Temas Especiales

25 de Jan de 2021

Nacional

Fighting for a Canadian visa

Today, Canada’s Prime Minister will be visiting Panama to announce, or sign a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. I would lo...

Today, Canada’s Prime Minister will be visiting Panama to announce, or sign a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries. I would love to be able to reciprocate his visit by traveling to Canada, with my Canadian husband, but last time I applied for a visa I was turned down, without explanation, by a faceless individual in the Canadian embassy in GUATEMALA.

The extraordinary thing about this was, that one year before I received a visa, without question, which was easily extended while I was in the country. In the intervening months my circumstances had not changed, ( a little older and but still owning land and property in Panama). Meanwhile, from the US Embassy I had received a Visa valid for 10 years. It cost me $100 and one brief interview.

This from a country with one of the strongest security walls in the world and with strong memories of 9/11.

My rejected Canadian application cost over US$200, (including courier costs, long distance phone calls etc.) When I called the embassy in Guatemala I was told the file was closed and if I wished I could re-apply (and perhaps get approved by another faceless individual. When I asked them to check my earlier application, which granted a visa, I was told that once a file was closed it remained closed.)

Letters and phone calls to Ottawa produced rubber stamped form replies. My husband traveled alone to Canada to visit our family.

I have heard many similar stories from others wishing to visit beautiful Canada, and I am hoping, that during his busy schedule, Prime Minister Harper will have time to be briefed by Canada’s Ambassador to Panama, Pat Langan Torell on the need for a passport office in the country that is soon to become a new trading partner for Canada.

The writer is a medical professional, who asks that her name be withheld.