A while ago I posted my story about how I tried to immigrate to Canada. It was more about the emotional side of the process and I thought you also might be interested in some more information about the technical part of the process. So here we go:
Gathering information – not that easy!
The CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) website is the worst website I’ve ever seen!
When you are looking for information on their website you have to click through a questionnaire, you can’t contact the CIC directly via email and ask a question.
You can choose between you do it yourself and spend a lot of time on gathering information or you hire an immigration lawyer/immigration consultant. I thought I can do it myself and looked up the information I needed. It was a lot of work! I reached a point where I wasn’t sure anymore if I got the right information or if I missed anything, so I made an appointment with an immigration consultant.
Hiring an immigration lawyer or immigration consultant is not cheap. It costs between 180$ and 300$ per hour. I was lucky to get the contact details of an immigration consultant who only costs 180$ and the first consultation is free (Gaby Bleckmann: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gaby-bleckmann-70921028)
We met and although I already had a lot of information she was able to tell me a few more things and she also told me to start the immigration process soon because the processing time for the BC PNP (Provincial Nominee Program https://www.welcomebc.ca/Immigrate-to-B-C/B-C-Provincial-Nominee-Program) were constantly increasing due to so many applications.
I started getting all the required documents, had to get some translations and after some stressful 3 weeks I was able to submit my BC PNP application in September 2014.
My work permit was about to expire at the end of January 2015 and when I checked the processing times for a new work permit it said “3 months”. To get a new work permit I needed the BC PNP nomination so I send them an email and asked if they could accelerate my nomination process.
Their answer: NO.
So my employer also send the BC PNP a letter. She expressed her concerns that I wouldn’t get a new work permit before mine expires. She pointed out that she really needed me in the daycare:
“There is not another qualified person to work with the young boy with Autism, the family of the boy may have to find alternate care for him.“
Their answer: NO.
My thoughts on this: Wow, a bureaucratic process is more important than the well-being and financial situation of a Canadian family!
Time was running out and mid of January not only me and my employer were trying to get more information on what to do.
Another institution who was involved with my work has sent a support letter to the BC PNP
„Kirstin has been a valued member of the team supporting a child with Autism providing child specific support in a multi-sensory manner in the daycare fostering pre-language communication and significantly reducing the child’s anxiety.“
And then even the boy’s parents also send a letter to the BC PNP:
„We have seen significantly more improvement in our son’s abilities and development under Kirstin’s care and training, and as such we are very concerned about any potential break in Kirstin’s ability to continue working with XY. Due to our son’s condition and his need for routine, any change to his support worker would likely result in stalling his current rate of progress as he becomes accustomed to the change.“
The answer: Nothing.
My thoughts on that: Seriously Canada? There is a boy with special needs who gets the right care and training and you still only care about the bureaucratic process??
So I kept calling the CIC (it’s like calling the man on the moon…no way he answers the phone, instead you listen to funny music all the time) and eventually the boy’s parents reached someone and got the information that I could go on working under an implied status.
Implied status? What’s that?
You apply for a new work permit before your current one expires
In the waiting process you are not allowed to leave the country, otherwise you lose this status
You can go on working until the CIC send you a rejection or an approval
You don’t have any official document that you are allowed to stay in the country
Your MSP (BC Health Care) expires with your work permit so you have to find other options to be insured (for travelers in Canada: http://localagent.cooperators.ca/Insurance-in-Vancouver/British-Columbia) or you just don’t have an insurance until you get a new work permit