Some undocumented U.S. migrants approved for temporary Canadian visas

Elidee Sanchez says her nightmares about her harrowing journey crossing the Mexico-U.S. border finally came to an end the day she arrived — legally — in Canada.

But last August, Sanchez drove across the Blue Water Bridge that connects Port Huron, Mich., with Sarnia, Ont. and was granted legal entry into Canada, thanks to a successful application for a Canadian study visa despite her undocumented status.

The Immigration Department said there has been no official change in the requirements for temporary Canadian visas and would not comment on individual cases, citing privacy laws.

The department did say each application is considered on the specific facts presented by the applicant. As long as they show the applicant is not criminally inadmissible, is in good health, can financially support him- or herself and has all the required paperwork, and he or she agrees to leave the country when the visa expires, the applicant can be granted access to Canada.

In other words, nothing precludes an undocumented migrant from being granted a temporary visa as long as he or she meets all other requirements of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

She wants more undocumented migrants to know this could be an option for them, but understands there could be reasons why the government might not be making any change with a lot of fanfare.