Wedding not considered ‘life-and-death’ priority situation

At least 20 wedding guests aren’t coming, and the honeymoon is over.

At least 20 wedding guests aren’t coming, and the honeymoon is over.

Katie Murphy and Jose Gonzalez have prepared for their Aug. 15 wedding in Toronto for more than a year, but family and close friends from Mexico — including the groom’s parents and siblings — will now miss the special occasion because of new visa requirements imposed by the federal government.

The guests, who booked flights months ago, have been scrambling to put together documents for their visa applications at the Canadian embassy since last Monday, when Immigration Minister Jason Kenney made the surprise announcement about the visa restrictions for Mexican and Czech travellers to curb what he called mounting “bogus” refugee claims from the countries.

“Jason Kenney is our wedding crasher,” sighed Murphy, 30, a Toronto high school teacher. “I am sad that Jose’s parents are not going to see their only son getting married.”

It is too late to cancel the wedding arrangements made long ago.

To make matters worse, the couple must also cancel their two-week honeymoon to Barcelona, because Gonzalez would need a visa to return to Canada from Spain and there is no promise it would be granted.

Gonzalez, also 30, said they have no choice but to cancel, even though they have already paid for the $4,500 trip.

Canadian officials told Murphy they would prioritize visa application processing based on urgency, but attending a wedding, though important, is not a life-and-death situation.

 
 
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