In October 2010 a post appeared on this blog titled, “Filippino Wedding.” With pictures it told of the wedding in the Philippines of our friend Reyna and her fiancé, Joey. I mentioned in that post that we expected Joey to join Reyna here in 2011.
Joey is now here but the process to make that possible required patience and determination. At the time of their wedding, Reyna’s residency here in Canada was via a work permit. She became eligible to apply for permanent residency here in 2011. She did so but this is a process that can take many months or even more than a year. When granted, Reyna would be able to apply to sponsor her husband to Canada. This is another process that can take many months at least.
After the wedding and honeymoon, Joey returned to Thailand where he was working as a missionary teacher. In order to help him get to Canada as soon as possible he began a search for a job offer so that he could move here in his own right. He was successful, but the job was not here in Abbotsford, or Vancouver or even in British Columbia. It was in Edmonton, Alberta, but that would be nearer to Reyna than Chang Rai, Thailand. By late December 2010 Joey had all the necessary documentation and submitted his application for an entry visa at the Canadian Embassy in Bankok. There it languished for many months. Perhaps I am being unkind putting it like that. May be things there really were backed up with Joey’s papers at the bottom of a big pile.
Finally, after receiving some official help, Joey’s application started moving forward in early September 2011 and he received his visa to travel at the end September. Alas, by this time the document containing the job offer had passed its expiry date! The job offer was still there but a new document had to be issued. Joey’s prospective employer and agent in Edmonton immediately applied to the government department that handles such things for a new document. It still took over three months for it to be issued – the wheels of bureaucracy certainly turn slowly but we are not complaining. Finally he was cleared to travel and his employer right away set up travel plans that would enable him to fly to Vancouver, stay here with Reyna for nine days and then fly on to Edmonton.
He arrived on January 24th 2012. It was a joyous time of reunion at Vancouver International Airport with his wife Reyna and we were delighted finally to meet him personally. Also there to welcome him were Jhongo and Eunjun Cha, two Korean friends.
We had the pleasure of having Joey and Reyna stay with us in our guest suite. It was like a second honeymoon for them. On February 2nd he flew to Edmonton where he is settling into his new job at Canadian Tire. His employers and the immigration agent, who had worked very hard to make this all happen, are being very kind and helpful to him. Joey’s greatest challenge, apart from missing his wife, is getting used to the cold temperature of Edmonton (Canada’s most northern city) at this time of year.
Here are some pictures.