Farm work delayed, but Canadian visa came through

Tell Claudienne

With Claudienne Edwards

Saturday, June 07, 2014

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Dear Claudienne

I have been travelling to Canada as a seasonal agricultural worker for 21 years. I was informed by the Canadian High Commission that since their Immigration Department introduced biometric testing this year, they discovered that someone had used a passport in my name to travel to Canada.

I was interviewed at the High Commission on March 19 and instructed to bring my old passport and birth certificate to their office the following day to prove that I was the rightful holder of the passport. They told me that the Ministry of Labour would contact me.

My Canadian employer, who was very frustrated because of the situation, decided to call the Jamaican Liaison office in Canada to find out if my passport was OK and if I had been granted a visa. They told him that I had been granted a visa. He then bought a ticket for me to fly to Canada on April 25 and sent the flight details to the ministry. The ministry called me on April 23, and on April 25 I went to the ministry in Kingston by 8 am with my luggage. However, at 5 pm the ministry told me that they had not received my passport and did not know if I had been granted a visa.

This situation has been very stressful as thIis seasonal work in Canada has helped me to provide for my family. My employer is quite annoyed, as twice he made reservations and paid for the tickets after the ministry told him that I had been granted a visa, but then someone else had to be sent in my place.

Could you please find out for me what has happened to my passport, and if I will be able to travel to Canada as a seasonal worker this year.


Dear DH

Tell Claudienne was informed by the Ministry of Labour that they would contact you after the High Commission had completed their investigation.

We were advised by a department of the Canadian High Commission that the Immigration Department would contact you, but after some weeks had passed and you did not hear from them, we sent a facsimile of your letter to us to the Public Affairs Department of the High Commission with the request that it be transmitted to the High Commissioner's office. We note that the matter was quickly resolved thereafter.

The Ministry of Labour told us on Wednesday that you flew to Canada on Friday May 30.

Good luck.

Dear Claudienne

I am seeking your advice regarding the RGD. In 2007 my mother applied for her birth certificate so that she could renew her passport. After a very long wait I visited the office in Portmore and was told that my mother's surname was not on the birth certificate, even though it stated that she was the female child of my grandmother, whose Christian name and
surname were printed on
the certificate.

They told me that my mother would have to provide her school record, even though she was born in 1933. Those records no longer exist, and no one had another solution.

However, I want you to see the irony of this. My mother is a British pensioner who lived in England for 30 plus years, travelled many times on various passports and had many passports renewed, and suddenly they have realised that her surname on the birth certificate is missing.

My mother is very frustrated, but I want her to have her passport as I live in Canada and would like her to take a vacation. Please give me your advice as I have sent the RGD an email which they have ignored.

I await your answer and thank you for your assistance.


Dear LS

As you did not send us specifics about your mother's application to the RGD, such as her name or the tracking number for her application, the RGD could only respond to your concerns in a
general way.

According to the RGD, persons born to unmarried parents prior to the 1950s did not have the father's particulars placed on the birth record, and were therefore registered without a surname. The RGD said that because of the global threat of identity theft and fraud, it does not print certificates for incomplete records. The RGD said that your mother must do a Record Updating procedure known as a Late Entry of Name or an 'LEN.'

The RGD stated the following:

"The Agency has, over the last several years, made special provisions for Senior Citizens to update the records by showing strong evidence of the surname they have been using over the years. Consequently, Senior Citizens are not required to provide a copy of their school record, because the RGD will use internal evidence such as copies of their children's records or their marriage certificates, as well as other types of documentary evidence. Such documentary evidence could be photo identification, utility bills or land titles. It is critical that Seniors take as much documentary evidence to the RGD office when they apply for an LEN. Additionally, without getting into detail about the LEN process, another special provision is that Senior Citizens can 'self declare.' The requirements for an LEN application and the application form are available in any RGD office and online at ('documents and forms')."

"The Passport, Citizenship and Immigration Agency is best positioned to respond to the concerns of LS about
the passport process/requirements. Although the process is simple, we would be happy to assist the applicant through the process or provide further information. Kindly forward the relevant information to facilitate this, and we use this opportunity to wish mother and daughter a speedy reunion."

If you send us some specifics about your mother's application, we will give the RGD this information so that they can assist you.

Good luck.

Have a problem with a store, utility, a company: telephone 936-9436 or write to: Tell Claudienne c/o Sunday Finance, Jamaica Observer, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5; or e-mail: Please include a contact phone number.




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