A Delburne woman wants to know why the federal government makes it so hard for parents living in other countries to get visas to visit their families in Canada.
Alina Anderson, 36, was trying to arrange for mother Stana Enache, 60, of Romania, to come for a three-or-four-week visit to see her two grandchildren this month, including a three-year-old granddaughter she has yet to meet.
“It didn’t even cross my mind they would say no. That’s ridiculous that you can’t even bring your parent to come and see you,” Anderson said.
“I’m sure many, many people go through this and they are very disappointed that a parent cannot come and visit a child and grand kids.”
Seven years ago, her mother received a visa for a three-week visit to Canada when Anderson was living in British Columbia.
Anderson said buying a return ticket for her mother to come to Canada is cheaper and easier than taking her two children to Romania.
Her mother was denied the visa from the Canadian Embassy in Romania last week because the federal government says her ties to Romania were not strong enough to ensure her return, she lacked the personal assets and financial status, and Anderson lacked personal assets and financial status to be her host.
Anderson said she couldn’t understand why her mother has become now become ineligible.
“I’m the only one here. The whole family is back home. It makes no sense to me. She’s not a millionaire, but she has two houses paid for and she has land.”
Anderson, who owns Dan’s Custom Autos with her husband, said she could send in more documents to prove her family’s financial status.
But her mother is retired and her finances aren’t going to change.
Colin Connon, constituency assistant for Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen, said just because someone got a visa in the past doesn’t mean they will get one in the future.
“It’s not necessarily a unique situation. It’s something we see fairly regularly,” Connon said about the government’s refusal to give Enache a visa.
“Most of the time with visitors visas is that the officer is not satisfied that they will return at the end of their stay.
“That’s usually the biggest issue.”
He said re-applying with more information can sometimes help.
Anderson said her mother is not convinced that more information will make a difference and has given up trying to get a visa.
Anderson said she could send in more financial information about her family’s finances, but her mother pension is apparently too small.
“That’s what most of the people get there. That’s not going to change.”
And her family ties to Romania aren’t going to change.
“How can you prove you’ll go back? What do you have to do?”
She said if the government is so worried about parents trying to stay in Canada they should require both the parents and the child to sign a legal document that would allow the government to automatically deport parents if they try to stay in Canada permanently. Government could make people forfeit money or property.
“I would do it. I would sign the paper because I know she won’t stay here. Not ever. She has everything back home.”
According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, people who apply for a visa must show they are not inadmissible and must show the following:
• Are in good health and do not pose a health risk.
• Do not have a criminal record.
• Do not pose a threat to Canada’s security.
• Have a valid passport or travel document.
• Have enough money to support themselves.
• Have sufficient ties to their home country.
• Will leave Canada when their visa expires.
• Meet all other requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.