Vagabond family could come ashore

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JUNE 8 After more than a year of immigration problems trying to return to Canada, a Russian family arrived in Nova Scotia recently and hopes to make the country a permanent home.

Vitaly and Marina Bondarenko and their two young boys, Ivan and Vasily, landed in Lunenburg last weekend aboard their 36-foot sailboat, Viajero, news reports say. The family in December was awarded a one-year temporary residency permit to return to Canada, where they had been living for several months before their visas expired last June. Originally from Moscow, the family members have been living aboard their boat for 15 years.

In July 2004 the Bondarenkos sailed to Nova Scotia, where Vitaly Bondarenko began working at a foundry, and Ivan and Vasily were enrolled in school. The family was told to leave Canada five months later, but was allowed to apply for new visas from outside the country. Last year, the family spent seven months living in Bermuda, but was told by the country’s Department of Immigration that they needed to leave by Jan. 17.

For more on the Bondarenkos see the February 2004, April 2005 and March 2006 issues of Soundings, or search the Soundings archives . Keyword: Bondarenko.

— Jason Fell