Nigerian family facing exit from Canada over baby granted reprieve
Son born in the U.S. while parents' skilled worker application was processing
A Nigerian family on the cusp of being forced out of the country because of their newborn has been granted a reprieve.
- From yesterday: Family in Calgary may be forced out
Dimeji and Deborah Tawose and their three children will all now receive temporary resident permits.
The couple, both medical radiographers, came to Calgary on July 12 under the federal skilled worker program. But they were told to leave because their third child was born in the U.S. while their visas were being processed.
Confusion over the status of their youngest child, who's still nursing, had the family fearing they'd need to leave the country, or the baby would be separated from his family for weeks.
Officials say the reprieve will allow the family to stay in Calgary for a year while they sort out their paperwork.
"I feel like I can roll on the floor and give God all the glory," said the 35-year-old mother, who broke out in tears upon hearing the news at the airport. Her husband stood up and embraced his family.
"We thank God also for the officers," he said. "We are so delighted with the outcome and we are so positive that the administrative issues will be rectified in no time."
Just hours earlier — in the same room — the Tawoses were asked to withdraw their application to enter Canada. The 45-year-old father said no, and pleaded for compassion instead.
The parents say they tried numerous times to notify Canadian officials about their situation, but a visa was never issued for their newborn.
"Knowing fully well that we are people that do not go contrary to the law, we've done everything humanly possible to get things right and get things done properly," said Deborah Tawose.
At Wednesday's hearing, the Canadian border agents acknowledged those efforts. In response, Citizenship and Immigration Canada also agreed to issue two open work permits for the couple.
"Which is what we asked for, because obviously it only benefits you — being able to stay — that you're able to work because how else do you support your family?" said the border service agent as she read out the decision.
After days of uncertainty and living with friends, Deborah Tawose said she'll finally be able to sign a pre-arranged rental lease and move into a home with her husband and children in the northwest community of Panorama Hills.