Canada turns down visa for tattoo artist (Manila Standard)

THE Canadian Embassy has denied the application for a visa of a Filipina tattoo artist set to represent the country in the Vancouver Tattoo and Culture Show on April 20-22.

All hopes of Daenee Bartolome vanished when, after 15 days, she got her passport and found out her application was denied.


Top government officials were also saddened by the news—Department of Foreign Affairs Director and former deputy Consul General for Canada Atty. Anthony Mandap, Director of Canada Division Office of American Affairs Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, and Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo—who all endorsed Bartolome as the first Filipina tattoo artist to join the event attended by tattoo enthusiasts from round the world.

The letter of denial stated she had no travel history, sufficient funds and personal assets. 

Bartolome’s mother revealed that her daughter had P300,000 in her bank account, a property with her Filipino-Canadian fiancé and a house in Sta. Rosa, Laguna where she resides with her family.

“My daughter earns as a tattoo artist. Her income comes from her craft. She pays the correct taxes, too,” said the mother in Filipino.

A formal email invitation from Kara Johns, business manager of Vancouver Tattoo Convention, arrived two days after Bartolome filed for a visa. 

The letter was also sent to the embassy via email and fax. 

The embassy replied to Johns, also through email, saying all supporting information/documents should be included with the application.

Bartolome will apply again on Tuesday, seeking assistance from the Canadian ambassador to the Philippines John Holmes and this time with the formal invitation from the convention.

“The invitation should have been submitted with the application. The Embassy usually asks for documents like these,” said Consul Anthony Mandap.

Founder of Philippine Tattoo Artists Guild Ricky Sta. Ana also expressed dismay over the denial. 

He also submitted his application on Wednesday and was hopeful he would receive his visa together with Bartolome’s.

“It’s okay if I don’t make it. I usually have shows in other countries. It is more important for me that Daenee gets in, as she is the first Filipina to join a very big and prestigious tattoo convention,” said Sta. Ana. 

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