The Dartmouth woman was one of more than 100,000 Canadians hoping to be reunited with overseas parents and grandparents, who attempted to apply for one of the coveted 20,000 spots that Canada opens each January.
For the past two years Canada has used a lottery system to accept applications, but this year it switched to a “first come, first serve” website system.
Bukhanova was at her computer at the hour the application website opened, ready to submit her information at exactly 1 p.m. AT on Jan. 28. The form didn’t appear, so she began to refresh the page every 10 seconds.
“After seven minutes because I tracked the time after seven minutes I got the message ‘We received maximum amount of applications, so we closed the form until next year,'” she said. At first she didn’t know how she would break the news to her 67-year-old mother in Russia.
Tatiana Bukhanova has asthma, lives alone, and has no close relatives in Russia, so her daughter sees the application as her best chance to take care of her mother as she ages.Nataliya Bukhanova, who is a Canadian citizen, has tried for three years to submit an application, each time without success.
“It was really bad,” she said. “I hoped so much to send this request. Just the first step. And I didn’t have a single chance to do it. I realized I had to wait until next year.”