Family fought hard, but together in Cowichan for Christmas

Now bureaucratic fight begins to bring father from New Zealand

After a long bureaucratic struggle, all members of the Fort family were together in Duncan for Christmas.

Lynda Fort, who was born and raised in Canada, said her 15-year-old son Liam arrived from New Zealand with his new Canadian passport just a few days before Christmas, and her husband Adam, a citizen of New Zealand, also arrived with Liam with a visa to spend the holidays with his family.

It’s the end of a time-consuming and stressful episode for the family as Lynda worked several months to obtain a Canadian passport for Liam, who is a Canadian citizen but was born in New Zealand.

In early December, it looked like Christmas would come and go before Liam would finally obtain a passport to travel to Canada as Lynda worked tirelessly, but with few results, to complete the seemingly impossible process of meeting all the requirements that immigration officials required.

RELATED STORY: PASSPORT BUREAUCRACY PREVENTING NEW COWICHAN FAMILY’S CHRISTMAS REUNION

Longing to return to Canada after spending 16 years in New Zealand where she had two children, Liam and 11-year-old Rhea, with her husband Adam, Lynda and Rhea moved to the Cowichan Valley in June where Lynda soon found a teaching position.

Lynda and Rhea came to Canada first to allow her time to find a job, find a place to live and establish herself before her husband and son rejoined the family.

She tried four separate times to obtain Liam’s passport, and was told further documents were needed each time.

On the last attempt, just weeks before Christmas, she was told that Liam had to actually be in the country to apply for a passport.

But she persisted and managed to manoeuvre her way through the many bureaucratic loopholes and Liam received his passport in time to be in Canada for the holidays.

“Having Liam here in time for Christmas was lovely,” Lynda said.

“I haven’t started the process of sponsoring Adam (to come and work in Canada) due to the costs and time involved in filling out forms when I work full time. Even if all went to plan, the processing time for a spouse sponsorship is a year.”

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN RESIDENTS DON’T NEED TO TRAVEL TO VICTORIA TO RENEW PASSPORT

Lynda also said that to just start sponsoring a spouse costs more than $1,000, which is a lot of money on a teachers’ salary and considering the costs of the family starting all over in a new country.

“Of course, this just is the first payment and more payments are required for medical fees, police checks, qualification checks and more, so the $1,000 is only the first of many payments,” she said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Fayant receives a new lease on life from weight loss

Shedding that inner person on the verge of dying brings dramatic change

New rowing centre may lead to solutions to Quamichan Lake’s algae problem

National focus could lead to more resources to deal with issue

Fuller Lake skaters showcase their talents

Cowichan Lake and District Skating Club hosts Cowichan Valley Showcase

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Most Read