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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/16/2011 in all areas

  1. 37 points
    So you just landed...and you hate it here. What now? Most new landed immigrants arrive with very grateful hearts. Regardless of where they came from, Canada as their new home, allows for opportunities they may not have had "back home." I remember meeting Dutch immigrants in Northern BC who left Europe when Hitler started invading. One family recalled how they were put on a train in Vancouver, given $26 and a sack-lunch by the immigration authorities and sent up north to start farming on land the government gave them. Now, two generations later, this particular family's descendants are examples of hard work, perseverance and prosperity. But not everyone has that type of motivation to make it work. For this particular family, there was no going back to Europe, so they literally had to stick it out. However, truth be told, some of us arrive with rose-tinted eyeglasses and when those come down as the reality of living in Canada strikes, may be a shock. It is very easy then to throw in the towel and head back home to S.Africa, thinking that is the only solution. The good news is: it's not. The tough news is: you, and only you can make the decision to make it work. Close the back doors ​One thing that will help you adjust and settle faster is to close all the back doors you have left open. Those "doors" are simply mindsets we all have that allow us to entertain thoughts such as, "If I don't like it, I can go back." Or "If I can't find work, I'm sure I will find work in SA again." Remind yourself why you emigrated from S.Africa in the first place. Give yourself a set time period - at least two years - of really working very hard at making it here, before deciding to go back. It seriously takes time to settle, find your place, feel your roots go down again. That does not happen in a few months. Don't be double-minded A trap we all fall into is one of double-mindedness. We get into the "Back in SA...I had this and that," or "I didn't have to do all my own housework/gardening," or "The pay was better than in Canada." It only leads to an emotional see-saw to allow this kind of thinking, and it will be detrimental to your health. You cannot be in two places at once, so if you are here, be here. Culture shock We have friends that would most likely never immigrate because of their comfortable lifestyles in SA. Driver to take kids to school. Huge property. Wonderful circle of friends. They are happy to be where they are and they are making it work with all the bells and whistles of security systems, armed response, alarms and so on. Some folks manage, others choose a different road. So you made that choice and here you are. Even though Canadians speak English, it might be different to the English you grew up with. Try talking to a Newfie and you will soon feel as if you are from outer space. It is true though. Terms that are different, pronunciations that vary from province to province, traffic rules that are not the same, items available or not available in stores can be stressful, and tons of other reasons can contribute to a place of disillusionment very fast. Culture shock at its worst. If you are prone to being melancholic or negative, culture shock may be amplified. My advice is to allow yourself a time of gleaning: keep what is good out of the new culture, keep what is good of your own culture and learn to live in the midst of so many other ethnic groups and nationalities who call Canada Home. You like boerewors, I like bratwurst. Some like Viennas. Others don't eat meat. Together we make up a beautiful country of amazing people. Connect Don't become an island when you are going through a tough time of adjusting. Reach out to others. If people don't know you are having a cultural hangover, they won't know how to help. Depression, anxiety, fear, loss of self-confidence, insomnia, negativity....these could all be signs of your soul taking a knock with all the changes you are experiencing. Talk to someone. Join a support group, find a church or club or organisation where you can volunteer. Get to know others and become known. Connect with your own. There are very few cities or communities where S.Africans haven't gone. Look for them. Talk your language. Have your braais. Be kind to yourself as you resettle in Canada as a new immigrant. Cultivate an attitude of "I can" and let go of "I can't!" When you're down in the dumps because you now have to take a bus or train to work, and you don't have your own wheels yet; or the kids don't like their new school, or you think Canadian poutine tastes terrible or you just simply don't understand the social values of Canadians at work; it can become a big negative in your life. Very easy then to start seeing yourself as never achieving what you'd hoped to achieve. Can't find a job after two months yet? Don't give up. You can find a job. Sometimes we have to find out why we aren't getting work - maybe it is just the resume or cover letter that needs tweaking or maybe you need to network with Canadians, starting with your neighbours and people at church or wherever, and you may discover the wonder of wonders: the so-called hidden market in Canada, where jobs often happen because someone knew someone who knew someone.... Baby steps Reality check: I think doctors are fortunate in that they come over and they are: doctors. Unlike many other professions where you were one thing in SA. only to find that in Canada you are X, Y or Z. Get used to the idea that a different job title does not mean you have suddenly become inferior or lower-ranked. (And even if you are suddenly a junior again, so what? You worked yourself up before, so why not again?) The reality is this is our host country. It is a privilege - not a right - to be here. So, take baby steps if you have to. the only requirement for growth in this regard is motion. You have to keep going. And going... Change is a constant factor Get used to this as well. Things change in a day. You could get that job tomorrow. You could find a place to stay next week You could be laid off a month from now. When changes come, embrace them. Keep moving. Keep learning. Don't second-guess yourself when these changes suddenly happen in your life. I see it often, that people start grieving their losses and before you know it they are camped out in this valley of change, in stead of looking for new opportunities. The horizon is never stagnant. Look at it, re-evaluate your position and take the necessary steps to get from A to B. Change is beautiful, as it always equals growth - if we allow it. It is like the proverbial larvae that has to struggle through the cocoon by itself to break through so it can fly as a butterfly. If you break that cocoon for the larvae, it never develops wing strength to fly. Develop and test your wing-strength! You can do it! Learn to laugh A merry heart does wonders for the bones and a happy face is one that finds work! Life is beautiful so enjoy it and show others that you are really happy to be alive! Laughter also has scientific proof on how it strengthens our very bones and mental capacity. My husband has an awesome sense of humour and it has helped him so many times in the past. I tend to be the nostalgic introvert but he has a gift when it comes to breaking the ice with "difficult" colleagues. Have fun. Go to the movies. Go ice-skating. Laugh with your kids. Have joy, joy, joy...you are so privileged to be here! ~Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell, Aug 2015
  2. 28 points
    Hi all, I haven't seen much information yet with regards to South Africans applying for Permanent Residency (PR) via the Express Entry program from inside South Africa. This post is intended to share my experiences from before the application to the permanent residency being granted, hopefully it will help some people. Sorry about the very, very long post. I have tried to be as detailed as possible, but I am sure I have forgotten many things along the way. If anyone has any questions I'll gladly try help. To set the context with which I was applying. I am a 26 year old male and applied as a single person via the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) category as a Mechanical Engineer. I live in Johannesburg and am a South African citizen. Preparation to enter the EE pool: Before entering the EE pool I had to get various things in place. I will describe these below. Language test: I did the IELTS English test (one can book at this link: https://ielts.britishcouncil.org/Default.aspx). For a PR application one needs to do the "General Training" version of the test. I live in Johannesburg but did the test in Pretoria as an earlier test date was available. Results take 13 days to be released, they were posted to me at my stated address. Test date - 2015/02/28 Test cost - R2 400 Education Credential Assessment (ECA): I decided to use World Education Services (WES) (see http://www.wes.org/ca) to do my degree conversion because it seemed to be the quickest and cheapest. I had to send copies of my degree certificates to WES (I did this by registered letter. If I were to do it again I would use a courier, for the sake of speed and traceability). I also had to get my university to send my academic transcripts directly to WES (WES supplies a form that you fill in and give to provide the faculty office with the relevant information). WES indicated 20 working days to perform the degree conversion, I seem to remember that it took about this length. I have a BSc and MSc in Mechanical Engineering from Wits University. These degrees were valued at an equivalent level by WES. Registered letter cost - less than R100 Transcript request and couriering - around R300 Degree conversion cost - 200 CAD Delivery fee - 7 CAD (I chose standard delivery. Courier delivery is 85 CAD) Police clearance: Although not necessary to enter the EE pool, I applied for police clearance now because it is needed for the actual application and I had heard stories of it taking a couple months to be received. I applied at a normal police station and it took about a month to receive (see http://www.saps.gov.za/services/applying_clearence_certificate.php for instructions). A police clearance certificate is required for every country, other than Canada, that one has lived in for six months or more. One thing that I came across was that some countries required more than just a police clearance certificate (Australia for example). The requirements of each country can be seen at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/security/police-cert/index.asp Cost - less than R100 Entering the EE pool: Once I had all of the above mentioned things in place (except for the police clearance certificate) I could enter the EE pool. This all worked out pretty easily for me. I had a CRS score of 456. To create an account and enter the pool you start from here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/e-services/mycic.asp Invitation to Apply (ITA): I received my invitation to apply on 2015/03/27, which was very exciting as the application can start moving forward from this point. The application: In order for one to submit the application one needs to get a medical done and get a police clearance certificate. I had already received my police clearance certificate as mentioned earlier (a police clearance certificate for the country you currently live must be issued within 6 months of your application). One also has to get proof of funds, proof of work experience, proof of education, digital photograph, and scans of one's ID and passports. Medical: I called a few medical physicians and the earliest appointment I was able to get was in two weeks. I can't quite remember what I needed to take to the medical but they will let you know. One can find a CIC approved physician to perform the medical at http://www.cic.gc.ca/pp-md/pp-list.aspx The physician enters all your medical results onto an online system which the CIC has access to, so I never actually saw my results. One just needs a "Proof of medical" form (or the IMM 1017B upfront medical report form) from the physician which you upload during the application. Cost - R2 051 Date of medical - 2015/04/15 Police clearance: As mentioned above. Proof of funds: One has to prove to the CIC that you have the minimum required funds (see http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/funds.asp). As far as I know, these funds have to be readily available, so can't be in the form of property or the like. I have an investor who manages my unit trusts and the like, so I got them to write a signed letter on their company letterhead indicating when they opened each of the unit trusts and accounts for me. They attached six months of statements from each of my unit trusts and accounts. I then got my bank branch (Standard Bank) to write a letter on their letterhead indicating when I opened my accounts with them. They were very helpful and willing to do so. They also attached 6 months of statements (with the branch stamp on each page) for each account. I scanned in all these documents with a cover page summarising what I had in each account, the total value in ZAR and an equivalent in CAD (although I am not sure that this is strictly necessary). I indicated the exchange rate I used and the date on which I did the calculation. I saw a case where an application was refused because the required funds were "gifted" to the applicant by his father. This showed up in his six months of bank statements. I am not 100% sure but I think one can have funds gifted to you, but you then have to prove that you are not just borrowing this money. Proof of work experience: The CIC requires proof of your current and previous work experience. This is done by means of a reference letter and pay slips (where available) from your current and previous employers . The reference letters should contain the following: Printed on the company letterhead. Company’s contact information (address, telephone number, and email address). The signature of either your immediate supervisor or personnel officer. The business card of the signing person is also required. All positions held at the company. Job title. Duties and responsibilities (make sure that these match those specified by the National Occupation Classification (NOC) (see http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/noc.asp) on your application because I saw a couple applicants get rejected because these did not match). Job status. Dates worked for the company. Number of hours worked per week. Annual salary and benefits. All the documents should be scanned into a single file (a separate file for each work experience) It proved to be a little awkward having to ask my current employer to write me a letter to help me immigrate, but I supposed it must be done. Proof of Education: Here I scanned my degree certificates and my WES results into a single PDF file. A mistake that people commonly make is that they only upload their WES results, it seems the CIC actually want your degree certificates. Digital Photo: The specifications for the digital photo are as follows: Dimensions: The final frame size of the photo must be at least 35 mm x 45 mm (1 3/8" x 1 ¾"). The photographs must show the full front view of the head, with the face in the middle of the photograph, and include the top of the shoulders. The size of the head, from chin to crown, must be between 31 mm (1 ¼") and 36 mm (1 7/16"). Digital dimensions are often expressed in pixels or DPI (dots per inch). The physical dimensions in pixels must be at least 420 x 540 Quality/Resolution: If an existing photo is being scanned, the minimum resolution must be 600 pixels per inch. File Format: The file may be submitted in JPEG or JPEG2000 format File Size: The final size of the image should be ideally 240 kB (kilobytes), but not less than 60 kB.Colour: The image must be in colour (24 bits per pixel) in sRGB colour space which is the common output for most digital cameras.National ID: I scanned in the information page of my South African ID book. Passports/Travel Documents: I scanned the information page and pages containing Visas that I had received in the past for both my current and my previous passport (I only have one previous passport). I scanned each passport into a separate PDF file and upload both of them separately (I am not sure if you have to upload your previous passports, I did just in case). Application: Many of the fields in the application are carried over from the application to the EE pool, but there is still quite a lot of information to be filled in. After all the forms have been filled in the above mentioned documents need to be uploaded. Payment: After the application is complete you can submit and arrive at the payment page. You have the option of paying the processing fee and the Right of permanent residency (RPRF) fee, or just paying the processing fee. If you pay just the processing fee you will be requested to pay the RPRF at a later stage when your application has progressed further. I selected to pay both fees now in an effort to save time. When it came to the actual payment I was using a Standard Bank credit card and the payment kept failing. I called Standard Bank and they said they could see that attempts were made to charge the card but could not tell me why it was not going through. I tried different browsers to no avail. I considered taking out a credit card with Virgin money just to make this payment, but I eventually borrowed a friend's Canadian credit card and that went through without a hitch. Processing fee – 550 CAD RPRF – 490 CAD Application submitted - 2015/04/24 Application incomplete: After my application was submitted I was going through the submitted forms and saw that the table of my family data was empty. I immediately sent an email (question@cic.gc.ca) and a case specific enquiry (https://secure.cic.gc.ca/enquiries-renseignements/canada-case-cas-eng.aspx) with this missing information to the CIC. I got no response, but am assuming they added this information to my file. The wait: The wait was the most nerve wrecking part as I had no control over the progress of my application. All I could do was sit and wait for the various statuses to change. There are two places where application updates are shown: MyCIC and on ECAS (https://services3.cic.gc.ca/ecas/?app=ecas〈=en). Below I outline the various statuses of my application. Acknowledgment of receipt (AOR) - MyCIC: The AOR is a letter that is sent to one's MyCIC account. You'll get an email indicating that there is an unread message in your MyCIC account. You then have to log in and download the message as a PDF file. I received my Acknowledgement of Receipt (AOR) letter the day after my application was submitted. Some people receive this a couple minutes after submission, others a couple days afterwards. Date of AOR - 2015/04/25 Medical Passed: My medical passed status happened about a month after I received my AOR. I can't remember the exact date. Date of medical passed - approximately 2015/05/25 A day or so after my medical passed my ECAS status changed to "Application Received" In Process - ECAS My ECAS changed to "In Process" on 2015/06/19. Background Check "In Progress" People often worry because their background check status remains at "Not Started" for a very long time. Mine only changed to "In Progress" on 2015/08/25, about two weeks before my PPR. On other forums it seemed that inland applicants (inside Canada) had their background checks start and complete relatively soon during the process. I think that outside applicants' background checks are also started early but their status' only get updated later due to the EE system being very new with some kinks that still need to be ironed out. Maybe this will be corrected in the future. Date of Background check "In Progress" - 2015/08/25 Decision Made - ECAS My ECAS changed to "Decision Made" with no indication as to the favorability of the decision. From what I have read on other forums this does not mean that the decision has actually been made but means that things are being finalised. I have however only seen one case where an applicant was rejected after their ECAS status changed to “decision made". Date of "Decision Made" on ECAS - 2015/08/27 Passport Request (PPR) As far as I have been able to understand from other forums, when one receives your PPR your application is pretty much approved and complete. All that has to happen is that the CIC needs to stick in your Visa and issue your “Confirmation of Permanent Residence” (CPR), though I tried not to get my hopes up too much before I received my Passport with Visa and CPR. Some people have received their PPR via their MyCIC account, I received mine directly via email. Mine said that I should send my passport to Ottawa, but indicated that if I am residing outside of Canada or the USA I should notify them on the given email address so that they can arrange for my documents to be issued at my Local Visa Office (LVO). I sent them an email and got an automated reply indicating that it usually takes 20 days for them to respond to requests due to a high volume of emails. I called VFS (http://www.vfsglobal.ca/Canada/SouthAfrica/) a day later and told them the story and asked what I should do. They asked for my application number and said that they were going to call the high commission and that I should call back in 30 minutes. When I called back and they said that I can bring my passport and two passport photos conforming to (http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/information/applications/guides/pdf/5445EB-e.pdf). I delivered my passport and photos on 2015/09/11. I also paid for a courier service to return my passport to me so that I would not have to drive out to Pretoria for collection. VFS gave me a tracking number with which I could track the progress. Date of PPR - 2015/09/09 Date passport sent - 2015/09/11 Cost of Passport handling by VFS - R296.10 Cost of Courier of passport back from VFS - 105.90 Permanent residency granted and application closed On 2015/09/17 I got an email from VFS that they had received my passport. I had specified, on submission, that my passport should be couriered to me so I called VFS and they gave me a FedEx tracking number. My passport was delivered on 2015/09/04 with my CPR and a letter explaining the entry into Canada. On 2015/09/17 my MyCIC account statuses changed to application closed and PR granted. The landing The final stage is now to perform my landing in Canada. I'll explain my understanding of how this works from what I have read: One needs to perform one's landing within a year from the date of your medical. One enters Canada as one would normally enter a country requiring a Visa, using the Visa now pasted in your passport. One presents your CPR to immigration in Canada. You will be issued a Social Insurance Number (SIN). One also provides an address in Canada to which your PR card should be delivered. It should be delivered to this address in about six weeks. From now on one uses your PR card like a "Visa" to enter Canada. Total cost of Express Entry Language test IELTS test - R2 400 Degree conversion Registered letter - less than R100 Transcript request and couriering - around R300 WES ECA - 200 CAD Delivery - 7 CAD (I chose standard delivery. Courier delivery is 85 CAD) Police clearance Police clearance - less than R100 Medical Medical - R2 051 Application Processing fee – 550 CAD. RPRF – 490 CAD Passport submission Passport handling by VFS - R296.10 Courier of passport back from VFS - 105.90 Total cost of application - R17 823 (Approximating 1 CAD = 10 ZAR) On top of the total cost one obviously still needs the minimum required funds (as indicated at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/funds.asp) available to you. Timeline summary ITA received - 2015/03/27 Application submitted - 2015/04/24 AOR - 2015/04/25 Date of medical passed - approximately 2015/05/25 "Application Received" (ECAS) - a day or so after medical passed "In Progress" (ECAS) - 2015/06/19 Background check "In Progress" - 2015/08/25 "Decision Made" (ECAS) - 2015/08/27 PPR - 2015/09/09 Passport submitted - 2015/09/11 Application status "Approved" – 2015/09/17 Passport received - 2015/09/18 ​
  3. 20 points
    I'm not sure if this has been covered recently, but I have seen it disputed. People have written that you cannot open a bank account in Canada before you arrive there, but this is untrue. My savings account with the Royal Bank of Canada opened this week and I've already sent money across. I went to the the RBC website and sent them a contact email stating my intentions. They then forwarded it to the account opening department who stated that they would help us open an account, as well as links welcoming us to Canada etc. They sent all the relevant documents to be completed. It is very important to do exactly what they say. It will naturally appear to be a difficult process if you don't do what they say. documents required... application to open a bank account application for joint back account if applicable signature form (sample of your signature) two pieces of identification... Passport and drivers is fine. verified identification form to be completed by notary public note: ALL your documents must be certified by a notary public even if it doesn't say so. My allocated personal banker then asked me to email her my documents so she could check them for accuracy. I had to tweak some things as requested and then I emailed her the originals in a package. Four days later she received it via courier and two days after that my account was open. They sent me all the details e.g. Account number, SWIFT etc. One week from first email to active bank account. Be aware of two essential factors... 1. They will only open a savings account for you. Cheque accounts are not available as far as I am aware. However, I have also now been offered investment accounts at higher interest rates but I have not initiated this application process and not reviewed what is available. 2. You can only deposit into your account NOT withdraw. Your account is frozen until you arrive there and they identify you in person. It is therefore a one-way street so don't send money unless you're happy to part with it until (or if) you arrive. I hope this helps anyone out there who is wondering about this issue, as I was.
  4. 20 points
    Hi All I am happy to report that we received PPR on Monday and dropped off our passports today! ???? super excited!!! To those waiting, hang in there!
  5. 20 points
    It's been quite a while since I posted anything in Announcements, so without further ado, I'd like everyone to please welcome our new hosts: SidelineMaryJaneTracey22NellineJulesIngrid Brunkhorst HurrellSACanada is a host-managed forum. We make use of volunteers (sorry no pay!) to help manage the forum and to provide folks to answer some pressing questions and to make sure that good order and neighbourliness is maintained on our beloved forum. Welcome guys, and here's hoping this heralds a new era for SACanada! There are still many people who are realising that Canada is a wonderful destination for a peaceful and safe place to live, work, and raise their kids. They need our help more than ever before! Enjoy! Hendie
  6. 17 points
    Just an update to everyone, flew on the 4th of April from Cape Town via Dubai, landed in Toronto yesterday afternoon, passport control and immigration was a breeze, took about 15 minutes in total if not less, no cues. Got SIN numbers at airport too, that took maybe ten minutes. Thought it would be much longer but we seemed to be very lucky. We had no good to declare and no goods to follow list, so TSA didn't even look at our bags. Got a connecting a few hours later to Moncton and got here just after midnight. Warning to those who have never travelled long distances, to me the flying was horrible, thank goodness for motion sickness tablets, and travel pillows are your best friend. About 40 hours of travel time in total, and Dubai is a terrible airport, we had a 9 hour layover there and the place is packed, bathrooms are horrible and it's hot there. Moncton is amazing though, we woke up this morning in the Airbnb we are staying in for the next two months and went on a small expedition around the neighborhood, found Tim Hortons and the local Shoppers drug Mart, bought our bus passes and are now ready to go exploring, will keep u up to date. Thanks again to everyone who helped us get here and for all the advice and responding to our questions when we bombarded you with them. You all helped us make our dreams come true.
  7. 16 points
    This topic comes up so often maybe a post needs to be pinned to get it a top read. Many immigrants are of the belief that if you have good experience why can't you just get a job? Of course having some international exposure to projects and maybe even a year or two of working overseas is a real bonus. Canada will welcome me with open arms! I'm so good at what I do that getting work is as simple as just applying for the best paying job (after all I want to earn a great salary if I'm going to go to all the trouble of immigrating) With my knowledge and the fact that I speak English better than many or most other immigrants to Canada I'll find the job market a breeze to get in to. But I have 5 degrees, why won't they want to employ me? I can do anything, I'm very dynamic and a go getter. I have done the work of 6 people all at the same time. I must be the best candidate for the job, right? I will literally do what ever it takes to get this job, or whatever I can to get a job similar to what I do right now! I am so desperate to get out of here (SA) that maybe if I can just get a job, at least I'll get something to get into the market. Then I can prove myself and it will make the career that much easier. Oh boy this is ridiculous, everyone tells me they want skilled people, there "seems" to be so much work available. I've applied to hundreds of jobs, sent out so many CV's and nothing happened. Why can't I just even get a reply? I either get nothing or I just get an auto response rejecting me! I am so "gatvol". That's it, if they don't want me, I'm wasting my time. I'll try New Zealand, Australia, UK, anywhere but that place (Canada), because they just are ridiculous. (But in the back of my mind I know I don't qualify for those places either, because the rules there are even worse) Any of these sound familiar to you as the newly landed immigrant, or even worse newly decided emmigrant? Time to educate yourself. 1st rule: Metaphorically speaking in your job, You can bake a chocolate chip cookie! Right? You can make a bannana muffin? Right? You can whip up a mean red velvet cupcake? Right? Ok as a saffer maybe you can even create the ultimate choc chip/bananna/ red velvet Swiss roll that is to die for! Yes as a Saffer you probably are just that dynamic and diverse and entrepreneurual to "do it all" So I can be this "good" in Canada? After all it will make sure I am worthy. WRONG! Canada is NOT a country of do-it-all people. Canada is a country of extreme specialists. To such an extent that many Canadians won't/can't even change a light bulb because it is believed to be the job of a master electrician who is insured and has the license to do so. You just don't do a job that you are not employed for! Even as an accountant you either do auditing or accounts payable or accounts receivable or you are a controller etc. you DO NOT do all of the above. They are 4 or more specific jobs and even careers, then you even have the years of experience for seniority. The same with Engineers. In SA you might be a civil engineer that can do all aspects of the project, from project planning through implementation, through quantity surveying etc. in Canada these are all SPECIALIZED INDIVIDUAL jobs. Don't assume your resume (Canadaian version of a CV) must include every skill. You specialize your resume for the skills of the job you are applying for. LEAVE ALL IRRELEVANT SKILLS / EXPERIENCE out that does not fit with the job. YOU WONT impress anyone here. They don't understand "jack of all trades" they ONLY WANT SPECIALIST people for SPECIFIC jobs, so tailor your resume to market yourself accordingly! Sound like its a bit far fetched? Well look at these videos, they will blow your mind and when you get "it" you will really "get" it and suddenly Canada will open those doors you need. Canada immigration - finding work - the expose (it shows immigrants but every immigrant faces the same issues, learn the context, forget the interviewee) Finding a job in Canada - How to make it happen Canada - Still the land of opportunity? Hope this helps and may this post be "pinned" and added to.
  8. 16 points
    I just wanted to share some great news. I received a job offer from a company in Halifax this week. According to the company they have done this a couple of times before, and the job offer should let me qualify for the NSNP skilled worker category without the need of an LMIA. If that comes through the next step is an LMIA exempt work permit based on the provincial nomination in order for me to go over and start working for them while I wait for PR to be finalised. Unfortunately this stream is not aligned to EE and it seems the paper based PR for PNP candidates take quite a bit longer than EE. I am really excited about this and really happy that things are starting to move forward. I almost lost hope when NB closed the open category for their PNP which I sent an EOI for, but is it just that fact that made find the job opening which I applied for under the jobs section on the http://www.workingin-canada.com/jobs site. If all goes well I should be in Halifax in about 9 or 10 months.
  9. 16 points
    After a very exhausting trip we landed In Calgary on the 10th of March. Was picked up at the airport. Thursday night we slept In our new home In Picture Butte. Had a few hectic days. Registered for medicals. Applied for SIN number and also our po box. And the best thing of all is that everyone is soo friendly and helpful and service delivery is outstanding. We just love our town. Couldn't sleep Friday and me and hubby went for a walk at 3:30am. What a bliss ! So safe ! Spend the first few days buying groceries and getting some furniture. For anyone still busy with their application .... Byt vas !!!!! It's really worth the struggle and effort !
  10. 15 points
    Now that my process is 100% complete, I can say I found that documentation was pretty good for the application process but there could be more for the post-landing. So I decided to share my findings to try help someone else in a similar position. Read the disclaimers below. If I can help 1 person, then my mission is accomplished! There will be some duplication, if this doesn't apply to you please just ignore the post I will make edits and additions as I remember things that may be helpful. I noted this things down based on my experiences and also for someone who isn't a millionaire and looking to save some $ after landing from SA. This is meant to be read by newly landed PRs but could be useful to read before leaving SA as well. Disclaimers: * This is based on MY experience * These tips and hints aren't necessarily the best way - feel free to provide better advice and I will add / edit / update * This is for a landing when you know nobody, no family or friends to assist you - if you have those, then you don't need this * This is mostly Ontario focused (and also GTA), not sure what will apply in other provinces (Ontario is pretty big) Finding a job * It's near impossible to find a decent job, so focus on making connections via other expats, Linkedin, industry professionals that you know in other countries * I found recruiters will ignore you and generally you will get many "No's" on all job applications * Sounds silly but try your best to get a job lined up before you leave SA, it will make the landing a lot easier (you will have an address, proof of income, people you know etc etc) Money * Don't cancel your SA Credit Cards until your first return trip - leave some money behind in the cards - you will need these when you land * Try bring a mastercard if you can, some stores don't take Visa * Drawing money is expensive - there is a $3 surcharge usually - but compared to not having money, it's nothing * Buy USD in SA and convert at the airport - they may waive commissions above $300 and you don't need a scrap of anything, not even ID - for under $1500 I believe (you shouldn't need that much cash anyway) * Go straight to a bank and arrange an account (I went with RBC but they are all good) - they all have newcomer programmes, easy enough to research beforehand. They should give you a credit card (seems Mastercard is a better choice than Visa) and Interac Debit card * Don't apply for different cards or banks. Every credit check is a negative (my bank advised me to keep it to 4 or less to build my score) * Make sure you get your cheque books ASAP, you will need them for your rent cheques (10 post dated cheques when you get the keys) Car, Licence (Or License as they spell it here), Driving * Do some G1 practice tests online (I didn't) * Go straight to DriveTest when you land and apply for a driving licence "conversion" (SA doesn't qualify for the direct conversion) * Do the G1 test there and then (so you can book the G) * Keep in mind that the G1 invalidates your SA Driving Licence!! * Try find a G road test ASAP - call the call centre when you get home (you will need your new G1 licence number and expiry date to book the G test and you will need to speak to an agent as skipping the G2 is a special process) * Definitely get a lesson before the test and watch all the videos you can (It's easier than K53 but tricky since everything is the other way round - you will notice this very quickly when you need to do a 3-point turn!) * For the road test, there is no yard and there are no poles to hit or incline start - other than that, everything is similar to SA * when they say pull off the road, get OFF the road completely (during the test) * keep your hands on the wheel at all times * make sure you ride AT the speed limit and always enter the highway AT 100km/h not lower * Insurance is a problem. No way around it. You can make it cheaper by: living in the sticks, taking a telemetry device to save money in year 2, combining with your home insurance, getting winter tires. Shop around but in the end, anything under $300 a month is good for a newish car * Get your car finance from the dealership if you can, I managed to get a 2.99% interest rate this way (you may need a 20% down payment though but this also applies to the bank finance) * When driving, on a left turn remember right is tight, left is long * Learn the road signs for your G1 - there are a lot of different road signs here (such as the no stopping sign or the speed limit sign with an arrow) * There are no speeding cameras that I have seen in Ontario (they are apparently outlawed) so don't waste time looking for them! * If you are renting a car on landing for a significant time, say more than 5 days, do not rent at the airport - find a car rental nearby, book through them and get alternative transport (Uber) to there - this will save you $300 over a 3 week rental! * Petrol (Gas) prices vary by station and also changes every 2 days - prices are usually posted so you can drive around but generally it isn't worth it to shop around unless it's 8 or 10c cheaper somewhere else Winter tips * Get a car with heated seats! * Before the snow comes, make sure you have -45 windscreen washer fluid * Also get a snow brush and ice scraper with some rags in the car * Depending on where you park, try keep a snow shovel in your trunk (boot) * Also try keep some de-icer fluid in the car to melt the ice on your windscreen in the morning * Some will say get remote start but I have found even with driving, the car takes 10-15min to warm up when it's -10 but I guess every bit helps! Finding a home * Find a few realtors (estate agents), meet with them and find one you can get on with, who understands your situation and will fight your case * Then, kick off your search on realtor.ca - jot down the MLS IDs you like, send these to the realtor and let them do the legwork (they will arrange viewings, assess the area etc) * Depending on your budget and what you are looking for, try look at Condos and Townhouses * Real estate is high here, don't be shocked when you see the rent numbers (it is offset by lower taxes in a way - when compared to the same salary in SA) * Don't bother with Kajiji etc unless they give MLS IDs * Good places will be hard to get as demand is very high with the property boom and immigrant influx * I had to put in offers on rental, much like buying a house in SA - the Realtor fights your case here * Try find a "Green" place that combines your heating systems (basically try avoid electric only heating) * When they say Hydro that means Electricity NOT water. Water is water - which is sometimes included * People don't buy "geysers" or water heaters here, they rent them. This may or may not be included in rent. * Go for direct debit on the utilities, this way they don't take a "Security deposit" - nothing like SA * Rent unless you have the money for a 20% downpayment and are 100% sure where you want to live (keep in mind average house price in the GTA is currently $750,000) * There are no 6 month leases, don't even try - there are a queue of people offering 1 year so a 6-month request pushes you to the back of the queue * You need enough cash to cover First and last months before you get the keys. You also need a security deposit. So, for my rental of $1800 - I had to come up with $3850 in one go. * Notice period is 2 months on the 1st i.e. if you want to move out on 30 Nov you must give notice on or before 30 Sep (it works in calendar months) * You never get the last month back (only the small security deposit) and that last month is the last month, i.e. if you go onto a month-to-month after your first year, you keep paying rent i.e. start giving a monthly cheque * You will need to take out tenant insurance if renting, no way around it, so keep this in mind Food / Take-aways / Coffee * Don't bother with Starbucks it's too expensive - go to Tim Hortons and ask for a Double Double - like a real Canadian! (coffee + double cream + double sugar) * Milk is really expensive here, the reason Canadians use bags is because it's around half the price if you take the bag...stupid but yes * Don't bother with Swiss Chalet or KFC, just go to Nandos (also Nandos doesn't have Mild here) * Get a Keurig machine (or knock off) and buy the K-Cups in bulk at Canadian Tire or No Frills or Costco etc - will save you a lot in the long run (or stick to Instant Coffee!) * There are some reasonably affordable healthy steamer options that you can microwave, try them - at least in the beginning (instead of eating out every day) Shopping * Always check Canadian Tire first, it's like a Makro combined with Builders but also has a lot of other stuff at good prices * Bed, Bath and Beyond also has a lot of stuff at fair prices (wide variety) * For home shopping, Home Outfitters runs a lot of good promotions and has pretty good stuff * Jysk is a bit like Mr Price home but better - you can get decent quality items for the home in this store (most times even cheaper than IKEA) * When starting out IKEA is great but if you don't want to construct everything yourself and become a cardboard recycling factory go there for the basic stuff (extension cords, light bulbs, spare bedding etc). I picked up a spare pillow for $2 and it works just as well as my $40 one * After you land, while you are getting over the shock of the cost of things, do your grocery shopping at No Frills - but beware they do not take VISA credit cards! You will find the same items there at lower prices than other places * Shoppers Drug Mart (the bigger ones at least) are 24h if you need Milk or groceries at odd hours Hotels and transport * When looking for a hotel (for your first few weeks), use booking.com to find a hotel with availability etc and then call the hotel directly to book - you will save $10-$15 per night this way * The GO train is really good but it's a commuter train and only takes people into the city in the morning and out in the afternoon - otherwise the bus system is pretty good Shipping your belongings * if your shipment is small enough, don't bother with door to door delivery - you need to clear customs at the airport in person after your goods arrive * make sure you have the goods to follow list in good order with all the documentation from the courier company - makes the customs release straight forward * Generally, do not ship anything that you can buy here - you will be amazed at the variety of stores and selection you have here. Voltages and bed sizes are also different of course * None of your electronics will work unless they are rated 100-240V and you will need adapters - only bring laptop and cellphone chargers Medical * If you are landing without a job, you will need emergency medical insurance as OHIP does not apply for your first 3 months * The 3 month waiting period applies from your date of landing ("Became PR" date) provided you can show a driver's licence, PR card, proof of address when applying for the card - I had been present in Canada for 1.5 months when applying for my card since I had to return to SA after initial landing Other/General * Get a Fixed address ASAP (I used my company's address) - this is a big thing here and you will need to be able to receive mail at this address! They post everything here - bank card, credit card, drivers licence, health card, SPAM, insurance confirmations * When you order your Internet and cable service, ask about promotions - they are always running promotions that are not advertised - I managed to get 250/20 for $75/month (for a year contract) * If at all possible, try time your landing so that you can take advantage of Black Friday and Boxing Day sales - so you want to be in your house by the latest end November (the sales are on everything, not just electronics) - in some cases, big ticket items (appliances, furniture, beds etc can be less than half price) * Set up a DSTV online profile for a family member and use their account to watch DSTV (specifically cricket and rugby which you won't find here) - You will need to use unotelly or unlocator for this but it's worth it! * Use wunderground.com to check the weather - I find it is very accurate for my area. You can get an idea of the temperature predicted as well as when it will snow and how much. The amount of snow is a bit of a guess by anyone though but usually they are quite spot on about when it will snow and what the temperature will be (I have a unit measuring it and most of the time the website is 100% accurate)
  11. 15 points
    Unfortunately you are not anyone else! What was hard for them might be trivial to you, what is hard for you, others might not even have faced. It all has to do with how you handle stress. Do you remain calm? Do you freak out because the line in the grocery store is too long? Do you hate rainy wet weather, not because it's rain, but because the damb dog keeps getting the floor dirty! Immigrating to a new country is all about leaving it behind. Deal with your baggage before you leave or it will manifest into a huge pile of Steaming stinky stuff very fast. This is the emotional stuff you hide under that Saffer bravado. You will release that pent up anger so unexpectedly that it will catch you by surprise. It might even scare the hell out of you if you don't know It's coming. It's the things we long for more than the circumstances that trip us up. As Karin mentioned, leave it behind! Make no room for a back door in your plans. Yes I know you think and you say its final and no looking back. Seldom do you realize it, but your spouse might be the one harbouring the "what if" thoughts. Deal openly and honestly with all sides of your feelings. Drop that 'I'm a man and I don't talk mooshy feeling k@@k'. Sit down and have the entire family deal with their fears, hopes, dreams and expectations. Get on the same page as fast as you can, and DONT assume everyone is on the same boat as you. Often kids have things they can't tell you because you have made up your mind and it's your way, end of story. Take the time to listen to them, they are equally important, and if this move is 'for them' stop excluding them. Make them part of your team, it helps them feel like they belong. Acknowledge that both parents might have to work to start off with. Survival jobs are not an embarrassment, they are a means to an end. You doing something beneath your expectations doesn't make you less of a person, it makes you a person strong enough to move forward, even if you have to walk backwards for a little while. If you suffer from emotional stress or other medically related problems, you NEED to find your zen point. This journey is the hardest thing you will face, and it's the most rewarding if you just LET IT GO. Family (well actually relatives - even parents and siblings are really just relatives, learn that fact and it's easier to deal with, kind of distancing yourself emotionally) staying behind are all adults, they make their own choices and live their own lives. You might be the closest family and spend hours and hours in each other's company. Maybe you have one of the families where everyone lives in each other's homes/clothes/fridges/potjie pot etc. The reality is when you close you eyes at night, it's who you fall asleep with that is your real family. They are the ONLY ones you will need to get over the days ahead, make sure you are in their life more than your siblings and parents. Everyone else is old and ugly enough to choose their own path. It's not for you to walk their path, neither is it their duty to place boulders on yours. Respect them for their choices, but remind them to respect you for yours. Make peace with the fact that you may never ever see (physically) your older parents or grandparents, take the time to say good bye in person now and do it properly (remember you still want to be in that will ). Money makes the world and journey easier, but learn to live with far less than you need right now. Force yourself into living on the bare minimum and when you get here and can afford better or more, you suddenly feel fabulous. Reverse that and you suddenly will know what financial devastation and destruction does to even the strongest relationships. Finally, buy yourself a pair (or two) of big boy/girl pants. You are going to be wearing those really well so you may as well get used to it. It's hard, but rewarding. It's emotional but it's crime and fear free. It's happiness rolled inside sadness, covered in joy and delight. You choose which layer to savor and what layer to spit out. Have fun and remember to smell the flowers and stop to watch a honey bee do its job. You will be amazed at what you can learn from those simplest of moments in life. You forget to do these things in SA, yet here it becomes a way of life. LIVING like you have never lived before!
  12. 14 points
  13. 14 points
    YEEEESSSSS. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. Woke up today, checked my Google Now and saw a post from Canada visa about lower points at 441... checked email... NOTHING... logged onto CIC and there it was! my ITA... HAPPY dance all the way. On my favourite day of the year too 22 Feb! Three twos; and it's Thinking Day for us blue blooded Girl Guides (Founders day for Scouts) And not a day too soon my EE profile expires in 3 days lol And now the police clearances and medicals begin. My sister in Alberta will be so happy lol. Happy dance. Happy dance. Happy dance. Happy dance. Happy dance. Happy dance. Happy dance. Happy dance. HAPPYYYY DAAAANCE. Yooooooohhhhhhhhhooooooooooo... can you tell I'm excited? in case you can't....
  14. 14 points
    Hi everyone, I was feeling creative this morning... I thought I'd share my ramblings with you :-) My South Africa, is a beautiful, captivating, soulful, gritty, charming, abusive man. There are moments of true bliss. Walking through a lush park on a Summer afternoon. The air so humid you could drink it. The sound of birds and beetles and children playing. Palm trees and banana leaves and sticky melted ice creams. The smell of braai smoke wafting through the air. Lazy Sunday mornings on the beach. The sand, soft. The sea, warm. The gritty charm of peeled paint and pavement peddlars. The friendly smiles of strangers. The chit chat with the checkout lady. Dusty farm roads and thorn trees. The warm strength of family. This is love. First love. Deep love that sinks right down to your bones and courses through your veins. The childhood memories... oh the memories. Chappies chewing gum and Chomps... running naked through the sprinkler... swimming in the Summer till your fingers are wrinkled and your lips are blue... Barefoot bliss. And you realise you’re hooked. Then. The blood curdling scream of a neighbour in the night. The robber with a broken bottle on the beach. The deafening ring of your house alarm that wakes you with a jolt. The crooked politicians, stealing from the poor people that put them there. The lights go out. The water stops. Your car skids off a pot-holed road. And you wonder, is this abuser on the road to rehabilitation or relapse? And you lie awake at 4am with a head full of panic and you realise it’s time to bundle your babies up…and leave. It’s time.
  15. 14 points
    Hi all, Ok as you can imagine things have been rather hectic but we are getting things going. SIN numbers applied for, Bank accounts open, Sim cards sorted and we are starting to settle in. I went for my first Job interview last week and have gone house hunting with an Agent and are busy applying for Rent for a house in South Kanata. We both have our G1 drivers licenses and are going to book for our G test as soon as our G1's reflect on the booking system. Driving on the "other" side of the road is actually really not that bad. Had one moment each but thankfully on quiet roads haha. Otherwise 400km down and we are doing well. We feel fairly comfortable and need to buy a car as a rental costs a good bit more and we need to save where possible. We were also accredited our full driving history which means we can apply to do the full G test straight away. Otherwise we are somewhat getting to know the area, driving a fair bit and watching very very boring news (we literally just watched a news story about a new pedestrian crossing being unveiled, I kid not). We went with RBC for a bank and got $2000 CAD dollars on credit which is pretty cool. We went with joint accounts and get 6 months free banking. Also we can apply for a mortgage after 3 months employment but have decided to rent for a year to figure out the areas where we are keen on and see how our jobs go.
  16. 14 points
    Yipeeeee we received our ITA!
  17. 14 points
  18. 14 points
    So it's been about 6 weeks since we left OR Tambo with just the right mix of fear, trepidation and relief to positively burp butterflies. It's been a busy period and new challenges ahead seem to replace old ones all the time but we've had a great time of it and I thought sharing our story thus far might help others who are considering the journey or have already started on it. I'm a medical doctor who finished his studies about 5 years ago, relatively fresh out of the forced labor which is two years of internship and one year of community service. Everyone has heard stories of Pakistani/Indian/etc doctors sweeping sidewalks and serving burgers in Canada because their degrees are not seen comparable to Canadian ones. Well, South African doctors can thank their stars that SA decided to make our internship programme two years long in 2005 because in Canada you specialise as a Family Physician for two years after your undergraduate degree and our "forced labour" internship is seen as equivalent to a specialisation in Canada, and thus we can work here as Family Physicians. The only catch is that you have to work supervised and salaried (you can't bill your patient services from the government) for the first 12 weeks, a period which I am currently halfway through. I never thought I'd say this but thank you Manto Shabalala Msimang, for garlic, beetroot and a fresh start in Canada! Having established the reason for being eligible to work in Canada, it's important to know that we came over on a work permit for myself and not PR like many other forum members. The whole work permit and LMIA and visa process took about 8 months from looking for work in January, signing a contract in February, applying for the permit in April, and registering with their medical college in steps throughout the year until finally landing in early August. My initial work permit is only for three months, and it then gets extended to the full duration of my 2nd LMIA which is for 5 years. That extension was applied for early September, and while its being processed, in the event of my original permit expiring, I will work here under what is called 'implied status' until a further immigration decision is made. The silliest part is that you can apply for the extension the moment you land here, begging the question why they can't give you the longer work permit to start off with. But then you need to pay fees again so I suppose someone has to pay for the crash in oil prices. Unfortunately it seems one can't get Alberta Health Care or your Albertan driver's license while on a work permit of less than 6 months, so that's really unfortunate until we get my extended work permit. I ended up using my SA medical aid's travel insurance for the first three months, and will then have to get private insurance until my extended permit comes through and I can apply for Alberta Health. Keep this in mind if you come over on a work permit for less than 6 months. I planned on landing a week before starting to work and fortunately managed to get most administrative stuff sorted out in that week. We were in the extremely fortunate position of having family fetch us from the airport and letting us stay with them for the first week. I have a lot of respect for people that get rental cars and a hotel and eke everything out on their own from Day 1, but I'm glad we didn't have to. The first week in a nutshell: Day 1 I got a SIN number at a Service Canada (like Home Affairs back in SA, but arguably more functional), opened a bank account and applied for a credit card at RBC, and went to the local Ford dealership to buy a car. I was set on buying one cash as I thought it wouldn't be possible to get credit, but surprisingly enough the dealership approved financing for a new car (Which is great even though we had saved up enough to buy one cash because you start building a Canadian credit record, right?). We ended up only getting the car on Day 5 due to difficulty sourcing the model we wanted, so good thing I left a week to sort this out before starting work. Insurance also had to be sorted out and to this end you need to bring you history of insurance from SA as well as your driver's license history issued by SA. I've heard of people getting very high insurance rates because they didn't do this; I'm paying about 1400 CAD a year on a 37 000 dollar vehicle, which from what I've heard isn't half bad. The most important thing is not your driving history but your insurance history as you get massive discounts per claim free year. I could provide 3 years history from SA and apparently that affords you their penultimate rating; after a year of insurance with them (permitting there aren't any claims) I'll go into their highest rating. So at the end of the first week we left the family that had helped us find our feet for the first week and drove to the tiny town of 800 people that would be our home for the next three months. Probably the biggest downside to this three month period is that we (my wife, infant daughter and I) have to move twice, as the assessment period does not take place in the town that contracted me. We were lucky enough again to be afforded a place to stay for the first two weeks with the family of the person actually appointed as my Assessor (another ex-South African doctor of 14 years) because there was literally no place available to rent anywhere in town. We moved into the first one that opened up on the 1 of September. Seeing firsthand how someone moved with his four daughters and his wife and made a life for his family, integrating into the community and marrying off his daughters to Canadians, will probably benefit my young family more than we might immediately realise. So we're renting a unit in a 'fourplex' in a tiny town of 800 people for now, and had absolutely no choice as to the rental because it was literally the only place available in town. We're lucky that the agent is willing to let at a month to month basis as we would have to break a longer lease when we move again in November. When I opened up a bank account I was toying with the idea of buying a property in the town that recruited me (after the first 3 months) rather than renting, as renting a house with a yard easily costs as much if not more than a mortgage (1500 to 2500 CAD per month). Initially this was met with some skepticism at my bank and the assurance that I'd have to put down at least 20% of the buying price. They also said that I'd have to show a few months of Canadian bank statements, prove a credit record and would likely have to file tax at least once before being considered. I had resigned to this, thinking that we'd likely rent and try buying next year. That's when I gave the local credit union a call and asked what they're requirements would be, considering that I'd prefer buying as soon as November and that I'd prefer putting down 10%. They were very accommodating, accepting my SA credit record, a string of SA bank statements, and a mortgage down payment of as little as 5%! Basically what it comes down to is that there are large Canadian insurance companies, the one being Genworth, that allows new immigrants to buy mortgage insurance when they have a less than 20% down payment and are new in the country. It seems like the banks don't advertise this widely, because soon after my bank found out I accepted a mortgage with a 10% down payment, they arranged a counteroffer through the same insurer with the same down payment and a better interest rate. So here we are about 6 weeks into our new life and just had our second offer to purchase accepted pending an inspection. The first offer, as you might wonder, fell through after the offer and the mortgage was approved because of a failed inspection which picked up water damage in the basement foundation. Inspections are expensive (about 500 dollars) but can save you a lot of money in the long run, since us South Africans obviously know nothing about soil grades, wood and concrete basements and different types of drywall. The inspection on the new property is tomorrow, holding thumbs it's all good! So I'm sure any prospective emigrant is probably bored with all the arrangements that I'm penning down and wants to know what Canada is like. So obviously Canada is different things to different people, and surely to the same people having been here different periods of time. To me, so far, it's been sleeping with the front door open, dropping in to 'borrow' Wi-Fi from our former hosts in town because they never lock their front door even when out of town for a long weekend, driving down scenic sometimes not-so-well-maintained rural highways and just feeling relieved, feeling unencumbered by old worries even as I'm happily encumbered by a different set of worries just because the very nature of those worries fall in the zone of 'things I can do something about' rather than the South African worries being more like 'things you can't change and will probably get worse whether you worry about them or not', enjoying a glorious (albeit expensive) long weekend in the Jasper and Banff national parks (Banff possibly being the most beautiful town I've seen), working in a hospital and clinic that has trained, professional, motivated and well paid staff, helping patients that are generally and genuinely thankful and respectful towards the medical profession, getting loans and mortgages easier as a foreigner than I would have in my country of citizenship (admittedly probably due to my profession actually being valued here), seeing my 19-month old enjoy a society built around looking after the safety, wellbeing and education of its children, and above all, knowing that I'm giving her a better future.
  19. 13 points
    Hi @EyelidGoose Sorry, been off the grid, getting settled here in canadaland! Yeah, so here's my experience in bringing the pooch over. Things to do before flying: 1.source a crate and make sure the pooch is fully comfy in it. 2.make sure the pooch gets his annual vaccinations including rabbies. Ask the vet for the relevant vaccinations required for Canada. 3.insert a microchip. Although this is not a requirement for Canada, I believe it is a requirement for exiting SA. Also being prudent to ensure if your pet goes off the grid, hopefully someone will find him and get him back home safely. This can be done at the same time as the vaccinations. 4.get the pooch his preflight check up done at your local vet within 5 days of landing at destination. This is to get the green light for him to fly. 5.get the preflight checkup vet documents state vetted at a department of agriculture state vet. Note you have to make a booking, pay R140 per certificate and just take the vet documents to the state vet, no dog required. I believe this is not required for Canada, however it is and export SA requirement still. 6.contact the pet export agent to book his flight and double check all docs are in order to fly. PM me and I'll send you the people we used if you are interested. Our little guy flew KLM and arrived just fine. He was completely happy in his crate though and we did I not sedate him. On this side, you have to wait for the local vet to check that his is fine, sign a whole bunch of documents and pay another $125 to release him. He flew perfectly happy and arrived safe and sound. our costs were estimated at the following: Crate: R1000 All vet fees including state vetting: R2000 Flight: R8000 Canadian import fees: $125 hope this helps PS: I was offered a job last week and will be starting this Friday! Very, very happy and feeling great to get some sort of routine back into our lives!
  20. 13 points
    When life as an immigrant becomes overwhelming... Once the honeymoon phase of being in new surroundings, is over, and reality hits you, life can get tough. Some folks are prone to depression, despondency, feelings of hopelessness. Some find it hard to talk about challenges and struggles. (I think most of us are like that.) Guilt can be a factor: we are living in a safe country, others in S.Africa may be facing horrible situations on a regular basis. Anxiety that comes from the concerns we have about family and friends still in SA, can be a another thing that eats away at us. There are 101 triggers, and all are legit and normal. If you are feeling some or all of these emotions, and more; we understand it. Most of us have been in those moments or seasons of intense turmoil or anxiety or self-questioning. What I am getting to though is this: when life gets to the point that it is so overwhelming as an immigrant that you are contemplating suicide, please reach out to someone for help. Every community has resources. Your GP, church, friends you may have made...anyone. Please just talk to someone and don't feel you are facing this all alone. You are not alone. There are people who understand you and what you are feeling. There IS help available. Your life is worth it. Please don't ever think you don't mean anything to anyone. Loneliness, despair, anxiety, illness, death in the family, any major challenge in life such as divorce, a spousal affair...those things unfortunately can happen and affect us deeply. Yes, they come at times, and even if it has become something that you cannot just shake off, but you find it is lingering...there is help available. Please don't give up. We care about you and we also now that there is life after a season like that. Life can be beautiful again. If you are wondering why I am sharing this, it is suffice to know that I have had to deal way too many times with attempted and completed suicides in my work as a (previous) trauma intervention/victim services' worker or just as a friend. No more. It is time to talk and let people know when help is needed. One attempted or completed suicide is one too many. Your. Life. Matters.
  21. 13 points
    Next Wednesday, 23rd September. I cannot tell you how excited I am!
  22. 12 points
    Take my advice. Although it seems easier and logical to enroll on day 1 at the start of the school year, remember that the first day of school is rather chaotic at the school and a new kid isn't going to get any special attention or individual treatment. That new-to-Canada child is just another face in the crowd. First day of school is madness. But when a new child joins in the middle of the year that child gets extra attention and support from the teacher and fellow pupils. Much easier for the new child. Remember that the SA syllabus is not like the Canadian one, so starting on day 1 of a school year or half way through actually makes no difference. But the timing will definitely determine how much attention, help and support a new student gets. Enrol your child during the school year! They will have a much softer landing.
  23. 12 points
    Hi everyone, I just want to thank you all for the support in the group. We got our passport request two hours ago. Its hard to describe how we feel or how I feel. In all it ended in praise to God. I wish all those waiting for their good news soon. This is best experienced than explained. BTW I'm FSW outland AOR March 3. BG in progress first time November 16, PPR November 18.
  24. 12 points
    What do you think of this view? In less than a month, we will be moving into our new home, recently purchased, and this will be our view! Sooooo excited!
  25. 12 points
    Has it occurred to anyone, when they are reading the forums, that the people who regularly contribute, do so free of charge with no ulterior motive but to help others. There is no reason for someone to be "mean". When you look at the length of some answers, there is considerable effort gone in to these replies. Please can people take into consideration the value of the advice which is freely given, not to mention how valuable a resource this forum is. Get off your high horse and appreciate the effort people are taking to assist others!