11 February 2010

Canadian immigration finally unites honeymooners

A young married couple have been reunited for the first time since their November honeymoon after the Canadian immigration process was expedited for the Haitian husband.

Canadian immigration

A young married couple have been reunited thanks to special measures by the Canadian immigration department for Canadians with family in Haiti.

Stacey and Frantzy Gala met when Stacey was in Haiti teaching English in 2006 and were married in the country just a few months ago, but while she returned to Canada to await for Frantzy ‘s Canadian visa Haiti was hit by a massive earthquake on 12 January.

Frantzy was left homeless and was living on the streets in the town of Grand Goave with little food and nothing to drink but contaminated water, and with Haiti in a state of emergency obtaining a temporary Canadian visa was an enormous challenge for the couple.

"It's extremely difficult to leave Haiti now,” Frantzy Gala told The Observer.

"All the schools have collapsed. All the houses are gone. There's little food and poor water. Everybody wants to leave."

Stacey Gala stayed in constant contact with her local MP Pat Davidson, who lobbied on her behalf, and worked tirelessly to obtain Canadian immigration approval for her husband.

After weeks of waiting and in desperation, she flew to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic last Sunday and Frantzy hitched a 10-hour ride on a truck to Cap Haitian on Haiti's north coast where a Rayjon Share Care contact assisted him.

The Rayjon contact found him a place to sleep and helped him get a visa, then sent him on to the border to be reunited with his wife.
"It was so good to see her," he told The Observer. "Stacey is very determined. She is a wonderful wife."

At the Canadian Embassy in Santo Domingo, the couple obtained a Canadian visa in a few hours.

Frantzy was one of the first to receive the emergency Visitor’s Visa to Canada, which was a Canadian immigration initiative to help Canadians with family members in Haiti.

"I want to thank everyone, the Canadian government and immigration for allowing me to get away from the situation in Haiti," he said. "This is a really nice country. It's cold but I'm lucky to be here. I will adjust."

The Canadian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Canadian Visa applications to the Canadian Embassy.

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