This is a series about Canadians who love non-Canadians and their journeys to getting Canadian permanent resident status for their loved ones in Canada. Please read on for stories of love, Canadian immigration and taking the "long-distance" out of a relationship.
The story of Wyanne (Canada) and Werner (Guatemala)
How did you meet and how did your relationship develop?
We met in Guatemala when I was working for a Canadian solidarity organization that has partners in Guatemala. We went out on a couple of dates and then our relationship really developed through writing to one another when I went back to Canada. We got to know each other that way over the course of more than a year before we decided that we wanted to be together and I was able to coordinate being based out of Guatemala for my work. We were married and had our first child in Guatemala before moving to Canada in 2014.
What was the best part of the immigration process?
The best part of the immigration process was getting Werner's approval to come to Canada as a permanent resident! There were some fun "walks down memory lane" as we put the application together, but to be honest the best part of the process was being done with it, and being able to introduce my partner to a part of my life that I hadn't been able to share with him up until that point.
What was the worst part of the immigration process?
The worst part of the immigration process was the paperwork, trying to make sure everything was in order, and the waiting. Unfortunately, Werner was not able to get a visitor's visa, so one of the difficult things was having to make a choice to resettle in Canada without him having a chance to visit.
How did you handle being in a long-distance relationship?
When we were apart, we corresponded every day. We are fortunate that with technology it is easier to communicate across long distances than it was in the past. When we decided that we wanted to make a life together, I made the choice to go to Guatemala to live since Werner was not able to come to Canada. We lived together there for a couple of years before beginning the process for Werner to come to Canada as a permanent resident.
If you had to do the immigration process again, would you do anything differently?
I don't think so. Once we got all the paperwork together (which was a lengthy and detail-oriented job), the process actually went pretty smoothly and quickly for us.
How is life now?
Life is good! We just had our second child (our first born in Canada), and we have put down roots in Nova Scotia. We miss our family and friends in Guatemala, but I am happy to be closer to my family and to be part of a great community.
Do you have any advice for others going through the sponsorship process?
I think that attention to detail is really key. Talk to others who have been through the process, read up on message boards or enlist the help of an immigration lawyer. I think it is much better to spend the extra time and attention to do things right the first time than to have your application returned.
Thank you so much to Wyanne and Werner for sharing their story here. If you love a Canadian or want to live in Canada with your beloved, please contact me to discuss your options.