence status, with all seeming to go well. As her pregnancy advanced, she was advised to go for a C-section; however, OHIP refused to cover the cost as her residency application had not yet been approved.

The hospital agreed not to bill her for the operation until her status had been confirmed. Just before the birth, Sylvia’s permanent residency and OHIP status were granted, and the C-section birth went well. Thinking all their problems were over, the couple were devastated to receive a $20,000 bill from the hospital.

When contacted, the hospital said the delay in processing Sylvia’s application had forced them to bill for the operation. To make matters worse, Carey was laid off shortly afterwards, and they simply don’t have the money to pay.

According to previous media reports, almost three million Canadians living abroad could face the same trauma on moving back home, again due to the immigration backlog. The couple are now struggling to make monthly payments to the hospital and wish they’d never left Taiwan.
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