11/06/2014 12:02 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 05:59 EST

Canadian returning to Calgary with Syrian husband

A Calgary woman living in Syria says she's thrilled she can finally bring her husband home with her to Canada.

Anya Sass married Syrian-born Habib Alibrahim​ while travelling in the Middle East three years ago.

As violence escalated in Syria, the couple tried to get out of Damascus, but was told his visa application would take two years to process. Then this week, she received an email that it had been approved after only seven months.

"We feel a big big relief, like a big weight off our shoulders," she said. "It's kind of caught us a bit off guard, and we are going back in the middle of winter. And I guess we will kind of arrive there and work out the details once we get there."

Sass says they hope to be in Calgary by Christmas.