A father’s hope restored: Reunion from Afghanistan to Canada

June 16, 2024

By: Guangke Dai, Communications Officer           (Immigrant Story)

“I always advise the children to be grateful to the government and people of Canada and, in the future, strive for the prosperity and flourishing of this beautiful country.” says Javad Rezaey, who, with the help of MOSAIC Legal Advocacy Program, reunited with his children in Canada after a separation of more than a year and a half.

Javad was born in Afghanistan, a region where, according to him, “famine and hunger were rampant” and “internal conflicts and domestic wars posed significant challenges”. At the age of five, he moved to Iran with his parents to escape war. After growing up, he became a teacher and, alongside his wife, a doctor, moved back to Afghanistan with their children.

However, war once again disrupted his life. The Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, which tragically led to the loss of Javad’s wife, forcing him and his children to flee once more, this time back to Iran.

Faced with the risk of being repatriated, to protect his family and seek a brighter future, Javad made the difficult decision to leave his four dependent children in Iran and travel alone to Brazil. From there, he journeyed through several countries, eventually reaching Canada on June 6, 2022.
“Upon arrival in Canada, the initial longing and pain of being away from family and homeland began for me. Breathing became difficult, and the anxiety and stress of the prolonged asylum process added to the challenges. Days were tough for me,” Javad shared.

In Canada, Javad obtained Permanent Resident status under the Protected Person Category in January 2023. Yet his application for family reunification went unanswered for eight months. Despite numerous inquiries to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), he was left in in a state of uncertainty.

After learning about MOSAIC through connections within the Afghan Canadian community, he reached out for help. MOSAIC’s Legal Advocacy Program immediately recognized the urgent need to act, given the vulnerable situation of Javad’s children in Iran and the unstable conditions in Afghanistan. The children, especially the eldest daughter who is herself a minor, faced enormous emotional and practical challenges without their parent. Mssko Wakil, a Legal Advocate at MOSAIC, spearheaded the advocacy efforts on behalf of Javad’s family, emphasizing the children’s need for a safe and secure future in Canada and the critical importance of reuniting the family.

This compelling advocacy led to a quick response from IRCC, resulting in the issuance of visas for Javad’s children. In December 2023, the family was finally reunited in Canada. Javad, who recently married in Iran, is now looking forward to receiving MOSAIC’s support for his spousal sponsorship application.

Legal Advocacy Program is dedicated to providing essential legal information, advice, referrals, and representation to immigrants and refugees with limited income. For more information on the program and its services, click here.