Ms Sing-Boles received her dying wish of Canadian citizenship in a special private ceremony.
30 July 2012
Dying woman granted Canadian citizenship
A 31-year-old Guyanese woman has been granted her dying wish of Canadian citizenship after the government expedited her application in light of her situation.
Veronica Sing-Boles died of cervical cancer just three days after receiving her citizenship in a special bedside ceremony but was a fitting end to a lifelong struggle, first will poverty in her native Guyana, and then with her illness.
"She kind of was aware of the irony of the situation," said her Canadian husband, who said her oath and signed the paperwork for her.
"You finally get your dream and you know that you can never use it."
Ms Sing-Boles' husband said his wife was especially grateful that their seven-year-old daughter Leah would not have to struggle with the same legitimacy and poverty issues in Canada as her mother did.
Canadian citizenship is a difficult status to attain, involving a long process but it can be granted in exceptional cases such as these.
"Private ceremonies may be considered in urgent and extenuating circumstances," said a spokesperson for Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, "including for terminally ill candidates who are unable to travel or people living in remote areas where travel would cause an undue burden."
The citizenship judge who granted Ms Sing-Boles her dying wish, Renata Brum Bozzi, said she had presided over several such private ceremonies before and described them as the 'most rewarding' part of her job.
"It's more uplifting than sad and always the celebration of an achievement," she said.
"It confers an official status but on an emotional level, it says you belong here and that's comforting at the end of their lives and it's always a triumph."
The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy specialising in helping people make their application to the Canadian Embassy.