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

Published: January 3, 2013

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

ADOPTION INDIA

India’s ‘shameful’ adoption record

With 30 million orphans, just 2,500 adoptions took place in India in 2014 RAMA LAKSHMI WASHINGTON POST When Shreya Roy applied to adopt an orphan…
Continue Reading »

allergy-death-manslaughter

Restaurateur faces manslaughter charge after customer died of peanut allergy

IANS London – An Indian restaurant owner in Britain has been charged with manslaughter following the death of a customer after eating curry prepared at…
Continue Reading »

ferocious pets

Exotic Pets: African lioness kept as pet in central Pakistan gives birth to litter of 5 cubs

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MULTAN, Pakistan — It’s a baby boom for the owner of a pet lioness in central Pakistan. The African lioness named Queen…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Vancouver car sales

Planning to buy a new car? Check out what’s on offer at Like It Buy It Vancouver

POSTMEDIA NEWS Act fast to buy your dream car at a discount. A rare new Roush RS3 race car is on sale now for 25…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver Yoga Fashion

Lululemon sees surge in fourth-quarter sales

MICHELLE MCQUIGGE THE CANADIAN PRESS Strong North American sales helped drive fourth-quarter results at Lululemon Athletica Inc., but the Vancouver-based retailer says its hopes for…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Canadian YouTube sensation Superwoman meets Bollywood’s ‘Dilwale’

IANS Mumbai – Indo-Canadian YouTube sensation Lilly Singh, famously known as Superwoman, met filmmaker Rohit Shetty and actor Varun Dhawan on the set of their…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver car sales

Planning to buy a new car? Check out what’s on offer at Like It Buy It Vancouver

POSTMEDIA NEWS Act fast to buy your dream car at a discount. A rare new Roush RS3 race car is on sale now for 25…
Continue Reading »

India-Vancouver Desi

Justin Bieber’s roast on Indian TV on Fools’ Day

IANS New Delhi – Singer Justin Bieber’s infamous ‘roast’, hosted by Kevin Hart, will hit Indian television on April 1, just months after the controversial…
Continue Reading »

messy custody battle-desi lingerie model

Jeremy Renner’s messy divorce from B.C. model gets messier as custody battle rages

VANCOUVER DESI A B.C. woman who was married to Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner is being accused of being a gold digger and blackmailer who has…
Continue Reading »

India-Canada-Vancouver Desi

Indian PM Narendra Modi to visit Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa in April

VANCOUVER DESI Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming to Canada in April, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Wednesday. Modi will be visiting Toronto, Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

India marriage-abuse-prostitution-poverty

Indian child bride became a mother of three at age 14, was forced into prostitution by husband, then abondoned

HINDUSTAN TIMES She was barely 10 when her parents sold her off, became a mother of three by the age of 14 and was abandoned…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood bride

Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma becomes a bride, not for Kohli but 7Up

IANS New Delhi – “Band Baaja Baaraat” actress Anushka Sharma, who was spotted at the India-Australia cricket match in Sydney on Thursday, had decked up…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood-Cricket

Bollywood filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma’s cricket bomb: I am sooooo happyyy India lost

HINDUSTAN TIMES We have an advice for filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma and it’s a simple one: Think before you tweet. Hot on the heels on…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood actor Salman Khan

Bollywood actor Salman Khan’s statement to be recorded in hit-and-run case

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood mega star Salman Khan will step into the witness box on Friday to record his statement on the 13-year-old hit-and-run case…
Continue Reading »