American citizen living in N.S. told to leave Canada over $5 fee
Published Monday, February 1, 2016 6:22PM AST
Last Updated Monday, February 1, 2016 7:08PM AST
A young man living in Nova Scotia has been told he has to leave Canada immediately because he was short $5 on a Citizenship and Immigration fee.
Aidan Volker went to high school and college in Nova Scotia, and his parents also live in the province, so he was stunned when his application to have his work visa renewed was denied.
Volker received a letter from Citizenship and Immgration Canada that stated:
“You are a person in Canada without legal status and as such are required to leave Canada immediately. If you do not leave Canada voluntarily, enforcement action may be taken against you."
“It was rejected over $5,” says Volker. “I was immediately heartbroken.”
Volker, an American citizen, paid a $250 fee, but it turns out there was an extra five dollars required that, he says, wasn't listed online.
“With the change of government there's been a number of good changes, and good programs, and they're putting things online, but all the information has not been there. There's been glitches in the system,” says Blake Wright, Volker’s immigration lawyer.
The 26-year-old approached his member of parliament, who agreed to write a letter to the immigration minister on his behalf.
“It's not as satisfying as I would like it to be. I thought it was going to be resolved within the week,” says Volker.
While Volker hasn't had a direct response from his MP's office, Nova Scotia MP Andy Fillmore says Minister MacCallum responded to his letter almost immediately and has now flagged the case for his department.
“I believe that there is certainly discretion within the rules, as well as compassion within the department in administering those rules, so we have a good hope for a positive outcome,” says Fillmore.
Volker and his lawyer say they'll happily pay $255 again if they have to.
“Aidan is a perfect candidate to be in Nova Scotia. He's got the skills that Nova Scotia wants and is trying to retain,” says Wright.
Volker says he just wants this administrative error to be resolved and his permit accepted so that he can get back to work in the country he's called home for nearly a decade.
“It's been very frustrating. It's a hardship,” says Volker.
Wright says his colleagues across the country are dealing with similar issues. He says he personally knows of a few dozen cases that are hung up because of glitches in the system.
CTV News reached out to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, but they were not able to provide us a response before news time.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell