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As his brother is buried near North Bay, man is stuck in Portugal

A man from Portugal who has permanent resident status in Canada is having trouble getting back to northern Ontario for his brother’s funeral.

Bruno Pimenta is having a tough time getting the travel documentation he needs to get back to South River, located half an hour outside North Bay.

Pimenta told CTV News he doesn’t have the documents to prove he’s a permanent resident, so he can’t return to Canada.

“I’m supposed to have a permanent resident card, but I don’t have one,” he said.

“As a permanent resident you need to have two pieces of identification to be able to travel in to Canada when you’re outside. All I have is my passport.”

Pimenta hoped he would be in South River in time for the funeral of his brother, Francisco, who died April 27. He hoped to be home this week, but that won’t be happening.

The funeral is Friday.

“They’ve all told me just file for an electronic travel authorization, but as a permanent resident you can’t ask for that because you have residency status, like you’re in the process of kind of becoming a citizen,” he said.

“So I’m stuck in an impossible situation.”

To be a permanent resident of Canada, a person must live here for two years within a five year period.

Pimenta hasn’t achieved that as yet. Immigration lawyer Mario Bellissimo said that puts people in immigration limbo.

“When they turn around and apply for visitor’s visa, they get told we can’t let you in, because you may stay permanently,” Bellissimo said.

“Situations like this are highlighting some of the deficiencies in the immigration programs. I see and hear these stories every single day in my office they’re very difficult emotionally.”

Pimenta said he has been sent the livestream links for the funeral and will tune in online.

At some point, he said he plans to gather with friends and family in Portugal to celebrate his brother’s life. Top Stories

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