Nupur and Ajay Soon were married in India in 2018. When saying their vows, they dreamed of a new beginning in Maple Ridge, B.C. However, after more than two years of being wed, they are still yet to reunite with Shaurrya, Nupur’s son from a previous marriage.
Nupar says she is overwhelmed by the sadness of being separated from her 15-year-old son. Shortly after they were married, Nupur moved to British Columbia to live with Ajay. At this time, the wait time for a permanent visa from India was about one year. However, Nupar already had her visitor visa, which made her coming to B.C. easier. While she stayed with her new husband, her son stayed behind in New Delhi with his grandmother to finish his studies. He planned to join his mother and stepfather in Canada once the school year ended.
However— this is not how things ended up playing out.
It has been two and a half years since the couple applied for Nupar and Shaurrya’s permanent residency and although they were told they are eligible by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), they are still waiting. The family has had help from their local MP and has attempted to reach out several times to the IRCC, but they have not received any answers.
Nupar has sole custody of her son, she last saw Shaurrya’s father in 2007 but has heard through common relations that he has passed away. Shaurrya desperately misses his family and yearns to meet his new baby sister, Atishi, who is now 16-months-old.
Aleksandar Stojicevic is the couple’s immigration lawyer and he says this is a valid and straightforward visa application that should’ve been greenlighted months ago. “This is a case where they should issue the visa and allow the child to come as soon as possible”.
Stojicevic is the founding and managing partner of MKS Immigration Lawyers and has more than 24 years of experience in litigation. Aleksandar is considered to be one of the most respected immigration lawyers in Western Canada and he is speaking out about the Soon family’s reunification delay. Aleksandar believes that the delay is coming from the High Commission of Canada in India. With the pandemic sweeping the area, these requests have fallen to the wayside.
“Really what needs to happen is somebody needs to make this a priority,” he said. “If the Canadian staff in India can’t do it, well, they have to do it from somewhere else.”
The IRCC has yet to comment on the Soon family’s situation. However, their website highlights how important family reunification is: “immigration policy and legislation have a long tradition of supporting family reunification.”
Canada’s family reunification program allows Canadians and recent immigrants who are permanent residents, to sponsor family members like parents, spouses, and dependent children. This is what the Soon family had in mind when applying for the program.
With the pandemic raging in India, Nupar says she is worried sick about her mother and son in New Delhi. She has advised them to stay home and orders everything they need online. The stress from this situation is causing Nupar to have trouble sleeping, and she is now on anti-anxiety medicine to help her function. “That’s the only way I can sleep at night because things are so scary,” she said.
Ajay is feeling guilty about bringing his wife to B.C. When they got married, he was working as a software designer for Cisco. He feels as if he is missing out on Shaurrya’s wonder years. Ajay also questions if his family is truly welcomed in Canada.
“When we got married, I thought, we’re going to have to have a nice little family and a great place to live in,” he said. “What I’m worried about is I put Nupur in a really tough spot. This community, Maple Ridge, has really accepted us. We really like it here. But sometimes I wonder if Canada has really accepted us as a family.”
The MKS Immigration Lawyers team can provide more information and answer any questions you may have about permanent visas or any of the other measures available to achieve permanent residency in Canada.
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