Minister's Office steps in to help new mom

A complex case

Minister's Office steps in to help new mom

By Guidy Mamann: A few weeks ago I wrote about the plight of a young woman who found herself in quite a predicament after she gave birth overseas. Seema Kanwal, who I can now identify, is a permanent resident of Canada. She recently returned to Pakistan to get married and spend some time with her new hubby.

When she discovered that she was pregnant, she decided to return to Canada before the baby was born. However, her newborn son had plans of his own and arrived early…overseas.
Since Seema was not in Canada at the time that she was sponsoring her new husband, the visa post in Islamabad asked her husband to prove that his sponsor was living and working in Canada. Immediately, she made plans to return to Canada so that the processing of her husbands application could be resumed. She planned to return here with her son who she was still nursing. However, since she is not a Canadian citizen, her child has no inherent right to travel to Canada with her. Instead, he must be in possession of a visitor’s visa to enter Canada. Unfortunately, the visa post denied him a visa because the reviewing officer was not persuaded that the child’s intention in entering Canada was temporary only.

This put Seema in a real jam since if she didn’t return to Canada her husbands application would not be processed and if she did she would have to leave behind her newborn child.

There seemed to be no practical solution to her plight.

The very day after Seemas’ story was published, I got a call from Karen Shadd-Evelyn, spokesperson for CIC’s Communication Branch in Ottawa who wanted to offer the assistance of National Headquarters.

I contacted Seema through her counsel and got her permission to share her identity with NHQ. Last week, I was thrilled to receive an email from Seema confirming that Islamabad had restarted the processing of her husbands application. At NHQ’s suggestion, I urged her counsel to immediately submit a sponsorship of her child, which has now been submitted and is being processed by the Case Processing Centre in Mississauga. Passports have also been requested suggesting that thing should be wrapped up fairly soon.

Seema’s email to me was full of thank-you’s and eternal blessings. It touched me deeply since I could tell that her earlier despair was now replaced with hope.

I must say, that I was also quite moved by Ms. Shadd-Evelyn’s unsolicited call to me. That phone call demonstrated initiative, efficiency, compassion, and practicality…qualities that should always be hallmarks of Canada’s immigration program.

To Ms. Shadd-Evelyn, her boss Minister Diane Finley, and the visa post in Islamabad, I offer my thanks, and I am sure the thanks of a very grateful family.

Guidy Mamann practices law in Toronto at Mamann & Associates and is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as an immigration specialist. Reach him confidentially at 416-862-0000 or at .

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