COVID Travel Ban Leads to Family Tragedy, Whistler Immigration Offers Hope

Canada’s current immigration policy places restrictions on family members wishing to come to Canada which has resulted in tragic consequences for many families across the country. Whistler Immigration is committed to assisting in humanitarian situations whenever possible and is grateful to have been able to offer some hope to one particular family struggling with these restrictions.

Arthur and Charie live in Whistler, BC and, sadly, Charie is suffering with Stage 4 cancer and only has a few weeks to live. It was Charie’s dying wish to see her mother, sister and niece who live in the Philippines. Whistler Immigration submitted requests for visas for all three family members but because of COVID-19, the government has restricted entrance to only immediate family members which does not include siblings. As a result, Charie’s mother was granted a visa, but her sister and niece were not.

Whistler Immigration undertook to request a special exemption for Charie’s sister and niece, including information about Charie’s close connection to her sister, her commitment to her family and community, and outlining a detailed quarantine plan. The request was initially refused, but Whistler Immigration persisted and sent letters to the Minister of Immigration, Marco Mendocino and the Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines, Peter McArthur. Charie’s MP, Patrick Weiler, has also asked the Minister of Immigration, Marco Mendocino to provide the visas on compassionate grounds.

Happily, Charie’s mother has arrived in Canada and is spending time with her daughter. And it looks like the efforts of Whistler Immigration and other advocacy groups across the country may have resulted in a change of policy. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is expected to announce a lifting of some of the restrictions to allow people like Charie to see their family, before it is too late.

To find out more about Charie’s story, please see the below media stories:

CTV News BC: Immigrationth-sister-from-philippines-1.5097211

Global News: Immigrationth-government-to-ease-covid-restrictions-for-dying-loved-one

Pique News Magazine:

Theresa Barrera OnAir – OMNI TV Video Journalist (English version):

OMNI Filipino (extended Filipino version):


UPDATE October 10, 2020: 

Exemption to Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions on compassionate grounds grated:

Pique News Magazine:

CTV News BC: