LONDON, ONT. -- Londoner Vikas Kaushal applied for a spousal visa for his wife, who lives in India, in January of 2020, but more than a year later, the process is still not complete.

Kaushal's wife became pregnant shortly after their marriage, and welcomed a baby girl to the world five months ago. In February, Kaushal received a letter he thought meant the process to bring his family to Canada was nearly complete.

“When I received that letter stating that it’s a final request. I thought that the process would go on quickly and we’d get the visa and I can bring my family back,”

So Kaushal, who hadn’t been with his daughter since her birth, travelled to India in February awaiting approval.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused delays in the process and now all three are still in Delhi amidst the catastrophic wave of the pandemic hitting the country.

“The apartment above me is COVID-positive, the apartment below me is COVID-positive, the apartment beside me is COVID-positive. It’s very difficult for me to keep my family safe,” says Kaushal.

With the dire circumstances in India now, the embassy is closed and the government agencies that would process cases like Kaushal’s are closed.

He is working with London-Fanshawe MP Lindsay Mathyssen’s office to hurry the process along, which isn’t easy given the circumstances. But Mathyssen says the government can be doing more.

“What we’ve put forward, the NDP has put forward, is to allow a special type of temporary visa for those people who are attempting to do the spousal sponsorship so they can come over while waiting for a permanent residents spot to open.”

Kaushal is making his plea after a medical scare with his daughte.

“A five-month-old in your arms a 103 degree fever, you are calling every hospital that you can, every emergency room that you can and every doctor denying you, do not bring your daughter here.”

According to the government, family reunification is a top priority right now, however there are hundreds of cases similar to Kaushal’s that Immigration Canada is working on.

For him, the combination of COVID-19 and being in India, is only delaying the process further as paper work cannot get to where it needs to be, and his case will likely not move forward while that is essentially shut down.