COVID-19 slows immigration process to a crawl for Ontario couple
WINGHAM, ONT. -- Rhonda Floriant has only seen her husband once since March 2020.
“When you look at nine months without seeing each other, and now we’re at another six months without seeing each other, it makes it impossible, it’s just incredibly hard,” says Floriant, who lives in Goderich, Ont.
Floriant’s husband is in the Dominican Republic right now, awaiting word on when he might be able to join his wife in Huron County.
The two were married in November of 2018, and applied for family sponsorship in October of 2019.
“Our application was originally moving super quick. Things looked great, before the pandemic. And then it took a year to process the criminal background check which is literally one piece of paper,” says Floriant.
She says despite having all the information and forms and background checks required, a look at Immigration Canada’s application portal suggests reunification with her husband Jeff Floriant and his daughter Jessie, may never happen.
“They’re working on July 6-13, 2019, and it’s taking them three weeks to process one week of applications. So, it’s still another 70 weeks we’re looking at before they’ll finalize our application,” says a frustrated Floriant.
The Floriant’s application to reunify during last October’s visitor visa 'compassionate grounds' program was denied, because they already had a permanent residency application on record.
“They’re just not doing anything to address the backlog of applications. Meanwhile, they’re introducing new programs to fast track new applicants, that will go ahead of our application, which we don’t think is fair,” says Floriant.
A frustrated Floriant has written her MP and the federal immigration minister, with no results as of yet.
All she can do now is wait, and hope, that her new family can survive 70 more weeks apart.