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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/16/2018 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    I moved to IP2 some time last week and finally got the CPCO-FinalRequest email today!
  2. 2 points
    Two days short of 6 months... and there's a "Ready for Visa" email in my inbox! 😀😀😀 Nothing in my CIC profile as yet, and I've not gone through everything I need to do, but it's a relief 😀😀
  3. 2 points
    Some days are like this... Please don't get me wrong. I love life. I love living in Canada. When we sleep with open windows at night and get that whiff of salty sea-air, I'm thankful that we live in a safe neighbourhood.When I watch bald eagles soar above our home, I have a lump in my throat.When some ring-necked turtle doves coo their woeful songs in our backyard, my heart cries with them. Their songs unlock wonderful childhood memories of growing up in Natal...It's not easy living in a foreign country as an immigrant. Regardless of your status, whether you are a permanent resident or citizen, inside of you, the real core of who you are - it stays the same.I am still Ingrid, born in Pietermaritzburg, raised in a German community. I am still the wild-child-Ingrid who ran free on the South Coast of Natal; swimming, biking, climbing trees, eating pineapples by cutting off the tops and scooping out the flesh with a spoon; having many a close encounter with mambas, puff adders and other creepy-crawleys. I am still the same Ingrid who studied at Tukkies, worked at UNISA, met my Englishman, married, moved to Botswana. And yet, everything has changed.I now belong in a different country, and there are times I still feel I don't belong.There are days when I am oversensitive and somehow people's comments hurt more than other days. There are days when I feel as if I have lost my balance and perspective because life just seems to pinch in so many ways.There are good days too. Absolutely glorious days! Many of them. Days when we visit with friends - Canadian, South African, whatever - and we laugh until our stomachs hurt. Or we become quiet when we remember something of significance. Nostalgia that sets in so easily. The nostalgia that gets to one at times and leaves you sad, grateful, lonely, remembered, seeking, found, lost, at home...all at the same time. Besides South Africa, I have lived in Botswana, Australia, America. Had long, extended visits in Zimbabwe, Namibia, Israel. Travelled Europe and other countries.I love other cultures so I am always learning, experiencing, wanting to explore. I don't think that will ever change for me. I can do a road trip or any other type of travel experience at the drop of a hat. It's what adds colour and spice to life! Meeting people who are all so different and beautiful and sad and complex and amazing...I love it! But why does one have these days that are like this?That is a question I have asked myself many times.Perhaps it is my generation? I look at my sons and they are planted. Rooted. At home.Both of them have gorgeous Canadian girlfriends. This is where they are settled and feel at peace. Their memories of South Africa are fading a bit. Understandably so. They never lived there as long as we as parents did.It's not that I want to move back to South Africa. Not at all.I am quite content to live in British Columbia. It is a stunningly beautiful province. We're in a good place. Fact. And yet... Maybe it is a mom-thing.Moms agonize about anything and everything it seems. We lie awake at night, crying softly into pillows. We cry because we miss something...someone...of days gone past. I think sometimes we are sad and we don't even know why.We cry because of what we had and lost and for what our kids will never have. Like my Dad. He passed away in 1989 so our youngest never even met him. But that's life right? It doesn't really have anything to do with immigration, but as moms we are saddened by the fact that children grow up without their grandparents. My husband's elderly parents are both still alive, living in SA. My mom lives in Arizona. The scatterlings-syndrome. We have been diagnosed as immigrants! Somehow living in another country makes life feel more "dangerous" at times. Perhaps it is because of not having the same extended family support-system we used to have, so when someone has a car accident or has to go to hospital, it feels more overwhelming that what it would have felt "back home." I have always chosen to help others. That's my way of coping with hardships or lonely times. I look for people in need and do what I can to extend a hand of support.It has been a carry-through for me many times. Perhaps that's why I am even writing this today: to let others know that when they feel wobbly, unbalanced, alone, crazy, downcast, frustrated, lonely and bewildered at times...they are not alone.Fortunately these days become less as the years go by. We learn new coping mechanisms, make new friends, take up challenging jobs, learn new skills or hobbies...and we adjust.We plant gem squashes because it gives a sense of home. We learn to love hockey, so that we can understand and be part of the culture. We make our own biltong and we chew on a bit of what we once had.It feels good when we can be like this. Our feet are firmly in Canada, our hearts are here, but we allow ourselves a little bit of what we still are inside.Africans by birth. Immigrants by choice.A privilege not all have.And therein lies some guilt.A few people here have commented on whether they still read SA news... I did. For a long time. There was this dreadful sense of obligation and responsibility riding me. I just had to know what was going on in South Africa!Why, I am not sure. There is seriously nothing one can do about it, other than pray, keep in touch with loved ones. This terrible storm has subsided within me. I am learning to relax and be at peace that where we live, is safer than most S.Africans have it. We only have power failures when there has been a storm or when a silly raven flies into power lines, causing a transformer to blow. I can take the dog for a walk at 11pm at night, by myself, and I have absolutely no fear of being attacked.We have it good. I count my blessings and my heart is filled with gratitude. And I am learning to let go of that false guilt that we can be here...while others are being attacked, murdered, robbed and raped in SA. It is not easy to come to this place, but it is possible. I have wanted to write this piece for a long time now. I have wanted to share with newcomers that life is good here, yes. Very good, in fact. But certainly not always very easy. One thing that helps you survive, is to have a heart of gratitude. Tough I know, but it is harder if you don't cultivate it.So easy for people to gripe when culture shock hits them, or the white stuff stays on the ground too long, or your spouse is unexpectedly laid off.We went through twenty months of unemployment for my husband when he was laid off when the economy slid downwards a few years ago. Those are days I do not wish on anyone. We were shaken to our core and our ordeal became a natural sieve to determine who were truly friends. Not many people stay around when you're in a crisis like that. Everyone loves a winner right? However, when circumstances beyond your control leave you in a vulnerable place like that, there is nothing one can do but buckle down and take one day at a time. We were stretched beyond anything we'd ever experienced. But, in the end, we came through it stronger; not just as survivors, but as overcomers. I don't know how others have experienced going through a crisis in a foreign country. Did you also experience deeper vulnerability than when you were in SA where close friends and family were more readily available to lend support and help? It is something I have become increasingly aware of over the years as I have watched others go through tragedy or personal crisis situations. We need a support system - even a cyber network like SACanada gives one a much-needed and appreciated place where you can vent, ask questions, share sorrows and joys, feel accepted. Personally, what carries me through days or seasons such as this, is my relationship with the Lord. The Psalms are full of passages that talk of the Lord being there in the day of trouble, loneliness, when all have turned their backs on you, when destitute...I know He hears me, even if there have been times when I have hardly had breath to talk to Him. He reads my heart and He knows all that is happening to me/us. God is good! I guess this piece of writing is probably mostly me processing the decades we have lived outside of SA, the people we have seen come and go, the good and the hard times. These things all happen yes, but we have so much to work with and for here, in Canada. I love being a part of SACanada where the "old timers" can share from own experiences, hopefully sometimes even advising some newbies to avoid pitfalls and potential obstacles. That sure makes the transition easier. We have only recently assisted a young S.African girl with easing into life in Canada. I was surprised to see how different her adjustment was to ours. Her culture shock revolves around small issues such as the fact that people here buy from thrift stores, that you lose your SA driver's license when you get a BC license, how to (properly) pack a dishwasher/use a garburator and the challenges of bussing all over the district. For me as a mom it was more about schools and education, what kind of friends our youngest would have at school, best place to shop for necessities and so on. So we each have different challenges in adjusting and making this country "Home." If you have had "some days like this," rest assured. It's normal. Most, if not all immigrants, new or veteran, have them. It can be triggered by something as small as a smell that reminds you of home, to receiving news of the death of a loved one in SA. Emotions, memories, thought-patterns and behaviour can be put on a roller coaster, leaving you exhausted, depressed, sleepless and mopey. But as always, life runs in seasons and cycles and the sad or tough times always eventually change into deeper times of refreshing, fulfilment, contentment and making peace of who you are, where you are and why you are where you are! Life is good in the immigrants' lane! Blessings to you! Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell, Vancouver, BC. September 2013.
  4. 1 point
    Hi @pandaCat, I recently moved to and work as a structural engineer, in Ontario, and have some first hand experience in all that you have asked above. Both Alberta and Ontario have mild differences in their registration processes, but at their core they're pretty much the same. There are stringent requirements that internationally educated engineers have to meet for PEng registration. I am a registered PrEng with ECSA, and to be honest, it hasn't helped me in any way with my registration with the PEO (Ontario), I have had to go through the entire process just like any other internationally educated engineer. It is possible to get job, as a graduate engineer/engineering intern without being a registered PEng, but I would advise that you to, at least register as an EIT (Engineering Intern) with either APEGA or the PEO. The work you do, will be under the supervision of a PEng. Have a read through this pamphlet, it contains all the requirements for newcomer engineer registration with the PEO: http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php/ci_id/22546/la_id/1.htm The job market is really tough for newcomer engineers. Doing your Masters here in Canada helps, taking a junior position to gain experience, while you obtain your PEng also helps. Best of luck mate.
  5. 1 point
    Hi @Liezelleroux, have you considered opening a bank account in Canada in your name already (e.g. at RBC) and then depositing the money from your father-in-law's account directly there? You only have to convert it from USD to CAD then.
  6. 1 point
    Do not go with "Its Canada Time": saw some posts on the SACanada FB group from people who were scammed. Read here as well: https://ca.trustpilot.com/review/www.itscanadatime.com
  7. 1 point
    We thought the same thing actually and we thought we'd be okay. Depending on how old you are, you may be okay without doing the tests for her. I personally didn't want to spend that kind of money either if one would suffice. We were not properly informed by our consultants (which you don't really need but my boyfriend wanted peace of mind, I guess) and so I ended up doing the IELTS the following year because we then found, his score had dropped to 429 on account of the penalty for bringing a spouse and another birthday (They initially quoted us as being in the 450's). I asked a similar question on this forum and the gist of it is they recommended that I do those tests. From personal experience though, the IELTS is just easier to do together and has more immediate and significant results. We ended up applying with only my IELTS done, just before we were going to drop 5 points because of birthdays again. We were selected a few days later with a score of 449. Furthermore, after we had our birthdays and my WES was finally processed on their end, we ended up with a score of 451. My point is, being misinformed costed us time and points. All the best with your application.
  8. 1 point
    Been such a long, long time since I last popped in! So much has happened in our lives, and in the lives of so many here. Hello everyone!
  9. 1 point
    A beginner's guide...excuse any typos. A South African's Guide to Express Entry_ MB.pdf
  10. 1 point
    Thank you @iguessee and @Kitcat I see, the points calculator I was using here, was not so great. The ones you refer to make it all clear, there is a penalty you pay on the scores for taking a spouse but you get back the points for their education & language scores. It guess it comes down to taking a chance on a slightly lower score or paying for the extra tests and making sure, the latter is probably preferable. Thanks a lot for helping me out of my misery!
  11. 1 point
    Hi @pandaCat, that’s a pretty good score, and if the draws stay consistent as they have the last few months in the 440s then you should get an ITA soon and wouldn’t have to worry about your partner doing IELTS and WES to up your score. However, if you’re using the CIC tool - http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp - and are claiming a common law partner who is accompanying you to Canada, there should be an option to input their qualifications and IELTS results and you can then see what your score would be with her factors added. For WES, we opted for the $7 option and received our report without any hassles.
  12. 1 point
    YES. She will add a maximum of 20 points for IELTS alone. For WES, a maximum of 10. Here's a link: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/eligibility/criteria-comprehensive-ranking-system/grid.html Additionally, when applying with a partner - you will lose some points but she can make up for those and then some if she does IELTS & WES. Refer to the above link to see what I mean.
  13. 1 point
    Hi @Liezelleroux i had a consultation with an immigration lawyer and was advised that this route should not be undertaken. She said that it would take too long for me to get to Canada and have my spouse and in my case my child sponsored. also if you try to sponsor your spouse as soon as you get there then CIC might look at this as misrepresantion and you would mention in your application that the spouse is not accompanying. In the opinion of the lawyer, CIC might reject or One would have to put up a strong case to prove otherwise. Please retake IELTS and also look into PNP programmers to better your chances.
  14. 1 point
    @Liezelleroux I wouldn't even think about all of these other options. All I would do is retake IELTS (or request a remark on your writing). Your scores are high for all of the categories except for writing, so am sure you could replicate those results and just improve your writing score to at least a 7 and you will have over 450 points You won't need to look at any other options, including PNPs, as your score will be high enough to get an ITA through Express Entry. If you want to check here - http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp. Use your current IELTS and education results to calculate your points. Then just increase your writing score to 7 and recalculate. You will see your points go up by over 50.
  15. 1 point
    Hi @Liezelleroux, it is possible but it could end up being a long, drawn out process as once you're in Canada you'd need to sponsor your spouse to come over, and from what I've read, this can take over a year, so you'd need to be prepared to be separated for a long time.
  16. 1 point
    Yes - the SA Government won't be able to slap an "SA expat-tax" on you somewhere down the line.
  17. 1 point
    Hi All I have a 20ft container (FCL) that will be departing Cape Town to Toronto (most likely) at the end of Sep 18, possibly early (first of second week of) Oct 18 - just received the quote a few hours ago and the rate is by far the cheapest I've found (friend of a friend in the shipping industry). It will be a door-to-port type service: container dropped off (at one mutual location), 4 hrs to load it (ourselves), shipped to Toronto and dropped at port - customs clearance to be done in person at port of Toronto. If anyone would like to share the cost and space of the container (each receiving half of the 20ft), please contact me.
  18. 1 point
    In our case, I’m the primary applicant but our funds are currently all held in my husband’s account. I have full signing power over the account so we got a letter from FNB to confirm all the accounts and explain that I have full access to the accounts.
  19. 1 point
    The best thing that ever happened to us. Our friends and family in South Africa agree. There is no comparison between our lives in Canada and theirs in South Africa. An added bonus is the fact that our children no longer need to worry about us. They know we are safe.
  20. 1 point
    Oh, this was SO long ago! We have since moved to rural Nova Scotia. Our youngest is 6 and plays outside by herself, rides her bike in our dead end street, our second youngest is 9 and actually has a lemonade stand at the local post office in summer We live right on the shore of Bras D'Or Lakes and they go down to the beach together (without adult supervision), take the dog for a run in the public woods that border our property, etc.
  21. 1 point
    Hi @louisesmith1964, incase you don't have any luck with a shared container, I would recommend you use Ubag to ship your boxes. Their service was amazing when I used them to bring some boxes across.
  22. 1 point
    Try contacting hr/managers directly on LinkedIn. Worked for me.
  23. 1 point
    To follow a post/topic, there's a "follow" button top right at the top of the page. Seeing the "F's" makes it hard to follow "unread content". All I see is an "F", which can sometimes be ambiguous.
  24. 1 point
    Dayspring Presbiteriaanse kerk in Edmonton hou soms Afrikaanse dienste. Leraar is Heinrich Grosskopf, een van ons lede http://www.dayspringchurch.ca/
  25. 1 point
    Some Days Are Like This....Telling It Like It Is... Thank you for the replies. I am very thankful that you are finding it helpful. Sometimes just expressing one's feelings and knowing someone else has felt or is feeling the same, helps immensely.So here's what I'd like to add or reply to your comments: The Tensions Shawman: " Oh wow, this piece really resonated with me. I actually felt the knots that have been tied in my tummy for the last few days slip a little. I am going to print this out so that I can read it over when I feel "this is just a bit too much". Thank you so much for taking the time to share this." There is nothing so draining and debilitating as carrying those heavy knots of tension inside of you. I so identify with you. I have had many a day when a sense of dread would overwhelm me. Initially, when we received the news in America that our approved Green Cards had been terminated in error and that USCIS wanted us to reapply, I had the knotted-stomach-tension for months. I look at photos taken of us in that time, and all I can see is incredible strain and tension lined on our faces. I tackled the paperwork for applying to Canada, hardly slept for weeks, just kept slogging on. Our oldest son was aging out by American terms and we had to move fast. At the same time, the town we where we lived in Oregon, organized petitions, a US senator jumped in to help, the media did "our story." We were going back and forth between hope that things would turn and reality, realizing that we needed to find a way into Canada. When Canada opened its doors, we packed our u-haul and drove up I-5, north to British Columbia. I remember leaving late night and as we drove past the fire station where our oldest cut his teeth at age 17, I wept. As we drove past a church, I wept. The weekly verse on their signboard was: "I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are good, to give you a future." (Jer.29) At that stage we were so tied up with knots and emotional pain that those words seemed surreal to me. Later that same night, we pulled over at a diner for our New Year's eve dinner and when my husband said grace, he started crying. Only people who have felt this battered and alone, will understand how dark and cold it can feel when you are in such a place. I think if we had made Canada our first choice, life would have been easier. We waited five years for the Green Cards to be processed after the initial approval. Did everything by the book. Worked with a lawyer, through the USCIS centre in Texas. And then in one second on a grey February day, the carpet was pulled out from under our feet when we received a letter to say that the application had been terminated. Their error, yes, but what government will rectify an admin error such as this? It took time to get on our feet again and slowly, but surely walk out the experience as we settled more and more in Canada. These external factors can certainly tie us up inside. It's hard to maintain a sense of peace and hope in the midst of it all. Once you are in "quieter waters," there are habits and thought-patterns that need changing, like debris left-over after a storm. For a very long time we all had very deep feelings of rejection. Our youngest was born in the USA and strangely enough, he carried a weight of guilt, that "his country/government," could do this to his family. One tries to rationalize away the pain of whatever you are experiencing and quite often I think, we try and make sense of something too much. Some things will just never ever make sense. And so one has to learn to let go, again and again, until all those knots are gone. Shawman, I don't know your story, but believe me, I understand how you feel. I can also tell you, encourage you, to never give up. Seriously. The tides turn and seasons change, for all of us. Fill in the blanks Marc V: " This was inspiring and very helpful to read, thank you for sharing this Ingrid." Whenever I read someone else's story, I always feel like I am filling in the blanks. Reading my own story. It is the same for most of us. We have all done that, been there, worn the proverbial t-shirts to tatters. We may be at different places on this road, this terrible-beautiful-adventurous-agonizing-life-changing journey, but we can all be encouraged and inspired by what others have experienced. I am glad you found the bit I shared, helpful. The agony of separation Petros: " Nice one and for me at the right time, my parents came over for a visit and we saw them off back to SA today. its been a sad day. Take care Ingrid. " Reading your comment was bitter-sweet for me, Petros. The last time I saw my Dad was in June 1988 at the airport in Johannesburg. They came to say good-bye as we left for America. By March 1989 he had passed away. When we visited some of my German family in Europe recently, they gave me copies of letters he wrote them to them during the months prior to his death. So much of what he wrote was about us being so far away in America. He missed his grandson terribly. Reading his words after the fact broke my heart. I am thankful I have the letters. Such a treasure! At the time his funeral took place in Howick, KZN; it was 3am Hawaiian-time. I sat under a frangipani tree overlooking the bay of Kailua-Kona and had my own "funeral." I cried, tied yellow ribbons around the tree, thanked God for the wonderful Dad I had. Another terribly-alone moment which is the price we pay as ex-pats when we cannot get home in time for a loved one's death or funeral. I can understand your sadness. We never know when we are saying good-bye to someone and I think as immigrants who seldom see our loved ones, we learn to make the most of it. When we visited my husband's parents in April this year, we filled the hours by just being with them, doing things they enjoy, listening, talking, taking umpteen photos, making memories. Petros, I pray the time you had with your parents will layer your hearts and souls with the richness of a parent's love, their unconditional acceptance and support, even their quirkiness, the differences you may have, everything familiar about them. Times together should be remembered for everything you talked and squabbled about, the times you laughed, the joys of just being there, together. Funny, I carried this over onto my sons. Never a day passes that we don't tell each other, " I love you." At least once a day, over the phone, via text, face to face. So easy to say: " I love you." We are going back to SA on an extended visit, DV next year. The four of us, plus the girl friends. My in-laws want to have time with us. We are going over to give them more of our hearts, our love, our appreciation. I am so grateful for parents and grandparents. So thankful I can also be a parent that can love my sons (and their future families), now, here...in The Living Years. Oh boy, I have to share that song here now: Never give up! Igonsalves: " Wow Ingrid! Thank you for sharing, gives us newbies courage and determination to push on....." Thank you for saying that. I came to a place recently where I decided it is time to share more deeply, intensely. Even if a lot of this is very emotional, it is how we go through life as humans. So when I write, "Never ever give up...the road may seem very long and hard, but it always has a beginning and an end!" I can write it because I have actually walked that road and I know it does take you somewhere. We need courage, we need determination to hold on, keep going. Everyone needs hope. The hope that brings amazing peace because you know some day, this too will end. Whatever anyone here is experiencing right now, you will get through it. You will make it. Yes, push on with hope and a tenacity that just won't let go. Bottles of tears! lauren.wallace: " You make me want to cry, and I'm not even in Canada yet! Beautiful piece of writing, and such a touching glimpse into your heartfelt feelings. Thank you for sharing, and for reminding me of what I am working towards, and to remind me of what I am leaving behind." Sideline: " Forget wanting to make me cry, I bawled my eyes out for 30 min trying to read this But I got to the end and my dreams, hopes and wishes were even more firmly embedded to just succeed." I hope you don't mind me sharing a Psalm here, Lauren/Sideline: Ps.56:8 " You number my wanderings; put my tears into a bottle; are they not in Your book." Oh boy...don't we all have bottles of tears! Yes, men as well. Hugs to you guys! One of the poems I wrote in Maplantas, (Afrikaans poetry on ex-pat experiences), is about our dog, Tundra. She moved to Canada with us from Oregon. Free sidewalk special, a mixed breed of Rhodesian Ridgeback, chow and something-else. A dog that we only had for eight years before she developed cancer and after three surgeries to try and remove the tumour, we had to put her down. When my hubby reads the poem, without fail; he cries. Tundra went through immigration with us. She saw the tears, felt the tensions, loved, loved, loved! us. Dogs have amazing abilities to pick up heartache or stress from a mere sigh, a slight change of tone of voice, even a change in facial expression. She would not give up on us. When she saw us packing up in Oregon, she became very quiet and tense, perhaps fearing she'd be left behind. Until the moment she saw her big ole dog sleeping mattress go into the minivan...then she knew. She was coming to Canada with us. Her loss hit us really hard. Even now as I type, the tears are rolling. We all give up so much - families, farms, homes, businesses, pets - and yes, it does come with tears. Nothing of value comes without sacrifice or pain or tears. I do believe tears bring healing though. It washes our souls clean from heartaches, guilt, regrets. It is a way our souls are unburdened. I love this particular Psalm because truly, the Lord has seen all our wanderings as immigrants! As you allow yourself to cry, healing comes from the grief you carry...grief because of the loss we all have experienced. Grief because of loved ones left behind, grief because of our very beautiful country of birth, grief because at first, living in a new country makes you feel like an odd duck and oh dear, that can make you feel like you are having an identity crisis! Just who am I? Just what I am doing here? What was I thinking?! All normal responses, all questions we are bound to ask ourselves at some stage. Now if I don't stop for now, my hubs will come home and ask just what did I do all day?! More later, I hope. Ingrid Brunkhorst Hurrell, 11 September 2013