BASS RIVER – An English family living in Bass River who had been facing imminent deportation have been given a reprieve.
© HARRY SULLIVAN – TRURO DAILY NEWS
The Bass River family of Sean, Angelica, middle, and Becky Platnauer were all smiles on Thursday after picking up letters of support from Immigration Canada that will enable them to acquire work permits and thereby avoiding being deported back to the their native England.
“Sean got a job offer yesterday,” Becky Platnauer said, Thursday morning regarding her husband.
The couple, along with teenage daughter, Angelica, have been living in Bass River for four years after immigrating from West Sussex, England.
After their temporary visas expired last spring, the family applied for permanent residency. Although they believed all proper steps had been taken to that end, they were informed by Immigration Canada in early September that they had to leave the country "immediately" because of complications that arose with Sean’s previous employer.
With the new job offer in hand, however, the couple travelled to Halifax Thursday morning where they picked up letters of support from Immigration Canada to help them acquire temporary work permits.
“Over the moon,” an elated Becky told the Truro Daily News, shortly after arriving back from Halifax. “It’s like a thousand pounds of weight has been lifted off my shoulders right now.”
To legitimize their extended stay, however, the family is required to leave the country temporarily. After picking up their daughter Angelica at CEC, the Platnauers were getting set to head to St. Stephen, N.B. where they were planning to cross into the United States at Calais, Maine. That will enable them to legally cross back into Canada.
“This allows us to stay and live in the community while we go through the permanent residency process again,” Sean said. “And that can take up to 28 months, so this allows us to stay and work here in the meantime. And that’s what we’re really glad about.”
Sean, who is to start at his new consulting job on Nov. 1, described his emotions as “hopeful” and “ecstatic.”
“It’s a load off our minds, it’s a lot less stress,” he said of the ordeal. “We’ve got a light at the end of the tunnel.”
The work permits also mean Becky can return to her job this winter at Ski Wentworth and at the Bass River school where she helps out with lunch hour duties.
Angelica, who is enrolled in Grade 11, also expressed excitement over the turn of events for her family.
“Pretty awesome. Now I know I can stay in high school, which is so stress relieving,” she said.
The family extended gratitude for the support they received from their community and that of Municipal Councillor Tom Taggart, Colchester North MLA Karen Casey and area MP Scott Armstrong.