MP Sims slams Immigration Minister for denial of visas to attend funerals or visit dying relatives

NDP MP Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta) has in a letter to Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander urged him “to take on the important task of delivering compassionate, consistent and fair treatment of Canadian families in times of crisis and grief.”

Sims wrote: “I have had to face many constituents frustrated with their inability to have close family members come to Canada for a final visit with parents, children or siblings. I do my best to help them with these applications by writing support letters and contacting staff at CIC, but, too often, these applications are denied.

“In just the last month, I have seen a case of a daughter unable to visit her mother before her death and who was again refused when she applied for a TRV to attend the funeral. In the same month, a son was unable to visit his father in the hospital prior to his death and was, also, denied a visa to attend the funeral. While the rest of the community was celebrating Christmas and the New Year, these families were dealt the double blow of the death of a family member and the struggle with the Canadian Immigration system.”

Sims noted: “These cases are neither unique nor rare. I have dealt with far too many grieving families who are given the further difficulty of visa refusals at such a difficult time. They approach my office upon receiving the news that a close family member will not be able to be present with them to share both their grief and support.”

She told Alexander that they must work together to create an immigration system that is compassionate and understanding, adding “too often those who have a genuine need to visit Canada are subject to regulations that are neither transparent nor consistent.”