KABADDI KABOOTERS: Will Trudeau Government Get Tough After Immigration Report Says Half Of Kabaddi Players Who Came To Canada Between 2014-2017 Didn’t Go Back To India

More than 120 Kabaddi players who came to Canada for the annual sports tournaments between 2014-2017 have either vanished, applied for refugee status or somehow obtained a Canadian work visa, according to an Immigration Department report. Both Liberal and Conservative governments have been criticized the special Kabaddi visa program as politically motivated to get votes. The kabaddi visa program continues and as recently as 2017, current immigration minister Ahmed Hussen approved its continuation but it will be interesting to see if in light of the new report, the program gets restricted or dumped all together.

SURREY – More than 120 Kabaddi players who came to Canada for the annual sports tournaments between 2014-2017 have either vanished, applied for refugee status or somehow obtained a Canadian work visa, according to an Immigration Department report.

Instead, an internal Immigration Department report reveals more than 120 professional kabaddi players in a three-year period have either vanished within Canada, applied for refugee status or been able to obtain a work visa, reported the Vancouver Sun.

A 2018 internal Immigration Department report, obtained under an access to information request, says “Kabaddi players applying through Chandigarh (Canada’s visa office in the capital of the Punjab region) are typically young, single, unsalaried males with limited economic prospects in their country.”

The report acknowledges that it’s hard to control abuse of Canada’s quick-entry program for the players, which is managed by three large kabaddi clubs in Canada.

“It is difficult to gauge a player’s skill or standing in the sport as there is no formal structure. … Misrepresentation and fraudulent documentation are a matter of concern.”

The internal report said that of the 261 players who entered Canada between 2014 and 2017, only about half returned to India. Twenty-six per cent were somehow able to obtain work permits (which are easier to apply for in Canada than in India), 21 per cent can’t be traced at all and a few made inland refugee claims, reported Vancouver Sun.

Both Liberal and Conservative governments have been criticized the special Kabaddi visa program as politically motivated to get votes.

The kabaddi visa program continues and as recently as 2017, current immigration minister Ahmed Hussen approved its continuation but it will be interesting to see if in light of the new report, the program gets restricted or dumped all together.

About the Author

DESIBUZZCanada
Raj Paul Dhillon is an award winning journalist based in Vancouver, Canada. He received his second National Best Editorial Award from the National Ethnic Media and Press Association of Canada, presented to him by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on November 21, 2010 in Toronto. Aside from an extensive writing/editing work with a number of newspapers and magazines (currently the editor of the South Asian LINK newspaper, the oldest South Asian newspaper in Canada), he has also done freelance writing for mainstream publications like The Vancouver Sun and Georgia Straight newspapers. He holds a degree in Communications and in Film from Simon Fraser University.

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