Punjabi man denied visa to attend brother’s funeral in B.C.

LARISSA CAHUTE
VANCOUVER DESI

Three brothers Avtar Singh Saini, Surjit Singh Saini and Mani Singh Saini currently in B.C., hold a photo of all five brothers. Les Bazso/PNG

Avtar Singh Saini just wanted his family to be together to mourn the death of his brother.

But the government won’t allow it. Avtar, one of five brothers, lives in Delta, B.C. Two of his brothers, which included Sikander, 52, who suddenly died of a heart attack Dec. 20, are Canadian citizens living in the Lower Mainland. Another brother is in Dubai and the other, Jasbir Singh Saini, 55, is in Punjab, India.

Sikander’s funeral was Dec. 29 and while the brother in Dubai got a temporary visa from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Jasbir was refused — repeatedly.

On Dec. 24, 2012, Jasbir’s refusal letter from CIC said “you have not satisfied me that you would leave Canada at the end of your stay as a temporary resident,” listing as reasons his “family ties in Canada and in your country of residence” and Jasbir’s and Avtar’s financial assets.

He applied again, with Avtar proving financial stability, along with a supportive letter from Surrey-North MP Jasbir Sandhu. But Jasbir Saini was denied again on Dec. 27 and missed his brother’s funeral.

“He was alone over there and that was a hard time to him,” said Avtar. “This is a hard time for the family.”

Avtar is still “in shock” over his brother’s sudden death and is worried about Jasbir Saini having to grieve alone.

Avtar can’t understand why his brother was denied because he has a career, wife and two kids in India and needed to return by Jan. 12.

“His life is in India,” said Avtar.

The continual refusals “disturb” Sandhu.

“Having that visa rejected, it just made me feel really bad because I think the grieving process in situations like this a family needs to be together,” he said. “We are a compassionate country, we’re compassionate people as Canadians and we should allow families to grieve together … I think that’s the least we could have done.”

And it’s “not a one-time issue,” said Sandhu — he’s been approached by other families in the same situation.

“The system is not working at all,” he said.

So when Sandhu goes to Ottawa he plans to bring the “ongoing issue” forward to the Minister.

“These situations call for a compassionate response … and it just puzzles me — disturbs me and (the system) definitely needs to be changed,” he said.

According to local immigration lawyer Richard Kurland, applications going through Chandigarh, India — like Jasbir Saini’s — are judged harshly because it’s “fraud capital.”

“Every day they see scam, after scam, after scam,” he said. “But there’s a cost of doing business when you’re in a fraud zone — and the innocent suffer.”

To get around refusals, Kurland’s first suggestion is DNA testing — if the issue is whether the applicant is actually related. But the method Kurland often uses is placing a bank draft to the receiver general that can only be returned once the person in question leaves Canada. He suggests $10,000 to $25,000.

“It’s not enough to be a sponsor where you promise to pay — you have to put the cash up front so there’s no enforcement issue, there’s no ifs, ands or buts — the guy’s not out? The money’s gone.”

But for multiple refusals like Jasbir Saini’s, “it’s really hard to overcome the prior refusal,” said Kurland. “You really have to jump through hoops.”

Often the only answer is federal court, which is expensive and can take a year — which won’t help the Sainis.

But Avtar is going to keep at it until Jan. 12.

“Still I am trying to (bring him to Canada) even for a few days… just to be around (his brothers),” he said.

Tags: , , , ,





Featured

Rashida Samji

B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud….
Continue Reading »

crime-sexually touching minor

West Vancouver police looking for woman who yelled at man accused of inappropriately touching minor girl on bus

THE CANADIAN PRESS Police in West Vancouver are investigating a disturbing incident involving a man accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl on a bus….
Continue Reading »

Canada-Edmonton-stolen

Canada balks at returning Indian statue of a woman believed stolen from Khajuraho temple

DOUGLAS QUAN POSTMEDIA NEWS  India is trying to repatriate a “voluptuous” 12th-century statue of a woman with a parrot on her bare shoulder that somehow…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

BC Sikhs

Frustrated Port of Metro Vancouver truckers want government to push companies to comply with action plan

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Drivers servicing the country’s largest port urged government on Monday to take swift action against trucking companies, which they say…
Continue Reading »

Rashida Samji

B.C. Securities Commission finds Vancouver woman who ran a Ponzi scheme committed $100 million fraud

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI VANCOUVER – A B.C. Securities Commission panel has found that a Vancouver woman and two companies she controlled committed a $100-million fraud….
Continue Reading »

crime-sexually touching minor

West Vancouver police looking for woman who yelled at man accused of inappropriately touching minor girl on bus

THE CANADIAN PRESS Police in West Vancouver are investigating a disturbing incident involving a man accused of inappropriately touching an 11-year-old girl on a bus….
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

BC Sikhs

Frustrated Port of Metro Vancouver truckers want government to push companies to comply with action plan

THE CANADIAN PRESS VANCOUVER — Drivers servicing the country’s largest port urged government on Monday to take swift action against trucking companies, which they say…
Continue Reading »

A hangman's gallows sits idle at the Benghazi Central Prison on March 1, 2011 on the outskirts of Benghazi, Libya. Inmates broke free of the prison during the uprising a week ago in the city. John Moore/Getty Images

Indian state offers fat pay raise in attempt to attract applicants to jail hangman job

RAMESH BABU HINDUSTAN TIMES The Indian state of Kerala is offering a pay raise worth thousands of dollars in an attempt to attract more men…
Continue Reading »

An Indian woman herds her cattle past an almost dried-up water body on the outskirts of Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Delayed monsoon rains have raised fears of possible drought in some regions with the meteorological department reporting an acute deficit in rainfall in many areas, according to news reports. AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

Armed bandits demand north Indian villagers deliver 35 buckets of water a day during drought

BISWAJEET BANERJEE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS LUCKNOW, India — Armed bandits in drought-stricken northern India are threatening to kill hundreds of villagers unless they deliver 35…
Continue Reading »

Narinder Kaur Kalsi, who has been on life support, since a domestic dispute at her Surrey home last week has died. Kalsi was pronounced dead just before 4:30 p.m. Sunday, said police. Her husband Beldev Singh Kalsi was arrested and charged in connection to her death. — Facebook Photo.

Surrey temple president charged with murder as wife dies in hospital after alleged domestic assault

CHERYL CHAN  VANCOUVER DESI The charge against a former Surrey temple president has again been upgraded after his wife, who suffered severe injuries in an…
Continue Reading »

Sikh American designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia is featured in a Sikh American PSA. Screengrab/YouTube.

U.S. organization launches first-ever Sikh American PSA featuring Waris Ahluwalia to combat racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI An American Sikh organization has created the first-ever Sikh American public service announcement in an effort to combat an ongoing “anti-turban bias” across…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Priyanka Chopra

Priyanka Chopra’s ‘Mary Kom’ to have world premiere at Toronto International Film Festival

IANS Toronto – Priyanka Chopra-starrer “Mary Kom”, based on boxer M.C Mary Kom, will have its world premiere here at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF),…
Continue Reading »

Nargis Fakhri

Bollywood actress Nargis Fakhri bruised, battered after shooting for “Devil” item number

SUBHASH K JHA IANS Mumbai – “Rockstar” fame actress Nargis Fakhri may be in bed resting it out after sustaining injuries while shooting her “devil”…
Continue Reading »

Indian Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan speaks during an appearance on a television show in Mumbai  June 5, 2014. STRSTRDEL/AFP/Getty Images

Shah Rukh Khan’s one-year-old baby AbRam likes Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball

IANS Mumbai – Usually parents are cautious about their teenage children, but superstar Shah Rukh Khan is wary of his one-year-old son AbRam, who was…
Continue Reading »