Rain, rain don’t go away
I thought I would close out the year 2009 with a little “feel good” story involving Canadian immigration.
This is about the Viviers family, who hail from sun-soaked South Africa. Unfortunately for them, three of the four family members suffer from a rare genetic skin disorder that makes exposure to direct sunlight extremely painful. As a result, they set out to find a reliably cloudy environment to move to. This prompted them, eleven years ago, to visit Prince Rupert, British Columbia, a place that holds the Canadian record for the least number of sunny days, pretty much every year.
The Viviers decided that they would like to remain in Canada while they applied for permanent resident status. But Canadian immigration authorities insisted that they first leave the country and then submit an application from abroad, as is normally done. This led to a lengthy series of court dates and appeals, which ended in 2004, when the Supreme Court ordered that the family be allowed to remain in Canada. Finally, five years later, they received their permanent resident visas.
For much of the waiting period, the Viviers had no permission to work but thanks to the generous nature of the good folks who populate Prince George they were well cared for all this time. So here’s a tip of my hat to all those who lent a helping hand.
Good Luck to the Viviers.