Part 1 - Getting everything ready! WES, PCC, IELTS
Our journey started in May 2020 during lockdown. Myself (28) my wife (28) and my son (1) made our decision to make a move, at first, we decided on Australia, but due to the difficulty in applying and cost, it never sat completely well with us. We just kept on reading and talking without actually doing anything. But through our research, especially in regards to my wife’s occupation, we came across possible opportunities for her in Canada.
We started reading and watching as much as we could, and something about Canada just sat well with us. The process cost was a lot cheaper than Australia, and the process simpler.
So, in just two weeks of starting we decided to start our process by ourselves. The following steps are as thorough as possible to help others in the future.
We decided that we would pay extra wherever we could to make things move along, for example, DocAssist etc. in order to reduce stress somewhat and perhaps make things as quick as possible. I will add in the steps as we go along. I hope you enjoy!
Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) - 2 Adults
We decided to start with his step due to possible delays in getting them granted, and rather get them out the way first thing.
I contacted PostNet Pretoria in regards to their assistance, and they sent an email with all the steps and costs in this regard. This is how our process went:
Printed out form SAPS 91(a) and went to Durban North Police Station bright and early at 8 when the lady started work, paid our R300 (R150 per applicant) to the cashier and received a receipt, took our fingerprints on the form and took back both the completed set of prints and receipts. In and out in 30 min.
Printed out the Application for Police Clearance Certificate and filled out all info. Made certified copies of both ID’s, and marriage certificate and scanned all above documents. Dropped off the following at PostNet for courier to Pretoria PostNet, Cost R113:
• Original form 91(a)
• Application: Police Clearance Certificate
• Certified ID’s and Marriage Certificate
• Receipt of Payment for PCC
1/07/2020 - Did fingerprints and couriered to Pretoria
20/07/2020 – Email to say our certificates are ready to be sent back.
28/07/2020 – Collected from PostNet
Total Cost: R1 213
Application - R300
Courier to Pretoria - R113
PostNet Pretoria Fees - R800
2 July 2020:
We were both really nervous for the English tests, due to the extreme difference in possible points if it goes bad, plus the cost of R4 429 per test.
But this was the first real step in making this all come true.
So, I hopped on to the IELTS website and booked my wife’s test for the following month (8 August) and made payment. I then went to book a test for myself, but there were no more dates available for August.
Now I generally like to get things done as quick as possible, so my first instinct was to book in JHB and catch a flight for the day for early August, but my wife convinced me to rather book in September in Durban, and save a possible flight if one of us needs to redo the test at short notice (smart lady I married).
In the end both tests booked:
• Wife: 08 August 2020 (Cancelled Due to Covid)
• Myself: 12 September 2020
Little did I know how frustrating IELTS would become, 1 week before my wifes exam, the dreaded email arrives, cancelling her exam until a still to be announced future date. At this point you become frustrated, because form here on out, every week lost is another week added to the process, and the question of draws and points and limits start to play on your mind.
The communication from the British Council was poor at best. No updates, the same generic answers to your queries, you feel like you are left in a void, just waiting for them to grace you with their decisions.
2 days before my exam, I receive an email to rebook my exam. At literal lightning pace, I follow the link and am relieved to find a new date in Durban the following week, so I was able to rebook for both my wife and myself for the 17th September, and at the end of the day only 5 days lost through the whole ordeal, not bad in hindsight.
Total Cost: R8 858
2 x Tests - R4 429 each.
As you can see from above, unfortunately there is now clear proof that my wife listens better than I do, and that I speak too much.
However, we were both ecstatic with our results, knowing that we now had guaranteed our points were going to be enough for the next draws.
We received our provisional results on our IELTS profile on the 9th October, but had to wait until the 19thbefore we got our couriered results. You have to wait to get the TRF as you need the certificate number and date of results on the certificate in order to submit your EE application.
Next on our list was applying for our ECA through WES. We decided to get both my wife’s education assessed as well as mine in order to get maximum points.
• Bachelor of Arts (UNISA)
The easiest way of getting the official stamped transcripts from UNISA was to go to our local UNISA office, for us that is Bram Fischer Road in Durban. They would put them in a sealed envelope, stamp and sign the seal and I would then send them to WES.
However, due to lockdown, no UNISA offices in Durban were open, so we had to do it the hard way. I managed to track down an email address for someone at UNISA who knew about WES and their requirements etc. and WES had instituted a process whereby they were accepting digital documents, as long as they came from the University directly.
He was immensely helpful, replied to my initial query at 7AM with exactly what we needed to send to him, which consisted of:
• Completed WES form (WES Provides)
• Copy of Degree Certificate
Received an email back at 7PM Friday Night letting us know that our documents had been sent to WES.
Timeline – Enquiry 7am 10 July
Documents sent 7pm 10 July
WES Confirmed receipt and acceptance 14 July.
Completed Evaluation – 21 July
If I hadn’t found this gents email, we would still be floundering around with UNISA until their offices reopened.
• Bachelor of Social Science Honours (Psychology) (UKZN)
• Master of Social Science (Health Promotions) (UKZN)
UKZN tended to be more difficult, due to their alumni offices being closed due to lockdown. However, we tried our luck and sent off an email with the WES forms attached and hoped for the best. 2 days later we received an email back from UKZN informing us they had digitally sent off the transcripts.
• Bachelor of Law (UNISA)
See above, followed the same process as my wife’s application.
UKZN Transcripts x 2 - R140
UNISA Transcripts x 2 - Free
Courier to WES – No cost, all digitally sent.
ECA Assessment WES x2 - R2 976,44 each (230 CAD) = R5 952,88
Total Cost – R6 092,88
Total Cost: R16 163,88