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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/21/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    Also, IIRC 29 is the end of the last age bracket before your points start dropping... So I'd say go for it now.
  2. 2 points
    Hi @M_Richard, Welcome to the forums! Firstly, from the information that you give I’m pretty sure that you should actually have a much much higher score, like 492 (even without a job offer), unless I’m misunderstanding something. Perhaps you can double-check by using the official CRS score calculator? My advice would be to start the process now as soon as possible. We don’t know if the process might change or become harder in the future so if you have a chance now I would say to go for it. Remember that you have a year to activate your PR after completing your medicals. With your age, qualifications and work experience it would probably be much easier to get PR without worrying about a job offer for now. It would be much easier for you to find a job once you have PR. The only reason that I can think of to consider the job offer route before PR would be if you don’t have the funds required to support yourself before getting a job. If you want to visit Canada before deciding if you want to start the PR process and move here, perhaps you can consider doing the LA to Vancouver trip sooner. I can tell you that Canada is an amazing country and Vancouver and the West Coast is an awesome place to live 😁
  3. 1 point
    I can't answer all your questions but I believe you have to have proof of residence (in that province) to apply for Provincial Healthcare - not just PR
  4. 1 point
    Thanks @LidiaS77, lots of helpful info, I really do appreciate it! It seems like there are a lot more dates for the IELTS general training in cape town if you write the computer based test. If I try and book now, I can see 7 dates in May. Compared to paper based where there there are only 1 or 2 per month and first available is in June. Hopefully WES will be relatively smooth, at least we have a long slack time. Seems like the PR cards take about 45 days to receive, we obviously cannot wait that long on vacation as we will still be working full time in SA. We also do not have family or friends in Canada who will be able to receive and courier the PR cards. Nevertheless, I'm sure this would not be a deal breaker. I will continue to research this topic and find the best solution. And thanks for the funds required info, I am aware of it and will not be a issue for us. Thanks again for the assistance and info so far!
  5. 1 point
    @M_Richard, yes I would definitely say start with the process now as soon as possible. There seems to be quite a bit of a delay throughout the process now compared to when we did it about 3 years ago. You might only get an appointment to do IELTS in 2 months or so (not 100% sure what the timeline for this looks like nowadays) and then you have to wait for the results, there are delays with WES for some people that I'm aware of and then even after submitting the final application I know of people who've waited more than 6 months for their passport requests. You should get your COPR documents before May or June next year, hopefully, but it is difficult to predict. After your final application has been approved you will get a notification that says you have to hand in your passports. You will then receive a single-entry PR immigration visa in your passports along with the COPR papers. You have to use this visa to enter Canada once to activate your Permanent Residence. After that you have to use your Permanent Residence card only, to enter Canada (you would of course still need your SA or other country's passport to enter/exit the other country that you visited). There are many people who are in similar situations where they can't receive their PR cards in Canada because they don't have an address yet or they leave Canada again before receiving their PR cards. You can have the PR card sent to trusted friends or family in Canada and have them courier it to you. As far as I know there are conflicting reports about whether this is legal or not, but I've heard of people doing it. Otherwise you could stay in Canada until you receive the card, but that might be too long depending on your plans/circumstances. Otherwise you could look at applying for a Canadian tourist visa and use that to enter Canada instead of activating your PR, but I'm also not 100% sure if that would be a good thing to do. Here is another thread discussing this: Just in case you are not aware, the funds that you have available have to be a specific amount. You need to prove that you have this amount if you do not have a job offer. Here are the numbers: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/documents/proof-funds.html
  6. 1 point
    Hi, @LidiaS77 @Reibtseb and @DocMartin Thanks for the welcome! You are correct, I miscalculated and did not include my 3 years+ work experience in the calculator. The score will be about 482 if we do well in the IELTS tests. The information provided was very helpful and made me reconsider my approach. Do you think it will be a good idea to start the EE process ASAP (WES and IELTS) to be able to create an EE profile and hopefully get COPR before May or June next year when we want to visit Canada for vacation. I See you have to be in Canada for 730 days in your 5 year PR period to keep it valid, so if we active our PR next year June on vacation, we can leave and then have time to decide on the next steps. The +-R20k extra it will cost us per person to have PR will be minor, compared to the risk of not going for it and possibly missing our window. Hopefully this is a realistic timeline, however we can postpone our vacation trip if required. Just a question, I see people talk about receiving passports, do you receive a special Permanent Residency passport on COPR or a visa in your SA passport? I have read about the PR cards, which is also a concern. What if we activate PR on our vacation and then leave again, how do we get the PR cards, since its only delivered to an adress in Canada? I read about a temporary PR travel doc, but apparently you cannot always get it? We will not have any problems with funds, but I would not want to be without a job more than a month or 3, can survive longer, but you know, time is money. 😉 Any comments, criticism or advise on the above will be greatly appreciated, thank you!
  7. 1 point
    We used a broker, she is a client of my wife so they got to know each other and she is fantastic, based in Calgary so probably no use to you, @MaryJane but if anyone in Calgary wants a good broker, send me a message. As for good rates, check out this thread: https://forums.redflagdeals.com/royal-bank-rbc-4-year-fixed-closed-rate-mortgage-2271777/ I found it interesting to follow. I'm still 2 years out from my renewal but I like to keep an eye on things. In the commercial mortgage market we are seeing the fixed rates drop, especially for 4/5 year terms. This indicates that the lenders anticipate a downward trend. Whether that is long term or not is anyone's guess. None of us have crystal balls. If I were renewing today I would either float at variable for 1 year or fixed for 1 year, depending on the rates I get offered. My guess is that rates are either going to stay relatively flat or drop, so I wouldn't lock in for 5 years right now unless you get a really good rate and you prefer to have the peace of mind of knowing what your mortgage payments will be for the next 5 years (which is what was important to us in our first term). For the other people reading this thread that are getting their first mortgage in Canada, here's some things I learnt from getting my first mortgage: 1.) It's not all about the rate. 2.) Make sure your mortgage is portable if you are considering moving before your term is up. 3.) Make sure you can make prepayments - 20% per year is a decent prepayment percentage. 4.) Make sure you have the ability to change your payments - perhaps you might start with a monthly payment and decide you want to change to bi-weekly to pay down your mortgage faster (you basically pay an extra month's mortgage payment a year which reduces your overall interest paid significantly). 5.) As mentioned above - make your own property tax payments. It's easy and don't put this in the hands of anyone else.
  8. 1 point
    Hi @M_Richard I agree with the guys above. Unless you need the job first due to financial reasons, I would say go for it! At this age, it really is the best time to do it. And hey, you can always change your mind after you've got it, but at least then you have the choice. My background is similar to yours. I have a B.Eng and M.Eng in Mechanical, am 29 years old and had (at the time we applied) 4-5 years of working experience. My common-law partner (24 years old) has a BA in Applied Language Studies. We did well in the IELTS and our qualifications were shown to be equivalent to Canadian degrees by WES. Our score was 483. So it's safe to say your score will be above 460 at least, so an ITA is basically guaranteed as soon as you submit your EE profile. With regards to the prospect of finding work without legally being allowed to work in Canada (i.e. without PR), it is very very very difficult. It get's a little easier to apply with the PR whilst still being in SA, but it is still difficult. I managed to find something outside of Canada 2 weeks after getting PR, but I did have to send out quite a few applications. It's an uphill battle 90% of the time when trying to find work outside Canada, even with a PR. To cut a long story short, the real question for you is not if you can get PR for Canada, but if you want to get PR for Canada. Because you most definitely will get that ITA once submitting your profile through EE. Given the outlook in SA, and the opportunity presented to you, I really think you should go for it now. For all we know, after 2021 the political situation in Canada may change and the conservative parties may very well defeat the liberals who essentially drive these large immigration initiatives. So do it now whilst you have the chance. You can always come back to SA after you've got your Canadian passport. At least then you'll have choices. With only a South African passport, we don't really have any. That's my take on it any way! Best of luck going forward!
  9. 1 point
    Yea, relieved you are finally getting some movement!
  10. 1 point
    Didn't know they call employers... mine never said anything.
  11. 1 point
    Wonderful news! Our daughter sponsored us in 2001 at around age sixty. We have been blessed every day since then. For you and your brother this means peace of mind. Our children were extremely concerned about our safety in South Africa. After we arrived they didn't have that worry. There are many added bonuses. When we arrived our daughter had just adopted a little girl. As a busy medical doctor she needed help to care for the little one and that is where we stepped in. We were the surrogate parents when our daughter's profession made demands on her time. We all have a wonderful relationship. Our daughter's house consists of two separate homes. We live in the walkout basement suite. We have our privacy, and our daughter has a permanent gardener and housekeeper (me) as well as a very hands on handyman (hubby). Our granddaughter thrived from the start. She had the exclusive attention of three people who doted on her. She's now 18 years old, and a lovely teenager that anyone can be proud of. Most of our friends were sponsored by their children. All of them helped with daycare for the grandchildren while their children worked. We are the pet-sitters when our children go on holiday. We bring our side in so many ways.
  12. 1 point
    I just mentioned it with a ~ in front, as it will change by the time they get the application. No screenshots or anything, they can do that themselves.
  13. 1 point
    It’s why Toronto is called the center of the universe 😉
  14. 1 point
    It’s been a while I wrote something. But I found something similar to Nandos in Halifax Its called “Chicken Chop” in North Street, Halifax. They provide sauce and chilli oil to make it spicy. And awesome side dishes too like Brussel sprouts, salad, beans etc.
  15. 1 point
    Hi All, So, in slightly less than ten days I will have been here for a full year. It feels great saying things like: "My first time skiing was in February last year..." to people who ask. At work, I'm not the new guy anymore. I don't need a GPS to get around downtown Vancouver, or most cities around here. I'm not cold all the time... I remember feeling like I'm getting frostnip the moment I walked out the airport last year. Unlike the locals though, I still appreciate the rain. And Raccoons. Snow is amazing. The silence around when hiking through snow is something else. I probably like winter more than summer, driving to work in the dark is fun. I had my fair share of Lower Mainland traffic enforcement being way more efficient than what I was used to. Turkeys are way bigger than I expected. Canadian Christmas dinners involve multiple families and more food than I've ever seen on one table. Biking in freezing cold for multiple days over hundreds of km ended up being the best thing to happen to me. This country is amazing, especially nature wise, but also the fact that you can bike like that without fearing you might be mugged. Early season skiing is fun, but don't take your brand new skis... Also, don't trust the liftees loading skis in Whistler. They do NOT care about your insanely expensive skis, and will scratch the crap out of them. A chicken korma pie in Whistler, had actual chicken korma in it.... It was so good. I'm going back for more soon. I've hiked more in one spring/summer/fall than I have ever done before. I made many random friends while hiking. Pretty much all my good friends here, besides the few made while apartment hunting. Worth talking to everyone, never know who you have things in common with. For some reason, caring about the environment has taken on a new meaning here. I'm not sure the same thing is happening back in SA. I hope so. I've gotten things done that I thought was out of reach in SA, like PRK. Biking/skiing/hiking in the rain, without glasses, is next level. Stocks actually go in a direction other than down...or maybe I have just been bad at it in SA haha. Of course, I have had many a day missing family, pets. The farm I grew up on. I have a playlist on Spotify I aptly named "Homesick Songs". It's basically my favourite songs by Spoegwolf. I find listening to Afrikaans music helps. First Christmas/new year away from family in ... 29 years, it was painful, but on the other hand I had a great time with my new 'families' here. Built multiple gingerbread houses. I've come to realize I wouldn't be able to willingly go back to SA. There are so many reasons to stay here, despite the US being stupid, the government doing questionable things, or housing being insane. It doesn't affect my health and safety (yet ). I can go lie down and have a nap in a park without being afraid of something being stolen. Was never a big thing, until I did it and realized why I've never done it outside our farm. I've been forced to cook. Ugh. Food options here are great, but I miss the ready to eat stuff that Woolworths sells. It was so easy to eat kinda healthy haha. People still don't get that it's Afrikaans, not African. My colleagues are my friends. I feel lucky.
  16. 1 point
    If you only have 1 kidney like me, they also do a Creatinine test.
  17. 1 point
    I am not sure the average balance is the be all end all. The financials I submitted weren't too close to what they requested (certainly no average balance signed off by FNB), but I made sure it was easy to see my financial state, and also, explained the crap out of it in my letter of explanation. Link to what I did:
  18. 1 point
    Hi Gucci, Welcome to the forum. I haven't made the move yet but I've recently put in some time to research this particular subject and am happy to share what I've learned until the established Canadian Saffers can help out and clarify. I'm not giving you any financial advice, just referring you to the reading materials I've found helpful. I'm sure some good advice will follow from others in due course. First off, based on some basic research I've done it seems that I would need about C$1m - C$1.2m at retirement to live reasonably comfortably. This is at age 65 (which, for me, is more than 30 years from now). This would obviously be different for you, here are online calculators you can try out just to start getting an idea: https://www.retirementadvisor.ca/retadv/apps/retirement/retsave_inputs.jsp?toolsSubMenu=preRet http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/products/rrsp/rsp-matic/index.html In Canada the following types of retirement savings vehicles are common: 1. Canada Pension Plan (CPP): The CPP program mandates all employed Canadians who are 18 years of age and over to contribute a prescribed portion of their earnings income to a federally administered pension plan. When the contributor reaches the normal retirement age of 65, the CPP provides regular pension benefit payments to the contributor. Currently, this is equal to 25% of the earnings on which CPP contributions were made over the entire working life of a contributor from age 18 to 65 in constant dollars. Monthly benefits are adjusted every year based on the Consumer Price Index. CPP benefit payments are taxable as ordinary income. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_Pension_Plan https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/publicpensions/cpp/contributions.html 2. Old Age Security (OAS): The Old Age Security pension (or OAS or OAS-GIS) is a taxable monthly social security payment available to most Canadians 65 years of age or older with individual income less than $114,815. As of September 2017, the basic amount is $583.74 per month. At tax time, recipients with a 2014 income of over $71,592 must pay back a portion of their Old Age Security at a rate of 15% of net income. This is often referred to as the "OAS clawback". OAS amounts are indexed to the Canadian Consumer Price Index and are adjusted (generally, increased) four times per year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Age_Security 3. Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP): An RRSP is a retirement savings plan that you establish, that we register, and to which you or your spouse or common-law partner contribute. Deductible RRSP contributions can be used to reduce your tax. Any income you earn in the RRSP is usually exempt from tax as long as the funds remain in the plan; you generally have to pay tax when you receive payments from the plan. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/rrsps-related-plans/registered-retirement-savings-plan-rrsp.html http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/rrsp/tfsa-rrsp-tax-retirement-savings-1.3371418 4. Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA): The Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) program began in 2009. It is a way for individuals who are 18 and older and who have a valid social insurance number to set money aside tax-free throughout their lifetime. Contributions to a TFSA are not deductible for income tax purposes. Any amount contributed as well as any income earned in the account (for example, investment income and capital gains) is generally tax-free, even when it is withdrawn. Administrative or other fees in relation to TFSA and any interest or money borrowed to contribute to a TFSA are not deductible. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/tax-free-savings-account.html
  19. 1 point
    Small update. I received PPR with 22seven as proof of funds, with proof of the bank accounts being mine (fund letter showing no average amount... only account names, balances at that time, and date of opening) from FNB.
  20. 1 point
    Hi there all, Been lurking for a few weeks... I'm currently waiting for FNB to get me my proof of funds letter...they are taking forever, and sent me around in circles for a week...apparently I'm the first FNB client to go via EE... So I was wondering whether anyone has tried submitting screenshots from 22seven to CIC, along with bank statements? The information they'd get from 22seven is way better and faster than any bank statements/bank letters, and shows the account balance, linked date, graphs ever since, etc. Only thing is it's not as "official" as bank statements or the mythical letter. I'm very tempted to submit screenshots of all my accounts, their current values, and their graphs for the last year.
  21. 1 point
    @FaithFUL I sent details of all my assets, house included. Don't want to hide something lest it comes out in the BGC. I did explain the situation in my letter of explanation though. As long as you have the required funds in cash, with equity in the house to settle the remaining debt you should be fine. That's my situation and I haven't been refused... yet...
  22. 1 point
    @Karen 1225 Can you possibly blank out all your details and send me the format, so I can spoon feed my branch? :$ I'm in Pretoria East, so went to The Grove Mall.
  23. 1 point
    @Tracey22 An amazing money managing app by Old Mutual...keeps track of all accounts you add, and they support many. One of the things I will miss when I leave! https://www.22seven.com/
  24. 1 point
    Yea, that's where I started. They told me to email forex@fnb.co.za, forex emailed back saying speak to my banker, spoke to 'banker' again, telling them this...he then tells me to go to my bank branch. The branch I have only been in once in 5 years to pick up my credit card haha. And well the rest went on from there. Ooo now I don't feel like a complete stranger here
  25. 1 point
    Thanks AnniePotts, the best part is I took the CIC specifications along to the bank, after my 'premier banker' told me to go there (I sent them an email with the CIC stuff)...then the bank manager, who saw the requirements, told me to email finsurv@fnb.co.za, I then emailed them with the requirements, they come back a few days later telling me to go to my personal banker or bank manager....... First time since I joined FNB almost 5 years ago that I regret it haha.