The Lie Canada Tells Itself (And the World)
I haven’t published a blog post in ages and the main reason for that is, I had been battling immigration in Czech Republic from May 2018 until November 2018 and am currently battling with Canadian Immigration because they have refused 3 Visa applications for my legally married husband. I would like to point out that I am currently 35 weeks pregnant and immigration for both CR and Canada are well aware of this. Thus their immigration systems have been actively keeping my husband from me, his wife, and nearly newborn daughter. I am going to give Czechia a pass on this since I am not a citizen of that country and thus not invested in their politics, but I will say that the CR government makes no pretence about being anything but anti-immigration and anti-inclusion of Non-EU citizens in their society unless you are white and from Canada, USA, or Australia. Canada on the other hand has recently been caught with their ‘immigration pants’ down as they claim to be open and welcoming to all nationalities. Canada Immigration refuses to acknowledge their shortcomings, refuses to respond to a desperate and distraught soon to be mother, and refuses to reform a broken system that has long been a bureaucratic nightmare for anyone trying to apply for entry to Canada.
My husband, a Tanzanian citizen but current resident of the UAE has been refused 3 Visitor’s Visas to Canada in the last month. The recurrent reasons for his visa denial is that he has not satisfied the IRCC, that he will leave Canada at the end of his legal stay. Each time we were refused a visa we contacted an MP who acquired the case notes and thus detailed reasons for the refusal, as well as advice on submitting a new application. Each subsequent application was more detailed than the next, including more supporting documentation of my husband’s intent to leave the country to return to the UAE for work. Each refusal came with new reasons for refusing him, we have literally been caught in a Catch 22 and it is crystal clear that no matter what we do, say or submit, the Embassy of Abu Dhabi will not give my husband a visitors visa to Canada.
Because of outdated, racist, and blatantly discriminatory immigration policies of the Czech Republic, I had to quit my job and return to Canada where I haven’t lived in over 4 years, I currently have no income because I am not exactly a desirable candidate given my advanced pregnancy. My intent however, is to return to work asap after my baby is born, provided there is someone to care for my newborn daughter. We had intended for that caregiver to be my husband for a few months but well….. Thankfully I have an incredibly supportive family willing to take me and my husband in. In fact my mother has written 3 letters of invitation for my husband, each more detailed than the last, provided a salary letter, bank statement, and 2 proof’s of identity; to assure the IRCC that my husband and I will be staying with her, that she can afford to support us if need be and that she is willing to be there for us through it all.
Because of Canadian Immigration, my husband will not be able to be present for the birth of his child, and unless I get on a plane and fly to Tanzania, he will not be able to meet his daughter for a long time, up to a year is how long Family Sponsorship would take. Because of Canada immigration, my husband and I are considering uprooting his life in the UAE and mine in Canada to move to Tanzania where neither of us have employment, health care, or a home; simply so we can be together as a family. It is unequivocally unacceptable to keep a family apart during such a crucial time in their lives. My husband is not a criminal, in fact we supplied a police clearance certificate from both the UAE and Tanzania as well as his Biometrics, to solidify his status as ‘NOT A CRIMINAL; my husband has no affiliations with any religious, ideological or political organizations of any kind. My husband likes football and fitness and would love to travel the world but can’t because of his passport. My husband is really excited to be a Dad but he is being robbed of this by Canada Immigration. My husband’s never illegally entered nor overstayed a visa in any country, he has spent the last 8 years working legally in the UAE, as documented by his work visas. His present work visa expires in March 2020 and is eligible for renewal should both parties agree, but that and a proof of employment letter granting temporary leave, is not enough to prove he will return to the UAE for work.
At this stage I’d like to take a minute to ask my readers to share this post and to call on the general international travel community to cease applying for Visas to go to countries like Canada, USA, the EU, unless crucial, because these places do not respect your time, your efforts and the amount of money you have to spend to apply. They do not respect you as a human being, your hopes, your dreams. These countries only respect the size of your bank account, your country’s GDP and trade prospects. These countries treat people as the sum of their passports and nothing else. Instead of coming to these “lands of the free” instead of supplying them with millions of dollars in application fees, instead of spending money at their restaurants, shops, hotels, etc; go to a country that respects your right to enter without a 3rd degree review of your viability of a person deserving of basic decency. Go to a country that would welcome, value and respect you for the taking the time and effort to visit that country. I can think of several countries that I would include on this list but Canada would not be one of them, nor would anywhere in the EU or the continent of Europe for that matter, nor would Australia, or the USA place on that list.
I have been to Tanzania 3 times; once on my own, once with 2 friends, and once with my husband. Each time I have been welcomed in the absolute most friendly manner, and I have been treated with such outright generosity and respect, that it breaks my heart that my country cannot repay that kindness to the citizens of Tanzania. That even my legally married spouse, soon to be father to a Canadian citizen cannot be repaid his country’s kindness to me.
Here are a few other countries of note that I have had the absolute pleasure of travelling through but their citizens would have a very hard time enjoying that same hospitality from Canada:
Malawi, Kenya, Ethiopia, Morocco, Oman, Jordan, Nepal, Vietnam, Philippines, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Seychelles, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Zimbabwe.
If you are Canadian but even if you are not, please bombard Ahmed Hussen’s (Minister of Immigration) email with complaints, your own Canadian visa refusal story, and call him to take action against a broken and backwards system. Use my name and my husband’s name (Chelsie Joy Evans and Moses Makoye Nguno) and tell him you are writing on our behalf.
His email is: Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca
Tweet at him, and at Justin Trudeau and the IRCC.
If you are from a country with restricted movement; email your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and demand they limit access for Canadians, Australians, EU citizens, and Americans to your country since your access is so severely limited. Your rights and freedoms have been severely restricted by these governments, we need to level the playing field.
Here are some facts about the IRCC in 2017:
- Over 600,000 visitors visas were refused at 100$ an application
- Therefore over 60,000,000 Cdn$ in application fees collected from refused applicants
- 75% of visa applications from the Middle East and Africa were denied.
In less than 6 hours of sending out a Facebook call to action I had 5 people on my friend list write to me and tell me about their Canadian immigration issues with their spouses and what they did. In every case, it was a woman trying to get her husband a visa to Canada, leading me to wonder if it is easier for men to get their wives a visa to Canada. According to my MP’s office they have seen heart breaking humanitarian cases such as mine not get approved but watched as old white men get their barely legal SE Asian wives admitted to the country. Why are expatriate women having such a difficult time bringing their spouse to Canada. One close friend had to cancel her wedding in Canada, another friend was 5 months pregnant and was luckily able to get her husband a visa on humanitarian grounds, another has simply given up trying to deal with the Embassy of Abu Dhabi. This is all anecdotal evidence of course but it is troubling nonetheless.
Thanks for reading, please share and comment and take action against unjust visa regulations.