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

T.W. Paterson column: ‘Dull’ Lubbe Lake belies its colourful namesake

“Brilliant scholar” and engineering graduate of Cornell University, was said to be no one’s fool.

Robert scores two as Caps double up Nanaimo

Cowichan knocks off Island rivals 4-2 on Friday night

International Guitar Night back in Duncan for incredible night of guitar showmanship

Guitarists celebrate 19 years of touring by returning to Cowichan

Former Chargers helping VIU teams to successful seasons

Groenendijk sisters team up with undefeated Mariners

VIDEO: Students in MAGA hats mock Native American at Indigenous Peoples March

Diocese in Kentucky says it is investigating the matter, caught on video by onlookers

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

PHOTOS: Women’s Marches take to the streets across B.C. and beyond

Women and allies marched worldwide protesting violence against women, calling for equality

Anxiety in Alaska as endless aftershocks rattle residents

Seismologists expect the temblors to continue for months, although the frequency has lessened

Women’s March returns across the U.S. amid shutdown and controversy

The original march in 2017, the day after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, drew hundreds of thousands of people

Federal Liberals announce former B.C. MLA as new candidate in byelection

Richard Lee will face off against federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

No winning ticket in $10 million Lotto Max jackpot

No win in Friday night’s draw means the next Lotto Max draw will be approximately $17 million

Scientists ID another possible threat to orcas: pink salmon

For two decades, significantly more of the whales have died in even-numbered years than in odd years

Most Read