Travelling to Canada on a tourist visa sounds like a fun and exciting activity. Tourism in our mind is often associated with travel for pleasure or for business. For Ivan, however, the tourist visa he was applying for was neither.
Ivan came to us after his tourist visa (Temporary Resident Visa) to Canada was refused. The officer did not believe that Ivan was coming to Canada for a legitimate purpose, that he would stay here temporarily and will return back home. Indeed, Ivan’s visa application was not the most common one. He was coming here to visit the grave of his best friend, who immigrated to Canada with his family a few years prior and who passed away unexpectedly during the Covid19 pandemic. Ivan wanted to come to Canada to visit his friend’s last resting place and to spend time with the mourning family. When applying for a visa on his own, Ivan listed both the tourism and the bereavement as the reasons of coming to Canada. However, he decided not to expand on his reasons further and provided very little evidence of his plans in Canada, and his ties to his home country. This visa was refused.
After speaking to Ivan it became clear that “tourism” was the last thing on his mind for coming to Canada. He wanted to be the crying shoulder for his friend’s family. He wanted to be the support that they needed after losing their husband and their father. Together with Ivan and his departed friend’s family we prepared an application that was explaining the reasons for this tourist visa. We needed the officer to see the full picture for this trip and the essential purpose of it.
So what happened?
Ivan’s tourist visa was approved within a month, during the Covid19 pandemic. He travelled to Canada a few weeks later and the first place he visited was his friend’s grave.