As I was mentioning in my last post, a lot of new parents have been contacting me after reading my toddler’s immigration story. These are Canadian Permanent Residents who’ve had babies outside the country and are struggling with paperwork to bring their little ones to Canada.
While exchanging stories back and forth and figuring out potential solutions together, it struck me that sharing these experiences on my blog might help other people in a similar situation.
So today’s post is about a young Indian couple, Arnav and Shweta, and their one-month old daughter, Araadhya (all names changed for privacy). Back in 2015, a newly married couple, Arnav and Shweta had taken the life changing decision to relocate to Canada. They signed up with a well known immigration consultant firm and nearly two years later, in 2017, they received their COPRs (Confirmation of Permanent Residence).
To complete the PR process, they had to land in Canada within the next six months. In November 2017, before they could plan their trips, Arnav and Shweta got to know that they were expecting a baby. The news was no doubt joyful, but it also raised questions about how this new development would affect their immigration plans.
Arnav wrote to the Canadian authorities about the change in their circumstances. However, no reply was forthcoming. When further mails went unanswered too, the couple decided to go ahead and complete their ‘landing’ in Canada. In March 2018, a pregnant Shweta and an anxious Arnav arrived in Canada with a copy of their emails in hand, but no questions were raised. The immigration officer signed off their COPRs and voila, nearly three years after they had begun this journey, Arnav and Shweta were finally Canadian PRs.
Two weeks later they returned to India but a dilemma chased them. Should they relocate to Canada at this delicate stage and deliver the baby there, with no jobs, no family and limited savings to back them up? Or should they play it safe and have the baby in India, with both sets of grandparents and a stable home in the backdrop. The baby and Shweta’s health took priority and they decided to stay on in India for the time being.
In June 2018, Arnav heard about me through a friend who had read my immigration blogs and he contacted me. We spoke for a long time, discussing the possibility of his yet-to-be-born child getting a visa to arrive in Canada. From his and my research, we knew that they would be lucky to get a tourist visa. If that were to be rejected, they could try for a Temporary Resident Permit, as we had done, or come to Canada and sponsor the child, which would mean the family would have to split for a few months.
In July 2018, Arnav and Shweta were blessed with a lovely baby girl, whom they named Araadhya. Arnav dove into action, arranging her birth certificate within the next three days, followed by a Tatkal passport in another three days. By 27th July, he had submitted her application for Temporary Resident Visa post another discussion with me.
Something that was in their favour was that remarkably, Arnav had managed to receive a job offer from a big consulting firm in Canada earlier in the year. He had used his contacts from his earlier workplaces to arrange for an interview, which he had then cracked. The problem was that his having a job was not sufficient; as the Canadian authorities could come back to them saying that the baby could wait behind in India with the mother, while he flew to Canada and started the sponsorship process.
Shweta had spoken to her own employers about a transfer to Canada, but that was due to happen in 2019 post her maternity leave. I had suggested to them that they arrange documents from her company showing that she needed to travel with Arnav to Canada in 2018 itself for work purposes and the one month old baby would have to be left behind in India with grandparents. This situation was clearly outlined in their explanation letter.
Whether that worked or something else, we will never know but within three weeks Araadhya’s application was accepted. Her passport is currently submitted to be stamped and the family is due to arrive in Canada mid-September.
For anyone else in a similar situation, here is a list of documents submitted by the couple with Araadhya’s TRV application:
In conclusion, Arnav and Shweta were lucky to have job offers in Canada before they moved. Not many others may be in a similar situation, but in our experience too, if the mother is able to show that she must travel to Canada for job purposes, a young child is much more likely to be granted a visa for travel. Canadian authorities, after all, do put a child’s well being on priority and strive to avoid family separations where possible.
If you or anyone you know is in a similar boat, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help to the best of my ability. Do share the article if you think it could be of use to anyone else. Thanks!
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Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.