May 4th is known by nerds abound as Star Wars Day. To me, today is also the two year anniversary of when my husband (then my fiancé) moved up to Canada with me for the first time to prepare for our wedding. It was fitting that we move him up on that day two years ago, as we hoped the Force would also be with us as we started our new life together.
The Force, it seems, was occupied.
Less than a year later, he moved back to the US and I accompanied him while I applied for jobs in Canada and spent time on my writing. I couldn’t stay down there for too long, however, without breaking the law, so here I am, back in Canada, waiting for my husband to be able to return.
His immigration papers have been submitted, as of last Thursday, and now all we can do is wait. According to our immigration lawyer (thank you GoFundMe patrons!) the process from the date of submission to the day we get feedback is – I shit you not – between three months and three years.
Three years. Thankfully we have no children, but what is wrong with this picture? Why is it so bloody difficult to build a streamlined system wherein men and women who have seemingly righteous claims to permanent residency must want three years until they’re granted it?
Some countries offer tentative visas while immigration is being processed. Why don’t we do that? People want to work, and want to work legitimately. Would it be that difficult and that dangerous to say to new immigrants, “You’re legally applying for your permanent residency because you married a Canadian and you want to live with them? Great! Good for you for going about it legally. Here is a temporary work visa.” Is that really so hard?
People are usually very surprised to know how difficult it is to apply for immigration is in Canada. Especially given that Husband is an American, and therefore “basically Canadian anyway”. Sadly, our system is broken. I wonder sometimes if it’s driven by the fear of letting the wrong people in, or driven by beurocracy.
Whatever it is, it sure isn’t driven by the Canadian spirit.