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Blog > 2012 > Second-Class Families

Second-Class Families

October 1st, 2012

I was quite fortunate growing up. Not only did I come of age in one of the most peaceful countries in the world, but I got to spend considerable time during my early years with my grandparents, all of whom lived long lives. It is difficult to put into words how it feels as a youngster to be on the receiving end of a grandparent’s warm touch and smile. It may be hard to explain, but everyone who has experienced it knows how special it is.

In the last few weeks I have come across more than one newspaper article, which told of the disappointment felt by a Canadian family upon learning that a beloved grandparent, living abroad, could not attend a special family event because Canadian visa officers refused a request for a visitor visa. In one case, a grandmother living in a Middle Eastern country was denied the opportunity of attending her granddaughter’s wedding in Montreal.

What a shame, I thought – to deny a grandmother and her Canadian offspring the joy of sharing the granddaughter’s wedding.

What is wrong here is that we have a system in place that effectively creates two classes of grandparents and by extension, two classes of Canadian families. The first-class Canadian families have grandparents (or parents for that matter) who live in countries like those in Western Europe, from which Canada allows visa-free travel. A German grandmother may, on a whim, board a plane and visit her Canadian family members any time she wishes to.

The second-class Canadian families have grandparents in countries like India, China, and the Philippines, from which Canada requires a visitor visa before travel. Too often these tourist visas are refused, and for reasons that are discretionary at best. How many missed family milestones? How many disappointed Canadian grandchildren? There should be only one class of Canadian families. It isn’t fair and it isn’t right.



 
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14 Responses to “Second-Class Families”

  • On October 2nd, 2012, Ntambi Lawrence said ...

    Hi
    Mr. David thanks for your message.It is so useful on my side.

  • On October 2nd, 2012, treza said ...

    really you are a great man MR. David.

  • On October 2nd, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    Well Said David ! It is exactly as you say , it appears it will only get worse

  • On October 2nd, 2012, Raj said ...

    U r absoulutely right,u need to be a parent to understand the hurt u feel when u cant visit ur loved ones,when u tend to take everyday as it comes,u cant plan years in advance..

  • On October 2nd, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    This is so true.. I had my grandparents in my life but my children do not have the option because there grandparents have been denied visa over and over..

  • On October 3rd, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    you absolutely right.my dear dad passed away last year in Canada when he visted my young sister.but I can not do to there until today.what a shame.the reason is the judge believe that i was going to immigrate to Canada.

  • On October 4th, 2012, Patricia said ...

    Mr. Cohen thank you you are doing an awesome job! My sister is in Canada but I never has the opportunity to go because I live in USA and I don’t have status right now, it is any help for me?

  • On October 6th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    my parents are missing every important event on my kids life,just because i made the choice to provide a better and safer life for my kids in this amazing country,it is a high price to pay

  • On October 10th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    bonjour mr david vous etes un grand homme et je salut votre courage a aider et informer les gens sur les nouvelles lois du canada je suis maman et grands mère enfants et petits enfants canadiens qui sont toute mafièrtèmais je vie dans un pays eloigne j ai obtenu un visa de 3 ans et j ai eu la chance de profiter de mes petits enfants 1er rentree a l ecole anniversaire mais mon visa a expirer cela fait 2 ans que je ne les ais pas vus et dieu sais ce qu il me manque car mon fils a entamer la procedure du parrainage et j attents avec impatience de bonne nouvelles

  • On October 22nd, 2012, gabriela dumitrescu said ...

    I weiting sice 2009,I was sposored from my daughter,
    my husband died in february,2 cildren was born after application
    I wait…..

  • On November 18th, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    David,
    I commend you for your courage and I hope the Kenya-Nairobi visa office gets to read this post. Just like one poster put it, we’re paying a penalty for immigrating and serving Canada. Equity is preached through the Canadian book for wannabe citizens but it is not within CIC’s terms of reference. The dignity grandparents deserve to bond with their grandchildren is squashed with the refusal response they get from the visa office. I immigrated to this country legally, currently serve in law enforcement, and I am sure I have assisted immediate family members of the same visa officers who demean and continue to rob our children the privilege of getting to know their grandparents. To this day my kids haven’t had a chance to visit with grandparents.

  • On November 22nd, 2012, Anonymous said ...

    Shame!!!Total shame!!!Romania and Bulgaria, are EU countries since 2007, and here we are in 2012, and stil Canada and US requires visas for travel for the citizens of the two countries.The Berlin Wall is gone????Not really!!!We are treated like second class citizens in Western Europe, Canada, and US, altough we are EU countries.How come?It doesn’t make any sense to me.If we are in the EU, than we should enjoy the benefits that other EU, including former comunist countries, enjoy them.One law for everybody.Otherwise, East and West are stil separated, and stil treated like second class citizens.

  • On December 2nd, 2012, David Foster said ...

    Is it possible to sue them? Surely a check mark in a box without explaination, without information on what would satify them, is abitrary and we should expect more for our $150

  • On April 7th, 2013, Anonymous said ...

    A bit late I suppose, but what the visa officers are doing by refusing grandparents visa’s on the grounds that they will not return to their home country really saying that they are liars! We travelled in and out of Canada on many occasions from South Africa and always returned within the period stipulated – so we have a record of meeting the visa conditions, yet, suddenly the next time three occasions we applied for a visitors visa it was refused on the grounds that we will not return to South Africa! All we want is to be able to freely visit our grandchildren as they grow up, but we get told by visa officers at the Pretoria office that we are lying and have no intention of returning.

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