Last week I spent two days putting the final paperwork together for Miguel's visa. I say 'final' because we've been gathering paperwork since late August. And somehow we (you know who I really mean, right?) lost everything I'd printed and had to start over. Let's just say my mood during those two days was a little 'touchy'.
The final push wasn't easy. Miguel has 8 brothers and sisters and they wanted to know their names and birthdates, where they live, and what they do for a living. He was able to call his sister and get the birthdates of his parents and two siblings - the rest we had to leave blank. That, along with some other paperwork requirements that he wasn't able to provide as requested (most Mexicans wouldn't be able to either), led us to believe the visa would not be approved...despite the fact that Miguel has been to Canada 3 times already (and always came back to Isla).
We did have proof from the police that he was a fine upstanding citizen. Well, that may be exaggerating, we had a letter stating that he is not in trouble with the law. And I wrote a letter explaining why we wanted to go to Canada, and talked about the other trips Miguel has made, as well as our trip to Norway (to prove that we had a relationship prior to the visa requirement).
All in all, we put together the best possible package we could and were resigned to accept whatever decision was made.
The processing time is stated as an average of 10 business days. They received the package last Thursday. I tracked the return number this week, and yesterday it showed up - the package was on its way back to us already.
Hmmm...that seemed too fast. Must mean it was incomplete, or I screwed up the certified check from the Mexican bank (they state they will return everything unprocessed if the check is incorrect), or he was simply denied.
Last night the tracking number showed that the package was in Cancun waiting for pickup. So...off we went early this morning. DHL was our first stop.
We couldn't wait to tear open the envelope once we were in the cab. Right on top, open on the visa page, was Miguel's passport.
Hurray! We are going to Canada! And Bennie and Stefan will be babysitting! Win-win all round!
P.S. To the Canadian government...
I still don't think imposing a visa on Mexicans was a smart thing to do, and neither do other Canadians in power, apparently. According to the Mexican news, there was a lively debate in parliament the other day, and the Canadians themselves called it a stupid policy. As Miguel kindly stated - Mexico would never say that to Canada (but we sure can think it).
And to whomever processed Miguel's visa, I want to thank you. Thank you for understanding why the paperwork was completed as it was, and why some of the things requested were very difficult to provide as requested. Mostly, thank you for believing what I wrote, explaining the situation when applications and forms could not. I told the truth, and I am thankful that you believed me and didn't try to pull a power trip as many in your position might. You are obviously a person who can see beyond the paperwork, and maybe you understand something about the lives of the average Mexican. You have made us happy today. Thank you!