more than 2 years to approve a marriage-based visa??????

December 12, 2010 § 1 Comment

Try being Jeremy Hespeler-Boultbee. The Victoria man just got a letter saying it could take well over two years to process his African wife’s immigration application. That, he says, is inexcusable for an advanced nation such as ours. “It’s disgraceful that a country like Canada is allowing this to happen.”
The thing is, he’s not alone in encountering this kind of wait. Victoria immigration consultant James Norris says the system has slowed globally. “The processing times have been getting longer.”
Hespeler-Boultbee is an interesting guy. Born in Vancouver in 1935, he was educated in Australia and England, where he was called up for national service just in time to join the King’s African Rifles in Kenya during the Mau Mau Rebellion. (“We didn’t burn our draft cards in the ’50s,” he says.)
Came to Victoria as a reporter at the Daily Colonist in the mid-1960s. Got fired, earned a degree at UVic, eventually landed as Maclean’s magazine’s correspondent in Portugal. He ended up teaching in Portuguese universities for 25 years– first English, then architectural history. It was the latter that took him to Ethiopia in 1996 for the first of many visits. He became associated with universities there, wrote a book called A Story In Stones: Portugal’s Influence on Culture and Architecture in the Highlands of Ethiopia 1493-1634. It was while doing research at Bahir Dar that he met Alemie Temesgen in the rainy season of 1998. They were married in a civil ceremony in Addis Ababa in September 2009, shortly before his contract ended and he returned to Canada. He hasn’t seen her since. It was August 2010 by the time they got all their papers together and applied for permanent residence status — only to hear through the Canadian High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya, that it takes an average of 22 months. (times colonist)


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