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Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/19/2018 in all areas

  1. 15 points
    Hi All, So, in slightly less than ten days I will have been here for a full year. It feels great saying things like: "My first time skiing was in February last year..." to people who ask. At work, I'm not the new guy anymore. I don't need a GPS to get around downtown Vancouver, or most cities around here. I'm not cold all the time... I remember feeling like I'm getting frostnip the moment I walked out the airport last year. Unlike the locals though, I still appreciate the rain. And Raccoons. Snow is amazing. The silence around when hiking through snow is something else. I probably like winter more than summer, driving to work in the dark is fun. I had my fair share of Lower Mainland traffic enforcement being way more efficient than what I was used to. Turkeys are way bigger than I expected. Canadian Christmas dinners involve multiple families and more food than I've ever seen on one table. Biking in freezing cold for multiple days over hundreds of km ended up being the best thing to happen to me. This country is amazing, especially nature wise, but also the fact that you can bike like that without fearing you might be mugged. Early season skiing is fun, but don't take your brand new skis... Also, don't trust the liftees loading skis in Whistler. They do NOT care about your insanely expensive skis, and will scratch the crap out of them. A chicken korma pie in Whistler, had actual chicken korma in it.... It was so good. I'm going back for more soon. I've hiked more in one spring/summer/fall than I have ever done before. I made many random friends while hiking. Pretty much all my good friends here, besides the few made while apartment hunting. Worth talking to everyone, never know who you have things in common with. For some reason, caring about the environment has taken on a new meaning here. I'm not sure the same thing is happening back in SA. I hope so. I've gotten things done that I thought was out of reach in SA, like PRK. Biking/skiing/hiking in the rain, without glasses, is next level. Stocks actually go in a direction other than down...or maybe I have just been bad at it in SA haha. Of course, I have had many a day missing family, pets. The farm I grew up on. I have a playlist on Spotify I aptly named "Homesick Songs". It's basically my favourite songs by Spoegwolf. I find listening to Afrikaans music helps. First Christmas/new year away from family in ... 29 years, it was painful, but on the other hand I had a great time with my new 'families' here. Built multiple gingerbread houses. I've come to realize I wouldn't be able to willingly go back to SA. There are so many reasons to stay here, despite the US being stupid, the government doing questionable things, or housing being insane. It doesn't affect my health and safety (yet ). I can go lie down and have a nap in a park without being afraid of something being stolen. Was never a big thing, until I did it and realized why I've never done it outside our farm. I've been forced to cook. Ugh. Food options here are great, but I miss the ready to eat stuff that Woolworths sells. It was so easy to eat kinda healthy haha. People still don't get that it's Afrikaans, not African. My colleagues are my friends. I feel lucky.
  2. 9 points
    So this last week marked a year since our AOR for our Permanent Residence application via Express Entry and we still don’t have an answer yet… Ours was a very smooth process from the point of deciding to emigrate to Canada and the work that began after that, such as doing our IELTS, organising our WES assessments, and gathering docs till our ITA and then getting everything finalised for the big submission and receiving our AOR. We worked quickly and efficiently to get it all done and we thought, wow, this has actually been pretty easy, and judging by the recent fast progress of others to receive a decision, we reckoned, and really hoped, that we were in for a short wait. Boy were we wrong…and as the last year has proven to us, immigration is a long and often unpredictable road! The wait is agonising - there is no way around it - and the most frustrating is not knowing when an answer will come. Your future is totally at the mercy of the Canadian government and once your application is sent in you have to realise that you’ve done your best and it’s now out of your hands, it’s out of your control and that’s a scary prospect. You have to let go and have faith in the process. There are days when this is easier, and then there are the dark days where you question everything and feel like giving up, feel sad and despondent, want to run away and wonder if all this stress will be worth it. You question all your decisions and have a mini freak out at what lies ahead and, of course, google a million ways that things can go wrong. I’d like to share a few tips and thoughts for those currently in the application process and waiting for that all important “golden email”. Some of these I’ve tried to put into practice myself, some I’ve had to keep reminding myself of along the way to try keep sane. Perhaps you can relate and I hope it helps those still in the trenches of the application phase and the agonising wait to know what your future holds: Have realistic expectations of the process. Have your short-term goals, but also realise that emigration is a long-term exercise, and the application is just the beginning of this journey. Processing times are merely a guide and it could go quicker than the six months or it could stretch out much longer. While it’s good to keep informed of the current processing, don’t compare your application to others - each is judged on its own merits and how easy it is to verify your information and your own profile and background. If it’s taking longer than usual that doesn’t mean there is anything wrong - there are so many factors at play that will determine the length of time it takes. And by comparing yourselves to others you will only drive yourself mad, feel resentful when others succeed before you and create more paranoia and stress than necessary. Save your sanity and rather keep focused on your own application. Live in the moment and always keep an open mind. You have your whole life ahead of you, so what’s a few months or even a year waiting? This is just one small window in time and it too shall pass. Find your tribe and your community. Connect with those in a similar boat - build a support network and share the journey with those going through the same thing. Commiserate and share victories and disappointments. Support one another and help where you can to answer questions, offer words of support or just a shoulder to lean on. Realise that everyone is going through their own journey and has had their own hardships to endure through the process. So, even though someone’s application may have been approved in lightening speed, don’t underestimate the long journey they may have taken to get to that point - potential months of redoing IELTS to improve scores, issues with education assessments, perhaps previous application rejections. So, it’s likely they still had many of their own struggles, so don’t begrudge them, be happy for them and celebrate their success alongside them. Don’t stress about which visa office is processing your application. It’s a myth that any office is faster than others. Our application is being processed in Sydney and Ottawa, which is supposed to be one of the “faster” offices, and look how long our application has taken. The best way of understanding what’s happening with your file is to order GCMS notes. This will give you a good indication of what’s been done and said by the immigration officers reviewing your case, and if there are any problems then you may be able to preempt any further delays by sending any relevant or additional documents. Live your life and don’t let immigration consume it. Enjoy your time with your family and friends and enjoy and celebrate the good that SA has to offer instead of always focusing on the negatives. Spend quality time with your loved ones and with people who are supportive of your choices in moving abroad. Be more discreet about who you tell about your plans or risk the constant “have you got your visa”, “how’s things going with your Canada plans” questions from everyone until you want to punch the next person in the face who asks you. It’s easy enough to do it yourself, but don’t let anyone make you feel any less worthy if you’ve decided to work through an agent. Not all agents are scammers and many can provide valuable input. But at the same time, make sure you do your own research and due diligence - understand the process for yourself. Be informed, don’t just walk into this blindly. Take control of your own future and keep informed in every step of the process. Agents can’t speed up the process and they certainly can’t guarantee success. Be happy for others and celebrate their victories. I know it’s not easy sometimes when all you wish is for your own good news, but we’re a community and we need to stand together. Be flexible and expect the unexpected. Immigration is not always a smooth process and if you can’t handle the paperwork and then the wait, how will you handle the move itself? This is all building resilience in you so you need to embrace the lessons you learn along the way, with the most prominent lessons likely being those in patience. Don’t speculate as to why it’s taking so long - you will drive yourself mad playing all kinds of negative scenarios in your head. It’s not healthy for your sanity. If it’s meant to be it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. Even if it’s the right path for you, there may still be many obstacles in the way. It’s how you overcome them that counts. The application is only just the start of the journey and we know that the really tough part is coming. And we know that this has all just been preparing us, making us more resilient, getting our minds and hearts ready for the crazy adventure that we’re about to embark on. Put your life into perspective. In all likelihood, while you wait, you have a roof over your head, food on your table, friends and family who love and support you, qualifications and a job (otherwise how else would you qualify for the visa in the first place?). Don’t stress about the future – as the good book says, “do not worry about tomorrow for tomorrow’s worries will worry about tomorrow”. Take each day as it comes. Live life! It will happen all at the right time and when it’s meant to. Have faith that things will work out as they should. Pursue your dream. Go for it. Don’t lose hope! Good luck to all those going through this process, may it all be well worth it in the end.
  3. 8 points
    Let me start by saying, moving to Canada has been the best decision for me, so don't get me wrong. I have been reading and enjoying different views shared on this forum. I've seen burning desires from aspiring immigrant, the joy of many new immigrants for making it over here, the older generation of immigrants who gives fantastic advice based on their experiences. Life is funny. Let me start by sharing a joke I read somewhere, neurotics are those who build castles in the sky, psychotics move into them, and psychoanalysts charge them rent!. Like all good jokes, there is a strange kind of truth in it But here is my point, troubles in life come when we believe the myth that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. We are taken over by envy, believing that other people have the good stuff and then feeling depressed, anxious, and persecuted by the belief that we have so little. We are taken over by greed, wanting more and more and more, feeling that what we have cannot ever be enough. Robert Fulghum, author of that classic book "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" put it this way: "The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you are." What will make you successful when you get here is not just because it's Canada, it is your ATTITUDE! All the best in your journey.
  4. 7 points
    Hi guys, I finally got the golden email on Saturday 11 May 2019. I'm ecstatic and relieved at the same time. My AOR date is 16 November 2018 so my processing time up to PPR was 176 days. I'm at the VFS office for passport submission and then on to the BIG plans. All the best to others still waiting.
  5. 7 points
    We've been in Canada for a week now, and still have to pinch ourselves when we realise that our four years of planning and persisting have paid off. Here's how the journey went for us: We left Cape Town at the end of October, and took a two-week trip in a camper van up to my folks in JHB. After another two weeks of blissful family time, my mom's church driver took us to the airport in a van. My dad followed in his own car to help us through baggage check, and my mom stayed at home. We agreed that it would be too much to say goodbye at the airport - this was a good move. We flew, with Lufthansa, out of OR Tambo at 8.30pm, and it was a bit crazy with the kiddos. They're usually asleep by 7pm, so they were both a little loopier than usual. The flight to Frankfurt was fine, but the tv screens were hazy and slow to respond which was a pain. I was pleasantly surprised at the legroom in the economy class, and we sat four across one of the middle row - my husband and I sandwiching the kids. In the end we gave them some Allergex and they slept a fair portion of the way. Frankfurt is a great airport for long layovers. We arrived at 6.30am and went through a hectic security check, then sat in a restaurant watching the sun rise, and contemplating our journey. When the kids could keep it together no longer we went to pick up some strollers (a free service at the airport) and headed to the showers. For 8 Euros we were able to freshen up in the spacious shower rooms (towels and soaps provided) and put our game faces on for the final leg of our trip. Next we found a spot in one of the many relaxation areas, and took turns pushing the kids to the various play areas around the airport. After a lunch of good beer and sausage, we boarded our flight to Calgary at 2.30pm. Flying for 9.5 hours and landing one hour later is hard, especially with kids. This time the Lufthansa flight was a code share on Canadian Air and the flight staff were the best. The airplane layout was different, so we sat three across next to the window, with my hubby across the aisle. We preferred this arrangement because our son had a window seat which was magic for him. The screens worked perfectly and we were comfortable all the way. Aside from our daughter screaming inconsolably for about three of the hours we were in the air, this flight was also fine. That being said, we're loathe to repeat the journey any time soon. Flying with small kids is pretty intense and we've aged in dog years since we left JHB. The flip side is that when you're trying to contain their tiny chaos, you don't have time to dwell on the massive life change you're undertaking. Our arrival in Calgary was uneventful, and actually a bit of an anticlimax. They processed us quickly, and were super friendly. There was no queue and the whole process took about 40 minutes. My mother-in-law and husband's aunt were there to meet us, so we were welcomed with cuddles and whisked off to our new temporary home in Chestermere. We feel incredibly grateful to land this way, and know that very few folks have the same comforts to step into. Our kids love the snow but are still adjusting to the time difference, so sleep is up and down. Fortunately Calgary is super sunny, which helps our circadian rhythms to recalibrate. The people we've met getting our health cards, SIN, and bank accounts sorted are all pathologically friendly and efficient. Chestermere has a busy community center, and we attended a drop-in kids playdate session this morning. We're feeling excited and overwhelmed. Heartbroken and optimistic. So just life, I guess. Thank you to those lovely forum peeps who have helped us on our way. If you're interested in the finer details of our journey, I've been blogging it here: http://unfoldingodyssey.com/.
  6. 6 points
    Hi Roxanne We have just done our landing and are now officially permanent residents of Canada. Our story started in 2016 when we decided to put all our efforts in to getting to Canada. I was luckily with a company with international links and started asking connections on LinkedIn if there were any positions in Canada available. There was, and after a really hard process of doing everything ourselves we got a work permit. We landed in Canada on the 25th of December 2017. It was minus 35 and dark, but we had such a sense of relief that is quite indescribable. We had several run ins with undesirables in SA and we also still sometimes are over cautious, but the sense of freedom in Canada is almost unbelievable. My 8 year old daughter has really blossomed and come out of her shell with this freedom. After a year here we got an expression of interest from Ontario and got the nomination in November of 2018, ITA and AOR in the same month. After exactly 6 months our application got approved and we "landed" on Sunday. I do not really want to look at the costs involved, but due to our path it is closer to the R60000-80000 range, but it is by far the best thing we could have done as a family. We have been blessed to have met some great people who have made settling in quite easy and we look forward to becoming Citizens next. The opportunities in Canada are awesome and once you have proven yourself, you can earn a good salary and have a great life. We live quite close to Lake Ontario and on Canada Day last year we went down to Bronte Harbour and watched the fireworks, but the important thing is that we walked there and at midnight walked home without feeling terrified. This was something we would not have dreamed of doing the year before. It was not easy to do and we did it all ourselves, but it is the greatest privilege to be here. Good luck and all the best.
  7. 6 points
    So there has finally been some movement on our file and it would appear our application has now been moved to the Pretoria VO as my manager just got a phone call to confirm my employment and that she wrote my work reference letter. Holding thumbs that this is finally some good progress!
  8. 6 points
    Hey, guys, it's been a while. Work has been happening and life as well... I see I haven't noted much since 2 years ago. In case we've lost count, this is how 6.25 years in Canada affect you. First off, you didn't read it here first. 🙂 But if you totally missed reading it elsewhere on the forums, we were sworn in as Canadian citizens last year. Wonder if Canada really understood the repercussions of that decision? Haha. It was really a big thing for us. It's almost the "we made it" version of climbing Mount Everest, except it's on the ground, Canadian grounds anyway. It's kinda feeling like we've come full circle right? There was even that window where we were totally undocumented for 2.5 months before we eventually got sworn in and got our new Canadian passports. Okay, I exaggerate. We weren't undocumented. Our PR cards validity expired after we wrote the citizenship test, but before we could be sworn in. So we sat with no Canadian status (implied status, does that apply to us?) for that time. We were still South Africans, so there was that. (P.S. don't worry. I knew what we were getting into. The risks of not having a valid PR card is very real, I tell you. Very, very real. 🙄) So what do we do with our new travel docs when we get them? We head East and visit China. Yep. It's been on the bucket list for years. The funny thing is that getting a passport that needed no visas to travel to 170 destinations did not really deter us from booking a trip to a country where we actually needed a visa to get in. Perhaps I've just gotten used to getting visas to go anywhere. Great trip and can't wait to do more. The language barrier in China was really crazy. I had to brush up on my Mandarin. Luckily I could say "Is this pork? Is this chicken? Is this beef?" LOL. Always good skills to have around when it's chow time. No story is complete without talking about work. It's been a busy time. In fact, busy hasn't stopped since I got this job. You can blame the job if my forum habits have been more erratic than norm. Last year was especially stressful. Company decided to go public so here we come TSX..... Finance professional in a listed company, need I say more? 😫 And hey, I finally have a graduate at home. My eldest finished university late last year. And to top it all, she's found a job after 4 weeks' hunting. Here I thought I was going to be anxious and worrying for the next 6 months just because the market is what it is and I have a millennial on the way. In 2 years time, I've got a Gen Z going through post-secondary. I'm definitely feeling old these days. Is it alright to start screaming for the fire trucks now? So as a parting comment for this post, I just want to stress that all is still good. Can't say I haven't been on the forums as much, because I still visit most of everyday. Yes, I still "see" what you guys are doing. Did the atmosphere suddenly just become stalker-ish a bit there? Don't worry, big sister is watching.
  9. 6 points
    We have been in Canada for just over a month and we have done and accomplished so much. Challenged, Change and Constant moving has been my name of the game but in the end Super excited and happy to be here. On the 10 December 2018 we still repacked our bags for te 3 time to get everything in. We showered and headed for the airport to meet everyone at dear old Spur. Checked in our 10 bags ran to get some forex and finally had my last nacho's and Savannah light. Enjoyed everyone friendly chatter and laughter and greeted one of my wonderfull friends earlier. We walked like it felt the last mile.. shed tears gave hugs and said goodbyes.. it broke my heart when my husband brother grabed him in a big embrace and prayed for us. It was 10:15 at night as KLM flights leave at 23:55 at night. When we got onboard the airplane We were beyond the point of being tired and as i grabbed my husband hand we greeted our beautiful SA with peace in our hearts. The kids and us slept the first 10 hours until we landed in Amsterdam. A pritty airport, rediculious small baggage trollies but yet again on the move to our reconnecting flight. We got onboard ate and yet again we fell asleep. Son was out before we lift off.. Shame these small bodies were exhausted... mine as well... my daughter played games for the next 10 hours and didnt want to sleep and the last 4 hours my son played and relaxed. They were extremely well behaved got good compliments from fellow passengers and let me tell you. DO NOT pack too many toys during this flight... at Calgary airport I could feel the weight lift off my shoulders ... finally we are HERE... beautiful Canada. we waited for our luggage and all our suite cases came around except 1. we waited for another 20 min and just before i decided to let the airline know 1 suite case is lostit came around... sjoe... with 3 huge trollies we went to boarder control. after about 20 min we were set to move through... beyond tired and hungry we got to the hotel, had that wonderful first shower and cup of Jacobs.. yes folks i am a coffee pot and took my own sachets just for the last spoil. We have experienced so many first in this month thats has passed and each stressed moment, cent and tear was so worth. The road is tuff expensive unkind and looooooong. But it prepares your for whats ahead, we are super busy and love every moment. Good luck to all of you still going down this rabbit whole, this platform and some wonderful friends i have made that is also now here in Canada give great support and advise. TOP TIP, it is your responsibility to make opportunities given to you work. Dont think for one moment we have not gone through hardships and everything was given on a silver platter..
  10. 6 points
    Ek lees vanaand dié op FaceBook van iemand in Carnavon: Vra ek vroulief "Weet jy wat hier staan??" "Nee" sê sy vir my, "dis maar hoe die jongmense vandag praat jong." .... sug. Ek wil my verstout om te sê ek dink ons praat 'n suiwerder Afrikaans hier in Kanada as baie van ons landgenote terug in Suid-Afrika! Ek kom deesdae nie so baie op die forum nie, maar ek mis nogal Afrikaans hier. Ek sien daar is baie van ons lede wat Afrikaans as hul taal aangee, maar vir een of ander rede (dalk Kanadese polities-korrektheid?) praat-skryf ons nie meer so baie Afrikaans as in die forum se begindae nie. So ek wil tóg ons lede aanmoedig: as jy gemakliker voel om jou storie in Afrikaans te stel, gaan gerus voort. Die meeste van ons Engelse lede verstaan die taal, en ons het nog altyd gesê praat in die taal wat vir jou die maklikste is. So jy sal kry dat mense jou dalk in Engels gaan antwoord, en dis piekfyn so. Kom ons beoefen ons moedertaal tog 'n bietjie meer! [For the English among us, Google Translate understands Afrikaans too] 😉
  11. 6 points
    Our work life balance is way better than what it was in SA. I used to drive 1.5h one way to the office and another 1.5 h back on 36km. My husband had severe pressure at the office to such an extent that he got shingles. We dropped the kids off at 7am and picked them up at 5:30 everyday. It was hectic. We are now unbelievably blessed, we live across the street from my daughter's school & our son's school is on our way to the office. My husband got a job 4 km from my office and if he has to work late he takes a bus that stops in front of our appartment. It takes us 40 min from when we leave the house until my husband gets to his office., this includes dropping of my daughter at Kindergarten, dropping off my son at daycare, dropping me off at the office & then reaching his office. If we don't have to drop of the kids it takes us 15min. I have much less stress and the work is not as stimulating as I am used to but that's obviously dependent on the company. The company is the same one as the one I worked for in SA and it's a really good company so I will just have to adapt to the new environment. My husband's job is very demanding but not as stressful as it used to be in SA. It all depends on where you end up, we did not enjoy Toronto at all. It was extremely busy with a lot of traffic and very expensive, we wanted to settled in Ottawa but then I was offered a job at this company in Montreal & we settled here. I won't have it any other way. Initially we said we will discuss going back to SA after 5 years just because our families are there but now that we are here we definitely feel we don't want to go back. We now have a life. We got bicycles so all of us can go outside & ride our bicycles without being scared, they've got such nice water pads and parks where you can take the kids and it's actually maintained. We can go swimming and ice skating for free at the recreation centre. We had to take the kids to the pediatrician for their check ups & I got this fear of having to spend a lot of money on the consultation & it was free 😆 there are a lot of expenses when you first arrive, it's really insane and stressful but it's all still worth it. If we could have our whole family here it would be perfect!
  12. 5 points
    I maintain that if someone cannot or will not navigate the immigration process without the help of a professional then they may have a hard landing this side because they won’t have anyone to hold their hands when they land here. Immigration is difficult and complicated but it’s actually harder AFTER you land. There’s a lot to navigate and there’s no agent to hold your hand when you get here This is what I say to everyone: Do the immigration process DIY, and if you think it’s too complicated and overwhelming then perhaps immigration isn’t for you.
  13. 5 points
    Hi wannabe Canadians, I wrote this piece for my own journal and decided to post it here, may give some inspiration to others. It is quite lengthy... How to sell almost everything The Decision When we decided to emigrate, we vaguely discussed the options of shipping over a container, or maybe just a few things in shared container, or selling everything. Initially we made the decision to ship over a container. In January 2017 we submitted our application (after receiving ITA in December 2016) and then the thought process and investigations as to ship/sell got a lot more intense. The following facts led to our final decision: 1) We have good solid wood and genuine leather sets that we hand-picked according to our specific taste and needs. These are of great quality and it fits our home perfectly. a. Drawback: apparently Canadian homes are a lot smaller than we are used to. We didn’t know how soon we would be able to settle into a new home, as we were comfortable to go over without jobs if need to. b. Drawback: we have heard that leather and wood need extra special care because of the extreme weather and accompanied heating systems 2) To ship a 20ft container (the smaller size) would be anything from R80000 upwards and can take up to six months to arrive. 3) Bed sizes in Canada are different to South Africa, so beds, mattresses and sheets would eventually not match each other 4) Voltage in Canada is 110V vs South Africa’s 220, so that leaves all your Kitchen appliances and audio-visual systems at home So, we decided to sell as much as possible and try to get as good as possible prices. For those who decided to take a container over, a friend of mine, Andrea, did a great vlog entry on how to pack everything! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW4k5LLy4Kw However, we would take over clothes that fits in our suitcases, and “a few boxes” and our beloved original art pieces. The definition of “a few boxes” was very vague, but I had in my head that I would keep my books, some children’s toys, photo albums and some sentimental trinkets and gifts. After submitting our application, we knew that the standard time for receiving PPR is six months, and so we weren’t sure when we would settle in Canada. We made the decision that we would wait till end of June 2017 to decide when we would settle, and June came and went, so we decided we would settle in March 2018, leaving our house in January for an epic last SA Roadtrip. Ok, so beginning of June we got the ball rolling. We’ve put the house in the market, as we’ve heard that it could take 3-6 months. If the house gets sold early, we will “make a plan”. Then I had to start selling all our things. This was a daunting task and I wasn’t sure how on earth I would get to do it. But I had to start somewhere. My strategy soon unfolded: I started clearing rooms and cupboards, taking pictures of items that could be saleable and that we could do without. I think the first few items I listed was a mirror, a set of kitchen chairs that were scattered through the house, the baby’s cot and changing table. I started advertised these on Gumtree, a free and easy system, and later also used OLX, Facebook Marketplace and my own website. Timeline I started selling items in June 2017 and we left the house in the first week of January 2018. From there we did a roadtrip for a few months and left South Africa in March 2018. Guilt of selling vs giving away... When I started this whole process, I felt guilty because we have so much, and now we are selling our items instead of giving them away. There is so much pain and need in the world, and I can make a good contribution. But then later I realised that each and every item I need to sell, I will need to buy once settled. However, this process opened my eyes for need, and where possible I tried to give items away when I see a need and know it can make a difference. I felt that some items are not saleable, such as old duvets, sheets and blankets. We contacted Helpende Hand, a charity organisation that collects and distribute items to charitable people. I enquired about their process and felt safe in the knowledge that they have a system in place of following up on people and not just give where the need is, but also support and sustain. Then we also cleared out our old baby-items and made the children select a few of their most loved stuffed animals, the rest was to be given away. We selected our Church’s Baby House that takes in babies from 0 to 18 months. I was a great experience to take our children and drop off the toys and items. I was not sure that they would remember the experience as they were 1 and 3. However last week my now 4-year old needed a new washcloth. I bought it and wanted to throw the old one away, because we can “give it away to someone who doesn’t have one like we did in Africa”. First Customers My first customer phoned, and I was very excited, he wanted a mirror I advertised for R400. The conversation went something like this: He: Hi There, I am interested in the mirror you are advertising, is it still available? I can come and pick it up now. Me: Sure, still available. He: What is the price again, I have only R300 cash. Me: Well it is actually R400 He: Well, I have only R300 on me right now. Me: Maybe you can pop by an ATM and get the other R100? He: Hmmm. I really want the mirror; my girlfriend will lend me the rest. Good, I’m on my way. I was laughing so much, he too, and we had a deal. My first sale! For the next few months I was never out of cash, as my customers usually brought cash with, unless it is a really big item and big amount. The next funny story was “Indian Lady” as it sounded on the phone, wanting the kitchen chairs. She phoned on a Saturday morning and was “on her way” most of the day, and eventually rocked up at about 20:00 the evening. Willem and I had an agreement that I would let the customers in the gate only if I feel absolutely safe and never in the house unless he is there as well. So, this little minibus/kombi rocked up with a Muslim lady in full covered clothing, with her three children from ages 10-20 that popped out of the bus and next moment they are in my kitchen testing out the chairs. The husband stayed in the vehicle. I think the chairs was R150 per chair or R800 for the set of six. The lady was very friendly and tried to negotiate the price down. “Got some discount for me?” I told her that I already give her a discount if I give her the R100 of for taking all six. She acted a little bit upset, but then smiled and said, “I am Indian, I have to ask!” We were both laughing. She then called in the husband to make the final decision, pulled out the cash, loaded the chairs in the bussie and off they went. Willem was laughing at me trying to not give discount to and Indian person, but hey, it ended well. This gave me confidence to make sure I “load” my price before posting it on Gumtree and try as much as possible not to give in to lower offers – if it is a good price and a quality item, it will sell eventually. As I went on selling more and more items, I realised about 50% of people ask for a discount or make a lower offer. By loading my prices by about 20% and giving discounts when it is not a ridiculous request, I eventually evened out on the prices I wanted. Sometimes people would ask for a 50% discount and I would just ignore them. Scams, safety Not long into the process I posted a leather couch set, with a hefty price tag for such a luxury item. Very soon, less than 20 minutes after posted, I got a call from a guy that is very interested. He has a sister that is relocating to Joburg from London and he is setting up this person’s house. His first question was if the item was in a good condition. Of course, it is!! He also wanted to know what else I was selling. I quickly mentioned our spare queen size bed with pedestals, a carpet and a TV cabinet. He then immediately wanted me to send pictures of all these items, with prices. I did that and he phoned again to organise collection for the same day. I insisted that I want to be paid before collection. I mentioned that I am with FNB and he said he is with Nedbank. He will send me a copy of his ID and proof of payment as soon as I give him my address. The conversation started getting awkward and I did not feel comfortable anymore. I insisted that he can only collect once the full balance is reflecting in my account. He said he would get back to me and I never heard back from him. This pattern soon repeated with another luxury item – I would say anything above R4000 triggered this “scam”. The person has a relative relocating, they want to set up house and take same-day collection. I never really figured out how exactly they planned to rob you, as I never gave them my address, but please be aware of this strategy. At another time Willem advertised his laptop and I was listening to him receiving a call within 20 minutes of posting the ad. It was the first time he advertised something. By listening to him I realised it was a scam. The clues: It is for my daughter; I live in Vereeniging but have a driver in the area that can pick up immediately. Willem decided to see what happens and decided to suss out the villain. He arranged to meet up with “the driver” at a local coffeeshop and do the exchange there – cash for the laptop. He was very nervous, parked far in the corner of the parking lot, walked with the laptop to the agreed location and waited for “the driver” to contact him. While on the phone with “the buyer” he identified the car of the so-called driver, but the driver never got out of the vehicle. We think that they wanted him to climb into the vehicle?? Anyway, this did not happen, and Willem disappeared to his vehicle, made a few quick darts and dashes with his car for in case there is an attempted high-jack and arrived home safely. However, during the six months I’ve sold items, I was never scammed and never felt unsafe. I’ve noticed that if there is a family (husband and wife) dealing with me, the wife will do the talking, negotiation and the husband will stay in the car, until I specifically invite him inside the house. I saw this as a sign of them respecting my privacy and safety. What else are you selling? I got into the habit of taking pictures of obsolete household items and posting it quickly on both Gumtree and OLX. Then, quite often, people that picked up some item and seeing the “For Sale” sign in front of the house, started inquiring as to where we are going. Most of them were very excited for us emigrating, knowing a family member/ friend that is also in Canada and how happy they are. Some responded with the well-known “You know it is very cold there?” and I just smiled and nodded. Then quite often they would ask what else I am selling. To explain to them how to get a list of all my items on Gumtree is a bit complicated, so I used Wix.com to put together a very simple listing of all my items. I was even able to classify it into different rooms, e.g. Kitchen / Garage etc. This came in very handy and easy to distribute to friends and family. By using the default plug and play design you have very good-looking website for use on both PC and mobile devices. I do not think I made a lot of sales through this process, but I enjoyed doing it and it. I also used Facebook Marketplace to list items and got some good sales from there as well. Memorable Sales The Bed Selling our bed was more difficult than I thought it would be. I wanted to sell it as a set with the bed, pedestals and mattress, and quite often I would get ridiculously low offers, or people would not be interested in the whole set. It is also difficult to sell a used mattress, as it is a very expensive item, that loses most of its value, although it was in excellent condition. At last I got a call from a friendly guy that is interested in the whole set. He came the morning as agreed with an enormous trailer, as he had in mind that he would take the whole bed and put it on the trailer, rather than dis-assemble it and re-assemble at home. I tried my best to convince him that it would be a lot easier to take it apart rather than trying to get the whole thing out the door. In the end he saw the light and we loaded it on his trailer, and then it was time to pay. As this is pricey purchase, there were some changing of limits on online banking involved, and he had some banking issues, so we spent some time with him. He was a serious mountaineer and did some of the highest mountains on each continent and was on his way to conquer another mountain in South-America. I was quite surprised, as surely a mountaineer should be a skilful person and be able to assemble beds! However, we got our payment and off went the mountaineer with his bed. I hope slept well before conquering his next few mountains! Microwave About three months before our Leaving Date, my Microwave oven broke. O no. So, we decided not to buy a new one, surely we can be without this item for a few months. So being the opportunistic person I am, I tried to sell a broken microwave oven. I advertised it as that: “Broken Microwave” and it worked! Someone enquired about the rotating plate inside the microwave, as hers has broken. She wasn’t sure if it would fit, so she paid for it and took it away, with the agreement that if it doesn’t fit, she can return it. I didn’t hear from her again, so it fitted! Yea! Then I even found a buyer of broken Microwaves that takes them in for parts. Another small sale done! Iron In the last week of Willem still working, our iron broke. No problem. He had a few ironed shirts in the closet and for at least six months I didn’t touch an iron! This iron didn’t find a new owner…. Scale One of my favourite items in my house was a vintage looking kitchen scale. I got an enquiry from a guy in the Cape that wanted the scale. I was sad to inform him that it is too far, I am not going to deliver it that far. But this was a serious buyer, he insisted that he would send a courier to collect, I just need to wrap it properly. He is a collector of the specific scale’s brand and has a set of 4 scales in his kitchen, and this would complete his set. So, I agreed, he paid, I wrapped, and the courier collected. I even received a picture from my satisfied customer of the scale and its new friends! Patio set Sometimes I sold pricey good quality items and had to wait almost forever to get a proper deal. As we’ve started early, I was in the position to keep on to items until I have a proper deal. One of these was our patio set that we dearly loved and had some lovely outside dinners at with friends and family. I had so many offers for about 60% of the price I offered and did not want to let go. I insisted to get my price or at least 85%, as it was inflated. One evening a friendly young fellow came over to have a look at it (about the fifth person) and at last I’ve found my customer. He saw a different new item in Makro of about the same price, but of course it wasn’t as sturdy and good design as our table. He was sitting and thinking and pondering and then suddenly jumped up saying he will definitely take it, if he can have it at the same price as the Makro table. I was so relieved, because it was a good price and within my range of being acceptable, so we made a deal. He paid a 50% deposit and came a month later to pay the balance and collect the table. In that time, we had one last dinner and said goodbye to our table! Neliswe and Lesego’s story One of my best strategic decisions was to list three items, a fridge, washer and drier for R100 each. They were all at the end of their lives but if you knew how to finetune them, they were doing their jobs just fine. So, I listed them along with an honest explanation as to why the prices are so low. A lady called Lesego* came over one evening in October to look at a dressing room table that she wanted to purchase for her mother, Neliswe*. She was very interested but did not have the money right there. When she left, she asked me what else I was selling, so I’ve sent her the website link. She was ecstatic to see the fridge, washer and drier and promised to come again over the weekend, bringing her mom. That weekend she brought over her mother. And of course, some of the rest of the family, I think an aunt and sister. They rocked up in a taxi, driven by the brother. First, they had a look at the appliances, and decided that they definitely wanted all three. We agreed that they can take it when we leave Joburg in January. Then came the next question: what else are you selling? I mentioned the website, but they were more interested in my kitchen, and I have not yet put these on my site, as I use it daily. But they insisted to go through all my cupboards and wanted to see everything, even the teaspoons. As I was totally unprepared, I promised to take pictures of everything and send to Lesego. Ok, so they left with a gas heater and lots of promises to buy almost everything I owe. Over the course of the next few months they came about once a month to bring some money, take some items I can do without, bring some more family members, go through my house and see what they want and discuss prices. At some stage Lesego suggested that I do a garage sale just before we go. This was in the back of my head and sounded like an interesting idea. I’ve never been to one and it may be a bit risky security wise, but a good way of getting rid of all the little items, given that I have some customers. *Not their real names The cars take a ride What did we do with our cars? We had three cars, our bakkie to transfer rubble and dogs and big items, my car, and Willem’s car. Willem’s car Willem’s car was the easiest, as his dad was looking for a new car, and offered to buy it. He still had his own car, so this was no problem. In the last week of us being in Johannesburg, we did the owner’s transfer and all the relevant paperwork. He took us to the airport in our car and left with his new purchase from the airport. My Car To get rid of my car and the bakkie, we used second-hand sites such as Gumtree, WeBuyCars and some others. We decided to let go of one of these as soon as we get a decent price. Mine was the first to go, via Gumtree. It is not easy to do a Gumtree sale of such a high-risk item, but Willem met the potential seller and decided that he looks honourable. Of course, I was negotiated down on my price, but in the end, I safely sold my car and got my money, so that one was sorted. I think the car was sold in the end of November, and as Willem was still working and the children needed to go to school, I took Willem’s car and he took the bakkie to work. Bakkie Willem got a few quotes from WeBuyCars and those type of pages but decided to go with a company called Wheelie. Wheelie worked like this: Willem listed the bakkie with specs and pictures on this site. He had one week to receive offers on it, kind of like a bidding system. The bidders were mostly second hand car dealerships. He contacted the highest bidder to accept the price. This bidder now had one day to decide to continue with the deal. The bidder responded with acceptance and a transfer date was agreed. The bakkie found a new home after the last day Willem quitted his job. Although we were a little bit nervous about the system it worked out well. We didn’t have any problems receiving the money or doing the paperwork. I assume that Wheelie also takes responsibility in vetting the bidders. Garage Sale From about Christmas we didn’t have a lot of furniture left in the house. Most of the big items have been cleared out, but we still had to live and sleep there, so we had a two mattresses for the children, an blow-up camping mattress for us, towels, cutlery, and then a hoard of other items, like hangers and countless of dustbins and random things. Perfect for a Garage Sale. I told Nellie and Lerato to bring all their friends, as well as my gardener and domestic lady. Then we also told all our friends and I advertised on the local Facebook page. I was sooo ready, everything had prices on, and I had a system in place. My gardener’s other job was that of security guard, and he agreed to be our gatekeeper for the morning. The action was about to start at 9. Chaos! At about 8 o’clock Lesego and Neliswe and their friends and family arrived and started grabbing things and fighting over prices. I cannot even remember how they got into the property; it was a blur. I was hardly dressed and had to negotiate and bring out more towels and bedding that were still in cupboards because if you have buyer you need to sell! At about nine o’clock when my gardener and his family arrived, they were devastated to see that “all the good things are gone”. Well not really, but the bedsheets and towels and curtains were really an attraction. Plates and cutlery and glasses were also a favourite. And clothes hangers! So, we had this fun system: when someone come to me to pay, they would bring their items, and I would count the total, and announce the final price. Then they would negotiate to round the price down and squeeze in one or more small item. Finally, we would agree on a price and the cash would be handed over. Then the satisfied client had the opportunity to select a Fizzer from a box, and we had so much fun in them deciding if they wanted a green or a pink one. It was a steaming hot day and while my customers were shopping, I handed out water and tried to cool down the garage. I carried the cash close to my body and occasionally Willem would come and clear out my cash and go hide it in the house. When the first round of chaos was over, I even had a few local residents that took their dogs for a walk that came by. Some of my friends also supported us. The garage sale was a wonderful experience, and although I definitely did not sell everything, it made a very good contribution to our kitty. After the action was over, I spend the rest of the day packing everything in boxes and then contacted Helpende Hand and they took the rest of the items. The house… To sell the house was the most difficult part of this whole emigration business. I didn’t enjoy it at all, we got a much lower price than anticipated and had problems with transfer, so I will rather just leave the details out. However, we are indeed blessed that we accepted an offer after leaving the house while on our roadtrip and that all the paperwork was completed before we flied out to Canada. The dinner table The house is getting empty…. Except for our dinner table. The dinner table with 8 lovely chairs was bought in a set along with a server, coffee table and tv cabinet. We wanted to sell it all as a set, as they look beautiful together, but soon realised this was not going to happen. Earlier on an interesting guy from the Netherlands took away the server, coffee table and tv cabinet. Unfortunately, the dinner table wouldn’t have fitted in his house. He recently moved to South Africa from the Netherlands and we can just wish him good luck in his new country. He seems to love it. However, we were still stuck with the dinner table and again, a high-valued item that I didn’t want to let go at a very low price. I had a few interested parties, but it never worked out. In the beginning of January, we left the house with the table still in it, thinking that maybe we should sell the house with the table. While on vacation I got a call from a guy that’s interested. Our estate agent (and neighbour) opened the house for him and he loved it. We agreed on a price (hoooraay, I am fine with the price!!) and there it goes. Cash in the bank, off goes the table. I think this was the only item left in the house. Settling in Canada While selling all these items, I kept track of the money coming in, and decided that we would have these funds available to set up a new home in Canada. This worked out well, and I also realised that you can really get good value items in the second hand market. We went over with our suitcases and a few portraits and sentimental value items in ten boxes that was couriered at later stage. We spent two months in an Airbnb and then three months in a furnished rental. During this time, I shopped on Kijiji (Gumtree equivalent) and Facebook Marketplace. I also hopped around between shops to get the best value for money items. To date, we have furnished our new place with a good mix of new and second-hand items. So far, we have spent about 90% of our kitty, “replacing” our furniture, bedding and kitchen items. There was money to invest in proper winter gear! My fried Andrea also has a great blog entry on places to go for good value shopping in the GTA: https://www.justmyscene.com/post/immigrating-what-to-pack-what-to-leave-behind Yes, the house is smaller, and we do not have a big garden, but I realised the value of decluttering your life. Even after I sold about half of the items in our previous house, we still lived comfortably, just not able to cater for visitors. Now we live a low maintenance rental, almost no garden, and a lovely park and forest just around the corner. Are we happy? Yes! Do I miss my “stuff”? Honestly, sometime yes. But mostly No.
  14. 5 points
    After a gruling 1 year and 8 months to finally sit and type in the early hours of the morning I can say we are nearly on our way to Canada. If you thought sleep was evasive when you were waiting for your confirmation on visa approved... wel wel wel. Another skill comes in for a swoop to show you what adventures all about... little sleep... jip that nearly same one you had when you kiddies are small you are awake and the world is asleep and you think will i ever have a full night rest again.. ugggg... o well part of the journey 🤔.. we have sold everything going from a 4 bedroom house to a small 2 bedroom that we rented for 2 months and now we are between Airbnb and guesthouses.. so moving and shaking is the name of the game... all we have left is a Toyota fortuner full of our last belongings... what a relief.. yes many would say it is memories lost and painful, but for me not so much. With each item gone i felt the presure of worry lifting off my shoulders and what a relief. Under all the stress moving around rushing and having a TO DO list as long as my arm I am SUPER excited and ready for change. For a couple of years now I have felt out of place in the world/environment i move in daily. Kids.. resilient.. jip that is the magical word that gets connected to these small humans that remind us to stay in the moment.. with my son laying beside me snoring away and hubby "dossing" up a storm i find peace knowing we are in for a ride... Saying our goodbyes the last month or so to family and friends are though but I have been doing it for the last year secretly at heart.. making every visit every occasion count when i see special people makes me feel calmer for the last time... i know mum, sister and brother will be another story.. thats gonna hurt... i have met great people on social platforms during this process and checking in with them have become second nature.. its been a great support to connect with these ladies and they gave me the biggest boost when i was at my lowest... i am thankful to be blessed to get n second clean slate in life ... i want more out of this life and i want to make the change.. so yes.. Micheal Jackson song.. man in the mirror comes to mind and boy ou boy.. we are doing it.. Canada see you in 8 more restless nights ☃🎄✈
  15. 5 points
    There is something magic in the air when the snow starts falling at night. It suddenly becomes eerily quiet and then the snow starts drifting down. A snowy night is spectacular, especially when there is moonlight. Suddenly everything is bathed in a soft, almost pinkish light. Beautiful.
  16. 5 points
    If it helps, my kid could do none of the things mentioned by your caregiver, at that age. In fact he struggled more or less with many things like writing and parts of Maths (but was streets ahead in reading) until Grade 3 when he suddenly shot ahead of everyone in his class/ year, on many levels (writing, Maths etc). Relax. It will be fine. Your child should be playing. They're only young for such a short time.
  17. 5 points
    Well, it’s been exactly one year and six months since we landed in Canada. it’s has had its ups and downs. Let no one ever tell you that immigration is easy. No one mentions all the stuff you might have to give up, or how stressful all this unknown can be. Is it worth it... HELL YES!! Was it hard? It still is. We are still in Moncton on where we started and we have decided to stay here. Early next year we are buying our house (saving still) and since we got here it has certainly been an adventure. I got hired on permanently at my current company after being a contractor for a year, which was great and hubby moved from working in a call center (you gotta do what you gotta do) to working for a better company in his field finally (IT). We bought a car shortly after we got here but due to hubby working shifts in the call center, I spent the entire winter taking the bus. Let’s just say I have a healthy respect for when they call for -30 wind chill. Who knew anything lived in those temperatures ? On the positive side, I acclimatized. Suddenly today’s 13 degrees was beautiful, and not a freezing winters day in CT. And you’ve never experienced Autumn until you’ve seen it in Canada. OMG there is no words or pictures that can explain the feeling I get when the sun peeks through those orange and red leaves.... breathtaking. Dont give up on trying. Yes I miss my family, but it’s more that I wish I could bring them here and being scared for them staying in SA. Would I ever go back? NEVER! Okay maybe once I’m a citizen for a holiday because everything would seem so cheap to me. I don’t miss minibus taxis, or hearing gunfire all the time, or being scared and being locked up in my own home like a prisoner with bars I hide behind for “safety”. I can walk around here with my jewelry on and my handbag on my shoulder no problem (typical South African I’m suspicious of anyone coming up behind me). Its an adjustment, but it’s a life worth living and a life worth fighting for.
  18. 4 points
    We blinked! And suddenly 18 years have past. Ruby is finishing school this week and will start her studies at Vancouver Island University this fall. Her PROM was yesterday. What an awesome journey!
  19. 4 points
    Wonderful news! Our daughter sponsored us in 2001 at around age sixty. We have been blessed every day since then. For you and your brother this means peace of mind. Our children were extremely concerned about our safety in South Africa. After we arrived they didn't have that worry. There are many added bonuses. When we arrived our daughter had just adopted a little girl. As a busy medical doctor she needed help to care for the little one and that is where we stepped in. We were the surrogate parents when our daughter's profession made demands on her time. We all have a wonderful relationship. Our daughter's house consists of two separate homes. We live in the walkout basement suite. We have our privacy, and our daughter has a permanent gardener and housekeeper (me) as well as a very hands on handyman (hubby). Our granddaughter thrived from the start. She had the exclusive attention of three people who doted on her. She's now 18 years old, and a lovely teenager that anyone can be proud of. Most of our friends were sponsored by their children. All of them helped with daycare for the grandchildren while their children worked. We are the pet-sitters when our children go on holiday. We bring our side in so many ways.
  20. 4 points
    I realize that as South Africans living in SA, rationalizing the high crime rates and the violent ways in which the crimes are conducted, we accept this as the norm. Until it isn’t any longer. @OutOfSa and I were from the same batch of applicants. I can tell you that having someone with you on the journey helps. Someone that totally gets the disappointment, the frustration, the elation, etc. This journey can sometimes be lonely. Having a community - this community - even better. As you go through the ups and downs, it is amazing to be part of a group, whose members gain nothing by giving their support, but continue to do so anyway. @Kitcat, it is heartwarming to see the legacy carried on. I know that when I was in the “waiting” limbo, I drove myself a little mad there. As a result, my FB was filled with pictures of Africa...(yeah, in the end, I spent my “waiting” time travelling). Great attitude and this will serve you well when you start the next chapter. Best of luck for the future!
  21. 4 points
    FINALLY! For those interested, here is my PPR timeline😁 Applied: 25 April 2018 ITA: 09 May 2018 AOR: 30 May 2018 Medicals Passed: 11 June 2018 GCMS Noted Ordered: 4 November 2018 GCMS Notes Received: 5 December 2018- My eligibility was review required, and no other checks had started. Also last date of profile change was 27 June 18. No clear reason as to why there was a review needed, however they did mention in capital letters that no bank account history was provided. I had only uploaded a bank letter when I applied. Case specific Inquiry 1: 19 December 2018 - I took it upon myself to send through bank statements. They confirmed receipt a day later. Case specific Inquiry 2: 16 January 2019 - When I applied, I had only just started at my new job, so I could only upload my employment contract. I figured this could be another hold up, so I also decided to send through that proof of employment letter , they confirmed the receipt on 21 Jan 2019. Who knows if they even look at this. Passport request email (PPR): 25 January 2019 – 240 days!!!! Instruction received via email to submit passports to VFS. Nothing had been updated yet online and it still says, "We will message you when we start your background check" Passports submitted: 29 January 2019 – Submitted passports to VFS Pretoria. Got a confirmation sms that night Online profile updated: 31 January 2019 – Online profile was updated saying we have been approved and all checks passed. Also details of our counterfoils (temp visas) can be seen and an information letter uploaded in messages. Passports ready for collection: 1 February 2019 – Received sms that passports are ready for collection as well as confirmation of permanent residence letter.
  22. 4 points
    Also, emergency food for humans and dogs, a lot of bottled water, extra torches around the house, bottled bleach, and we'll fill the bathtub with water for flushing toilets. A well stocked first aid kit This is my friend's stockpile, however she lives alone BUT she also has the benefit of a generator.
  23. 4 points
    Our emergency kit. A small propane heater, with extra gas canisters, a carbon monoxide alarm which runs on batteries, a rechargeable camping light with extra torches which run on AA batteries, a small camping stove hob with extra butane canisters and a cellphone recharger with handy LED light
  24. 4 points
    My advice to anyone who isn’t a hardcore atheist: get connected with a local church, mosque, temple, synagogue (depending on your religious persuasion). Most times you will find a group of good people willing to help. And your social calendar will fill up. Obviously every group isn’t the same so you could have good or bad experiences. Some will be more welcoming and you might connect easier with certain groups. In our case we gravitated to the lively Pentecostal churches where they have lots of activities and our kids are plugged into youth and young adults programmes. Not easy getting depressed when people are swinging from the chandeliers lol.
  25. 4 points
  26. 4 points
    I have finally landed! So happy to be in Canada I landed at the beginning of May, missing a huge windstorm by mere hours. I flew via Zurich overnight from Johannesburg, and landed in Toronto around midday on a Friday. It was a bit strange boarding a flight at 9 am, flying all day, and then landing at noon … Going through customs and immigration took about 1.5 hours – a fair amount of people in the queues but it moves swiftly. Got my SIN and all the stamps on all the paperwork – everyone really was as nice as you have been told, and I got quite a few “Welcome to Canada!”s as I went along. I got a new simcard right in the terminal where you exit from arrivals, so that was pretty convenient. I opened a bank account at RBC on Saturday – quick and easy. I transferred funds from a FNB Global Account, and there was some confusion about SWIFT codes (RBC and FNB had different codes for the branch – FNB was right …) but it all got sorted. Right off the bat I got a cheque and savings account set up, and 100 cheques – yes, people really do still use cheques here! Everything gets posted to you, so having a local address is crucial. I got a PRESTO card as well, which is similar to London’s Oyster card. You load money on it and can use basically all the public transportation. There are different rates on the various systems though. For example, I am in Durham Region (just outside Toronto) and those buses have a flat rate regardless of how far you go. The GO train into the city is operated by someone else, and that fare is dependent on how far you go. You MUST remember to tap your card on and off to avoid the maximum fare (I forgot once, and ran back like a madwoman to the station to tap out …) There are loads of bus stops everywhere, which is great, although it does take a lot longer to get to where you are going on public transport (I am finding it is on average about double the time that a car would take). I have tried a bunch of transport apps, and really, the Google Maps app is all you need. It gives the bus number, tracks the stops as you go, and has been spot on so far. One thing about the bus stops here is that a lot of them don’t tell you which buses stop at that spot or where they go. You just have to know …. I spent a weekend in Toronto with other friends of friends [It is amazing how many people hear you are going to Canada, say “Oh I know So-and-so lives there – you should call them!”, and then you have another tour guide or place to stay!]. They took me to Niagara Falls (amazing! Definite must do), Red Lobster (sort of like a classier version of Spur but for seafood – was great), and then we just walked the city for a few days. It was wonderful to stroll around at midnight and see so many people, including families, out and about. There are so many green spaces that people actually use, the city is very clean, lots of events going on all the time, and it felt really safe. Loved it! I randomly met another South African outside the local pub, and after a few weeks of chatting, was invited up to a cottage further along the East Coast. When Canadians speak about going to their cottages, it really can mean anything from a McMansion, to a rustic house, to a shack without electricity. I went for the Canada Day long weekend – it was incredible! The cottage was on a lake, with miles and miles of forest around. We swam in the lake every day – the cleanest water you can imagine. All the people staying near us pooled their fireworks and had a huge display on the Sunday night. People are quite patriotic, but in a nice polite Canadian way Job hunting has been a bit challenging – apparently most people take their vacations at this time as schools are out and the weather is fantastic, so I am just being patient and keeping at it. People have been quite forthcoming with advice and leads, and there are many resources that you can make use of. Speaking of the weather, sjoe, it has been HOT! With humidity, it feels like it is high 30s and early 40s most days. So definitely happy to have 4 seasons! (Although the Canadians are quick to tell you to wait until February, and then decide if you still like the weather ….) Nevertheless, it has been fantastic to see the trees turn green and the gardens blossom. Everywhere you go there is greenery and pops of colour everywhere. And so many big trees! Strolling around the neighbourhood and enjoying people’s gardens is really a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Overall, my landing experience has been more than I could have hoped for. Things function as expected, people are generally really very nice and quite helpful, and notwithstanding a few inevitable bumps along the way, I am just thrilled to be here!
  27. 4 points
    What a trip! Autumn/Fall in BC is breathtakingly beautiful. Everything on the route from Vancouver to Kamloops looks like a desktop wallpaper or postcard. The Canadians whom I met in shops, restaurants, bars, on the streets and amongst family & friends were friendly, helpful and down to earth. I went full tilt tourist for a couple of days. In Kamloops, a RCMP officer even walked me back to my walkabout starting point after I asked for directions. Helpful indeed. As for the rest of my LSD trip, I spent time with working folks and experienced normal everyday working/family life with my middle class cousin and his family. The usual feedback; safe, peaceful, clean, neat, everything works, everybody has a function, abundance of choice in shops etc. If you are wondering if Canada is the place for you and the fam, I'd highly recommend it. Although 2 weeks is hardly a full rounded experience, I went with 2 mindsets of exploration: 1. Check everything out in terms of work and everyday living 2. Find reasons not to live in Canada. My experience and answers point to a simple conclusion, Canada is an amazing place to raise your family and focus on simply living without the background noise of politics, crime and uncertainty. How did I do it? I have family living in Canada for 20 years. An aunt, uncle and cousins. They wrote an invitation, I applied via CIC and received my Temp Resident visa, then left for my LSD. Spent the first 2,5 days recovering from a butt numbing 30hr Frankfurt stopover journey and started exploring shops, schools, medical, Tim Hortons etc. Spend time with my cousin at work and the company owner offered me a job right away. So much work available in Canada if you are willing to consider anything in construction. Filled in some forms, left info and they are submitting my LMIA application this week. If you are considering relocation, use the money you would have on an agent and visit the country. Experience it for yourself. During your travels you may even strike it lucky with a job offer, but at the very least, you will be able to come back and make your mind up with certainty. The CIC site is not impossible to navigate for your own application and many on this site have contributed enough toward the process topics for you to DIY the application. We'll be starting the the process after the LMIA feedback and will keep folks posted on the relevant threads.
  28. 4 points
    I only know how to write long stories, so here it is: Canadians have little to complain about. Most of them don't know what crime is (the SA topic of choice.) As in South Africa, there are common topics which people use to "break the ice" - in SA it's crime (Sad Huh?) In this ultra liberal-social justice - safe place - "trigger word **puke**" - broken world we live in, the topic of weather is safe. Heavens to Murgatroyd! Imagine you ruin a millennial snowflake's day by bad utterances.... I mean, you might offend a snowflake by saying to it, (not allowed to use he, she) "I like Winter" - they might need to find a safe place to process the word 'winter' as it may be their 'trigger' word for all you know. But, the good thing about "I like winter" is that a tribunal / work disciplinary committee / HR, will have a more difficult time charging you with verbal violence against a vulnerable soul. (Snowflake) But don't say that as "snowflake" triggers Snowflakes!!!!!!! They probably will charge you with being insensitive.... (Ha, ha - I got some political rhetoric in ! ) In Canada, it's the weather. (It's too hot, it's too cold, I hate the winter, I hate the summer, I hate the humidity, I hate......) I hear "I hate every aspect of the weather throughout the year." Canadians Smile and Laugh at me when I say "I LOVE yes LOVE the winter...." Then many admit (quietly - sheepishly - as it's not cool to like winter - no pun intended) that they love it too, they go on their snowmobiles on trails - head north in packs, ski, walk in the woods, make maple syrup in the fall, revel in the colour of the leaves, and perk up in the spring. As a born and bred African, all I knew my whole life was drought and Heat (Generally). The odd thunderstorm on the high veld and some interesting weather in the East Cape. Here it's all water (or ice ) and a huge variety of weather. You will see clouds & formations more amazing than you have ever seen before. Silver linings on the clouds - huge dark, purple and then sun streaming through. You'll see all manner of snow (there are hundreds of different types) and ice and experience the amazing peace of a fresh snow fall (it muffles sound). My late after noon drives home from work - on my early days are something I look forward to everyday (normally it's dark !!!) - it's my relaxation time. Yesterday it was huge dark clouds with the sun cutting the far-off trees, like someone had washed shiny varnish across the horizon - and it's not even winter. You may even see that crazy lady beating her car to death because the door is frozen shut by freezing rain. I have a video that I took one day that makes me shake with laughter every time.... it never gets old. Our huge workshops are all heated. I'm not a mechanic, but the guys on the floor all work in T-shirts thought out the year. I have remote start on my car, so it's toasty when I reach it. My house is toasty, there is hot chocolate and steaming coffee to be had on virtually every street corner. Every day is different to the last..... God bless all the beautiful women in their latest outfits......all wrapped up in jackets and boots.... Trees are all craggy, and misshapen - squirrels scurry back and forth - Coyotes howl at night., often I open the window and pull the duvet up to my nose. Jack frost sits at the end of the bed and looks on in disgust... Sometimes the trees are all lined in white, sometime you sink to your knees in boots made for snow. Sometimes you jump over muddy muck. Sometime you fall on your butt and it hurts like hell. Everyday I look at my phone to see when the storms are coming and every-time they come I run to the window like a little-old-man child I rev up my snow-plough (plow) and woosh the white stuff onto my neighbours drive - NO! I don't (You get in trubble) No, she's old - so my wife and I clear her leaves in the fall and shovel her drive in the winter - if another neighbour has not already done it when I get back. What a wonderful world.... My snow proof puppy and I go play in the snow like two fools without a care. What is there not to love about it all?? Winter does not hold a knife, rape or maim... maim unless you are reckless and unprepared - but that's your choice, it's does not come with malice, it just is. The people at work are just looking to get a rise out of you- and who knows, perhaps you too will like winter. Try and find the beauty and the good in it, not the bad and the nasty.
  29. 4 points
    When we arrived in Canada, in my first 2 years, I used to go to theses events, sign up with immigration career services, job fairs, etc. They are very worthwhile and can be a good networking opportunity. This event is on 13 Nov 2018 and entrance is free. http://canadianimmigrant.ca/careerfair/vancouver
  30. 4 points
    Buying at current fx implies you believe it will be worse in a few months from now. It could be worse. Or it could be better. Predicting fx is super complicated and even the pros get it wrong. When we moved I didn't try to time the market. We cashed out on the day when we were ready and able to cash out. The fx rate that day was what it was and life went on. It can get very stressful worrying about fx rates.
  31. 4 points
    Hi Tahlita, Welcome to the forums! To answer some of your questions I will give a short, simplified explanation of citizenship and permanent residence. There are some exceptions, other rules etc., this is just a very generalized explanation. There is really only one kind of citizenship, being a citizen of Canada. It is different being born in Canada and being a "naturalized" citizen but that is not something you have control over anyway and for most practical intents and purposes all Canadian citizens have the same privileges and are seen as the same by government. Having "permanent residence" status is almost the same as being a citizen, you can see it as the step before becoming a citizen. For most practical intents and purposes, "permanent residents" have almost all of the same privileges as citizens. Some of the differences are that you cannot vote in elections as a permanent resident (PR), you cannot do some high security clearance jobs and of course you cannot get a Canadian passport until you become a citizen. Otherwise you have the same access to schooling and health care that citizens do, you can rent and find jobs and be seen equal to a citizen in almost all cases. You can apply for Canadian citizenship once you have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for at least 3 out of 5 years. One way to become a permanent resident immediately is to immigrate through the Express Entry program that the Canadian government offers. I would recommend reading up about the different immigration options on the official Canadian Government website here, making sure your are eligible, which ones you qualify for etc. There are a few options, each with their own rules and it is a whole study on its own. There is also a lot of information on forums like these. You can also be in Canada legally on a work visa or student visa but as far as I know with these visas you would still need to apply for permanent residence first before getting citizenship, so it would be first prize if you can immigrate as a permanent resident immediately. Giving a rough estimate of the amount of money you would need to survive is really difficult. Cost of living differs vastly depending on where in Canada you live and your lifestyle and priorities. What is "affordable" to one person might be really expensive to the next depending on how much you earn and spend etc. If you immigrate to Canada through Express Entry without a job offer the Government of Canada requires you to have enough money (according to their calculations) to survive for at least 6 months without a job. For your family of 4 people that amount is currently $23,181 (CAD), so you can be sure that you would need at least that much before being able to immigrate through Express Entry without a job offer. You can perhaps start by looking where in Canada you are more likely to find jobs or where you want to live and then you can ask more specific questions and do more specific research about expenses in that area. Canada is a massive country and the provinces are almost like little countries with some having their own rules about certain things. Health care is mostly free, but in BC for example you have to pay a small fee per month which they are planning to remove as well in the next few years. This health care includes seeing doctors/specialists, emergency care etc. but does not include dental and eye care and prescription medicine for which you would need extra coverage. Some employers include this extra medical insurance as part of your employee benefits. I cannot really comment on how good the health system is as we haven't really had to use it extensively. We've been to walk-in clinics a few times and received excellent service even though we had to wait 3 hours or so each time (this is how walk-in clinics work). My suggestion would be to start by looking which immigration program you qualify for (based on your age, qualifications, industry that you want to work in, financial situation etc.) and read everything you can about the process. Here are some links to get you started: Good luck! 🙂
  32. 3 points
    Despite the apparent (I thought it too) belief of that Canada is SA without crime, it's not. The people are very different. They grew up in a world so foreign to SA that it might as well be another planet. Fitting in and connecting takes time - as do new friendships.
  33. 3 points
    In lieu of my experience over the last year and how I've seen the EE draws as well as the pool distribution change over the last couple of months, I would like to share my thoughts and experience with everyone starting out with the process. Firstly, for those of you that want to work through an immigration agent: They send out an assessment giving an indication of what your CRS score might be, based on that they will tell you, you have an "excellent chance" of being drawn and they would like to help you with your application. That is how they catch you, so don't be duped into believing your score is good enough to be fast tracked through Express Entry, when in actual fact it might take you a while to get your PR because of all the other routes you need to follow for more points. I'm not saying don't work through and agent, just make sure you know what you are in for before committing a massive amount of hard earned moola. When we started this process in June last year the cut-off scores were sitting in the 440's (for the whole of 2018 there were only 2 draws that were in the 450's). Our best possible score that we calculated back then was 455-460, so we were super excited and thought we would get selected pretty quick and by this time be in Canada already........... how wrong we were..... No one can predict what the cutoff scores will be, there is an uncountable amount of variables involved that will have an effect on where the cutoff will be. Because of Canada's proclamation that they have a huge demand for immigrants everyone wanting to leave their country is jumping on this band wagon. In May 2018 the pool had 80,000 applicants compared to 111,000 before this last draw. With more and more applicants entering, the chances are that there will be more applicants with a higher score than you. The time between draws also has an effect on what the cutoff score will be. At the end of January this year, IRCC held a back-to-back draw, i.e 2 draws within a week from each other that caused the cutoff to drop to 438. The next draw after that only took place 4 weeks later with a cutoff score of 457. Since then IRCC maintained a constant gap of 2 weeks between draws and kept the intake the same. The cutoff scores decreased steadily, on the draw of 1 May we were super excited as the cutoff was on our score of 450, but the excitement was short lived as we missed out on the tie breaker by 4 days 😥. However given the consistency of the draws we were sure that 15 May will be our day only to see that IRCC decided to have an FST draw only 😮. The result of this was that the next "no specified program draw" was 4 weeks from the previous one and the cutoff shot up to 470!! There has been two draws since then and the last cutoff was at 462. It seems as if it will come down again, however, and this is where I want to caution all of you starting out with this to not get your hopes up. The EE pool as at 21 June had 6265 applications with scores of 451+. People on other forums that have done the math reckon that there are 250+ applicants entering the pool with 451+ points every day. From 21 June to 10 July when the next expected draw is to take place, theoretically 4750 applicants with scores 451+ will have entered the pool. This will leave the pool distribution before the next draw with 451+ applicants sitting at 7665 (6265 less 3350 (26 Jun draw) plus 4750). So unless IRCC increases the intake, I cannot see the cutoff scores going down into the 440's any time soon. What complicates matters even more is the theory that the hundreds of thousands of international students that have enrolled into Canadian Universities and Colleges over the last couple of years, got their WP after graduating and those with 1 year's Canadian work experience have all now started applying for PR which puts even more pressure on cutoff scores. So my whole purpose of this blabbering post is just to forewarn any of you that want to start with this journey, or those of you already in the pool waiting and hoping for the cores to drop. Don't bargain on the scores dropping to the 440's anytime soon. The 450's of 2019 is the 440's of 2018. Look at other means of increasing you scores, higher IELTS results, further studies, learning french, getting job offer and/or PNP. Make sure you understand this process thoroughly before deciding on using an agent, because the reality is, you can do it yourself. Don't expect this process to be over quickly, give yourself enough time and don't create an unrealistic time frame, it will drive you mad. Good luck to all starting out and good luck to all of us still in the process
  34. 3 points
    Quick feedback - requested to submit Passport on Tuesday. Submitting on Friday !
  35. 3 points
    Thought some may be interested. My brother put my parents in the pool for sponsorship for PR in January 2018. They received ITA a couple months after that (100 000 issued apparently). Processing time was stated between 20-48 months. They got requests for Police clearance and medical in Feb. 2019. submitted two weeks later. Passport requests end March. Submitted 2 April. Golden email on 7 April. So 14 months processing. They have to land before Feb 2020. Definitely taken us all by surprise as we were all working on a much longer processing time. Big decisions to make - particularly difficult when you’re in your 60s.
  36. 3 points
    Hi @M_Richard I'm happy to give you some comments based on what I've learned along the way. Please note, though, that I'm not a financial advisor or tax professional 😁 Some of the information may be out of date or not applicable to your specific situation, so you may want to check the facts. I'm happy to point you in the direction where to look for information - feel free to ask. CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) website is pretty good. Also, don't apologize for asking questions on here. We've all had to learn and research these matters and can help each other out because often the information out there can be confusing and sometimes contradictory, so it helps to get a first-hand account from someone who has been through it . It is good that you are researching and planning now already given your move is still 2 years away! Apartment You can definitely keep your property in SA and use the rental income to subsidize the rent you pay in Canada until you are ready to buy here. It is a good strategy and it is what we did. It gives you a chance to find your feet, get a feel for the property market here, and decide which area you want to settle. Canada, like South Africa, uses the residence based tax system, which means that if you are a tax resident of Canada you need to pay taxes on your world-wide income. This include rental income from South Africa, and you are right, that gets added to your taxable income here. You can of course deduct from the taxable income any expenses that you incurred in order to earn the income, for example if you pay a rental agent to manage the rental, cost to find a tenant, municipal taxes, levies, mortgage interest etc etc. (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/forms-publications/publications/t4036/rental-income-2016.html#P109_3004). You must always show the full rental received, and then show what expenses you are claiming as deductions. An implication that you need to be aware of is that when you eventually sell the Cape Town property, you will be liable for Capital Gains Tax in Canada. You will be taxed on the portion of the property's capital appreciation from the date that you arrived in Canada until the date when you sell it. Basically CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) treats it as if you bought the property on the day that you arrive in Canada at its market value (its called a "deemed acquisition".). It is therefore a good idea to have it valued at or near this date and keep the valuation for when you sell, in case CRA wants to see it. (https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/international-non-residents/individuals-leaving-entering-canada-non-residents/newcomers-canada-immigrants.html#PBC) So lets say you originally bought the property for R2million and when you arrive in Jan '21 Canada it is worth R4million, and you then sell it two years later for R5million, you will have to declare to CRA a capital gain of R1million. Of course you can deduct expenses like estate agent's commission. Naturally SARS will also claim its' share of the capital gain. And because you were no longer living in the property when you sold it you won't get the full SARS R2million per person primary residence exception (it will be pro-rated: period you lived in it over the time you owned it). Luckily there is a tax treaty between Canada and SA to avoid double taxation. (https://www.treaty-accord.gc.ca/text-texte.aspx?lang=eng&id=102407). So, depending when you sell and where you file taxes first, you will claim the tax paid in one tax territory as a tax deduction or credit in the other tax territory. Cash / Investments in South Africa Regarding your other question, about the cash invested in South Africa: I cannot tell you about what the impacts and rules of Financial Immigration are as I have not looked into this. So my response pertains only to the scenario where you have not done financial immigration from South Africa as this is the situation that I am in. - I have left investments, bank accounts and money market accounts in South Africa. I have told my SA bank that I am out of the country for an extended, undermined period of time. I have a personal banker who is very responsive to emails and phone calls, for when I need something that cannot be done online. - Moving proceeds out of the SA is perfectly fine - but you need to keep the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) exchange control rules into account. (https://www.resbank.co.za/regulationandsupervision/financialsurveillanceandexchangecontrol/faqs/pages/individuals.aspx). Basically up to R1million per person per year ie R2m for you and your wife (called a Single Discretionary Allowance, or SDA) is very easy and you don't need any clearance or permission - you can literally transfer it via internet banking from your SA bank to your bank in Canada. In addition to this you also get a Foreign Investment Allowance (FIA) of R10 million per person per year. For this you need to get a tax clearance certificate from SARS. Some admin but no big deal if your taxes are in order. Above R10m you will need to get permission. Like Reibtseb said the transaction costs of transferring funds every month is going to be high because there is a fixed portion regardless of the amount - so if you can do it less often you will lower your overall transaction costs. - Of course you will have to report all investment proceeds, interest and dividends that you earned in South Africa to CRA and pay tax on it here in Canada - regardless of whether you brought the funds here or not. Once again, if you were taxed on it in SA you can deduct that. - Regarding the higher interest rate in SA vs lower interest rate in Canada: this is definitely so that you will earn significantly more interest in South Africa. This is only part of the story though, and you need to be careful when comparing it. Part of the reason for the higher interest rate is that South Africa has a much higher rate of inflation. Over the last 10 years the average rate of inflation in Canada has been 1.74% per year. In South Africa the average over the same period it has been 5% per year. So, lets say the same rates continue: in South Africa in 10 years, what you can now buy for R500,000 will cost you R840,000, whereas in Canada the cost of 500,000 worth of goods will only increase to 588,000. You may think that the cost of goods in SA in 10 years time will not affect you because you because by then you live in Canada. But the higher relative rates of inflation and interest in South Africa if it continues, should eventually result into a weakening SA currency against say Canada. And historically over time we can see this happened: 10 years ago you paid 7.16 Rand for one Canadian dollar, today that is 10.69 Rand. The R500,000 in your example would have bought you nearly 70,000 Canadian dollars 10 years ago, and today you will get a little less than CAD 47,000. Now, nobody has a crystal ball to predict what will happen in the future. And there are many other factors that impact on the exchange rates. I'm simply trying to illustrate that the difference in interest rates between the countries must not be looked at in isolation because the gains you get with a higher interest return could be negated over time if the Rand weakens against the Canadian dollar. So I'm not saying don't leave investments in SA - I certainly have, but for other reasons than the higher interest rate. I hope I have not rambled too much and that what I wrote makes sense. Feel free to ask if it is unclear or if you have other questions.
  37. 3 points
    Thanks @MaryJane, this community has been so wonderful to be a part of. While there is loads of official info out there, it’s always so great to hear directly from those who’ve been through the process and can share their personal experiences. You and others who’ve gone before us have helped so much to ease the fears and frustrations of those of us still waiting.
  38. 3 points
    A beginner's guide...excuse any typos. A South African's Guide to Express Entry_ MB.pdf
  39. 3 points
    When I see jib offer and IELTS in the same sentence I do worry though. 😉
  40. 3 points
    Where would one rather spend the money? (I rewrote this many times and each time it came off sounding negative, my Canadian apologies in advance.) I feel it's a bit of reality - a person needs to know what's really likely to happen before it does... Or am I out of line? There may be private cleaners for less - probably other immigrants that can't get work due to language barriers. Quoted from my local Area in the GTA: "Large maid service companies like Molly Maid can charge as much as $75 an hour for two cleaning professionals, and it's not unusual to pay about $300 for half a day's work to clean an average 3 bedroom, 2,000 square foot home" So that's what a service costs in my town: Lets say $300 / month + tips (yip you need a tip - usually 15% = 300+tip+tax = $393.) I bet a couple of SA maids would LOVE to be paid R 3900 for a morning's work !!!💃 Now lets put some perspective on that money, what else could it buy? - If you cleaned your own house as most Canadian do .... it's insurance for an immigrant's car (for a month), or the cost of a BRAND NEW medium car (Brand new corolla is $250) /month) - or you could lease a brand new RAV-4 for $360/month. Or fuel for 2 cars for a month - long distance commute (and some). Not sure about other people, but I'd rather have a Rav 4 and clean ! So, for people who are prepared to clean up after themselves, you could buy a great car, or fill your tanks or save for a home. (GTA). Having a good car is essential, having insurance is mandatory.... Most people (everyone ! I know) clean their own homes - their parents did and they do - it's not something that people here think about. Yes, I suppose as you move towards the big leagues, a maid / service might be nice. I don't know... my house is not tiny - we clean every weekend and it does not take very long. I'd rather have the car or the savings or something else than a stranger going through my place. Most immigrants simply can't afford a maid because the 1:10 ZAR CAD is nasty. You probably will need at least $70 000 to make it frugally to your first job, and then you'll want a house - which is $600 000 (fair) - $ 2 million (small mansion on a nice bit of land) here - so that's 6 million SA ZARS. Usually the banks want a 20% deposit - so that's 1.2 million ZAR. An average SA'ner starting wage, first job, is probably $19 / h = 40x$19 = $3040/month less some tax, $2900, less rent ($-1200) = $1700, less a car and insurance $-600, $1100, less licences $80, $1010, less food $600 (or less), less Heating Gas, Petrol, Power ($-200) oops, Not really anything left.... Dip into savings. (I coined the term "hemorrhage money" in the first 2 years - i.e. you living allowance plummets. ) My point is, cleaners don't usually factor into an immigrants survival regiment - life is just WAY too hard for that. Cleaning a home, if you're lucky enough to get a good enough job to get one, is probably going to be so far down of your list of immigration troubles that it won't feature ! If a person is transferred from SA, then IMHO the chances of going back are much higher - simply because the people who make it here the hard way were HUNGRY and worked extremely hard to make it. Transfers often don't understand the difficulties about to hit them, they want SA in Canada, which is a recipe for disaster. It's easy until the first day in a strange land, and from there all hell breaks loose. Some people on the forum balk at shoveling snow ! (HA ! HA !). I remember my surprise the first time I saw our company owner (President of a company here) - driving an excavator in our company yard - he's a million air - but there he was digging a hole for something. I doubt that any CEO's in SA would drive an excavator. Things in Canada are very different to SA. I often see women shoveling their drives early in the morning (winter) or mowing the lawn (Summer) - yip, very different here from SA. There's no shame in doing your own work, inf act, there's a lot to be learned from it.
  41. 3 points
    Guys we just got our PPR!!!! I am in shock. Under 2 months processing time!!!
  42. 3 points
    Hey @Amy G, the wait has been pretty tough, especially when there are so many who applied long after us who are already in Canada now. We never thought our case was complicated - can’t think of anything other than my husband’s extensive travel history that could have caused the delay, but we also got a random question from the CIC about our marriage certificate about a month after we applied, so this could have pushed us back in the queue - other than that we really don’t know. It’s certainly been a test of patience and faith, but I’m sure it will all be worth it and we have a great adventure ahead of us. Good luck with your application - really hope it’s a speedy processing time for you!
  43. 3 points
    It's not "kewel" (cool) according to the web to snap sunsets.... I am constantly stunned by the beauty I see on the way home from work. This is mainly a fall / winter thing as that's when the tumultuous weather arrive.. I named this "the dragon".... I stopped on the way home from work the other day - luckily I drive through the rural areas to get home, very beautiful. Just my (old) iPhone 5 - nothing fancy - so imagine what it must have looked like with the naked eye. (Please add your "Canadian skies" to this thread).
  44. 3 points
    First all congratulations on coming this far in the process 😀 I agree with @Kitcat it’s only Pre-AOR that you need to worry about. Time between AOR and PPR does not need to be accounted for travel . Only if there are changes in the family structure, with documents (passportetc.) or on medical side then you’d have to raise a query with CIC. Once you submit your application your profile gets locked anyway. goodluck! The trick is to be patient. The process is very straightforward but can take time. We were hoping to get an answer in 4 months and we got in 5 months which isn’t really bad considering some other applicants. We landed 2 days ago in Burlington and are embracing our new lives!
  45. 3 points
    Ruby, ons kleinkind, is Oos-Indies met Sikh voorouers. Afrikaans is ons geheime taal wanneer ons nie wil hê ander moet hoor wat ons sê nie. Bloot onskuldig, soos: "Gaan jou maats bly vir aandete?" Ensovoorts. Ek hou ook daarvan om "Robo calls" in Afrikaans te antwoord. Een van Ruby se vriendinne was by toe ek vriendelik op so 'n oproep reageer met: "Baie dankie, meneer, maar ek stel regtig nie belang nie." Dis toe wat sy vir Ruby vra: Why did your Ouma just tell that guy to buy a donkey?"😄 Terloops, baie kinders in Kanada het oumas (oma).
  46. 3 points
    Hendie, ek stem heelhartig saam met jou. Ons het grootgeword in 'n era toe taalsuiwerheid en korrekte spelling belangrik was. Ons praat seker maar "ou" Afrikaans in Kanada.😄 SACanada was voorheen volledig tweetalig.
  47. 3 points
    I have noticed that many WP approvals have come through on different times than indicated by CIC. Just a reminder that during the summer time Canadians go on leave which also impacts application turn around and i am sure the biometrics will play a roll. Many other do wait for WP outcomes longer than indicated on CIC so i really think it depends many more factors than what we think. We are also still waiting and going onto week 8 so hopefully by the end of the month we will know what we will do going forward. Staying humble, patient and positive with a dash off luck is all we can do. Good luck to us all and we can only keep encouraging each other in this journey. 💪
  48. 3 points
    You will fit in just fine in Canada with all your disclaimers so as not to offend anyone Welcome, and you already had great advice!
  49. 3 points
    Some update from my side... our LMIA was approved yesterday... jipeee 🤗 now for the dreaded work permit application... hoping and praying for a smoother "journey" to hopefully approval.
  50. 3 points
    It's advisable to get a letter from your treating physician (assuming a psychologist / psychiatrist) giving the basic diagnosis - or watered down version of that. The letter should contain assurances that you are stable, and able to hold down a full time job, and you'll contribute to your community. Get the Dr that's doing your exam to include it with your submission. If you are on meds, bring a 6 month supply (usually the longest a Dr is allowed to prescribe in advance) - this will be invaluable here while you settle. Bring another letter & copy of your last script to persuade a clinic here to continue to supply your medication. Make sure you have the right meds & support to ensure you don't relapse under the tremendous pressure that is imminent. It takes on average a year ??!! to get an appointment with a shrink here, so best be sure you've got it all together before you arrive.