September 20, 2021

B.C. woman pleads with Ottawa to fast track visas for family still in Afghanistan

A Victoria, B.C., woman from Afghanistan is pleading with the federal government to cut red tape that’s prevented her husband and two children from joining her in Canada, as her former country descends into chaos.

The woman, who Global News is calling Fay so as not to put her family at risk from the Taliban, came to Canada in 2018 and has since earned permanent residence status.

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‘Nothing short of miraculous’: Immigration minister defends Canada-Afghanistan evacuation

She’s been working on the immigration application for her family since then and had one final document outstanding in August when the Afghan government collapsed.

She says she’s had little luck getting any information from the federal government about what that means for her husband’s application, or what comes next.

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“(Their) background is already checked by the Canadian government and there is no risk associated with that,” she said.

Click to play video: 'Afghans living in B.C. fear for safety of relatives'

Afghans living in B.C. fear for safety of relatives

Afghans living in B.C. fear for safety of relatives

“I feel like a ball, I’m just going back and forth,” she added. “I don’t get any help.”

In the meantime, her family has gone into hiding in Kabul out of fear of the Taliban.

Read more:
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Her husband worked as a translator for the U.K., and members of both her own family and her husband’s worked in the fallen Afghan military and government.

Fay said they have little confidence in the Taliban’s promises not to take revenge on its enemies.

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Click to play video: 'Afghan man’s family trapped in the chaos in Kabul'

Afghan man’s family trapped in the chaos in Kabul

Afghan man’s family trapped in the chaos in Kabul

“During Taliban’s time 20 years ago, I was in Afghanistan, and I know how brutal the Taliban are,” she said.

“I don’t know how to explain how hard it is [Afghans] in such a risk and I can not do anything for them.”

To date, 12 special flights have transported 1,100 people out of Afghanistan to Canada.

Read more:
7 Afghans killed in chaos at Kabul airport; fighters seize areas from Taliban

The federal government has pledged to take in 20,000 people but has since admitted that could be a problem due to the chaotic scene in Kabul and outside the airport, as well as a lack of cooperation from the Taliban.

Fay said given how far along her family’s immigration application already was, she’s hoping officials can get them on a plane to Canada.

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“Just feel for a second that it is not me, it is you, and you have got your children behind in such chaos, and you’re not sure about their safety — how would you feel?” she asked.

“If you are a mom, if you are a dad, you can feel that pain.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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