A 21-year-old man who was twice denied a visa to visit Canada will be allowed to attend his mother’s funeral in Toronto.
Enbo Cui’s mother, Guang Lu, died after an altercation on Dec. 28 at the Chinese restaurant where she worked. Another restaurant employee faces second-degree murder charges in the case.
Mr. Cui, who is attending school in Australia, applied for a visa last week to travel to Canada for Ms. Lu’s funeral. After the first application was denied, he asked Toronto immigration lawyer Joel Sandaluk to help him re-submit the documents. The second application was also denied.
But on Tuesday, Mr. Sandaluk said his client was told to come to the Canadian High Commission in Sydney with his passport.
On Wednesday, Candice Malcolm, a spokesperson for Immigration Minister Jason Kenney confirmed that the Minister had intervened in the case.
"The Minister was very concerned when he heard about this case,” she said in a e-mail. “He has instructed the Department to issue a special permit to Mr. Cui to allow him to attend his mother’s funeral.”
Mr. Sandaluk said he isn’t sure why the application was initially declined, but he suggested immigration officials likely believed Mr. Cui would stay in Canada after his visa expired.
“He’s been depressed about the whole thing,” Mr. Sandaluk told The Globe and Mail. “It’s hard enough, obviously, having your mother murdered on the other side of the world, but then to try to pay your respects and to be told no … he’s had a very tough time of things.”
Mr. Cui is originally from China, but moved to Australia several years ago to study accounting.