A young British man was given “eight days to leave Canada” for helping his girlfriend fix up her apartment.
Tom Rolfe, 24, is accused of “denying a Canadian person a job” by immigration officials after he was found to have helped his girlfriend, Sam, fill up cracks in her wall, the Mirror reports.
Officials went through Rolfe’s camera, where they found pictures of him working on the walls. The pictures were used to prove that Rolfe, who was in Canada on a tourist visa, was working illegally.
“It is just ridiculous, I was helping Sam tidy up her flat before she sold it so we could get a place together,” he told the news outlet.
“I was treated like a criminal and told I have eight days to get out of the country.”
Rolfe and his girlfriend hoped to open a dog rescue centre in Edmonton, Alta., but he says that this misstep “has wrecked [their] plans.”
He applied for a resident’s permit and as a result, Rolfe had to leave Canada to be processed going back through immigration control.
Rolfe and Sam drove 300 miles to Montana in the United States before immediately returning to Canada to get his new passport stamped.
But when the two arrived, they were locked in separate rooms while officials searched through their car and belongings for hours.
That’s when they found Rolfe’s camera.
“They looked through the photographs on my camera and saw me helping Sam fill cracks in her walls where pictures had been hanging,” he said.
“They said that by doing that I was denying a Canadian person a job.”
When officials told Rolfe that he had eight days to get out of the country, he was “completely staggered.”
Sam appealed the decision to her local MP in Alberta but was told that Rolfe would have to leave the country for 28 months before he could return.
“I’m done with Canada now. I thought they were Commonwealth so I’m surprised to be treated like this,” he said.
“We have had to completely revise our plans because all I did was a little bit of DIY around the house for my girlfriend.”
Sam, along with their two dogs, is planning to follow Rolfe to the U.K. in a few months. He already started looking for a place for them to live.