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warney

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warney

Hi Everyone,

I've been reading all the latest on the forum for the past couple a days while waiting to be validated, and I just want to start by saying how awesome it is to see how united SAFAS really are. To find a forum like this is such a relief considering all the questions that are crashing through my brain.

My wife Joleta and I (Warren) and our two amazing little kiddies, Skylah (2) and Aiden (10 months) are looking to relocate to Canada from Cape Town SA. We started the process in January (first checking out Oz, NZ and the UK... I also sent my CV off to a company in Dubai and I've had a potential job offer in Qatar), but we're really set on Canada.

I checked out IXP visas (who phoned me nonstop), but thanks to a couple of good friends and an agent from CanadaAbroad who warned me about them, I was able to sidestep them and have a go at it myself. Using the information on CIC and Job Bank, I was able to find vacancies in my field of work and sent off my CV to about 10 companies (maybe more). I was amazed at the response. In the first week I had 3 responses (2 from Edmonton and 1 in Calgary) all wanting to do a skype interview. Anyway, long story short...I've had 2 follow up interviews and a job offer from the company in Calgary and they managed to secure a positive LMO. Now the real work starts...or so it seems. I’ve since then also been contacted by a company in Oakland.

I've done a whole lot of reading, downloaded checklists and checked eligibility etc..., but I thought to check in with you first, since most of you have been through this already.

- What is the best route going forward? Any tips?

- Does my wife need to also secure a job or can she tag along as my spouse (what visa does she need to apply for - A Visitors Visa?).

- Do we all need unabridged birth certificates (I know the kids do).

- Will the new LMIA influence the positive LMO?

- How much funds do I need to have in my account (do they want statements etc...we also own a house...well a part of it at least...we've paid off around R300k) Will that count in our favour?

- How long does all of this take? Timeline?

- Do I need to secure visitors driving permit and international driver’s license?

- Are there any hidden costs?

- How long before we can apply for PR?

- Done a lot of research about Calgary and my employer says he grew up on the East Coast, but moving to Calgary was the best decision he ever made. What’s your opinion?

- Anyone currently living in Durbanville that is looking to head over? My contact no: 0845608241, maybe we can hook up and chat.

Thanks in advance for all the assistance. Super grateful!

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Tifa

Oh wow congrats!!! Wishing you all the best. Sorry I cannot add to the above.

What work is it that you do?

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chantelie

Welcome to the forum

You will all need unabridged cert as well as unabridged marriage certificate.

We applied Via SINP so I will not be able to help much with the LMO process.

My husband is the main applicant and I applied for a open work permit and my children for study / visitors permits. We got the job offer in September and just completed medicals, so about 10 months so far for us. I am sure the wonderful people on this forum will be able assist you with all your questions.

Good luck!

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MaryJane

Hi Warren, welcome to the forum. Hope you find most of what you're looking for. I'll let the others talk about work permit applications since I don't have much experience in them.

For some of your questions:

- Does my wife need to also secure a job or can she tag along as my spouse (what visa does she need to apply for - A Visitors Visa?).

No, she does not need to secure a job prior. When you apply for your work permit application (if that is your application), you can include her in your application and CIC will give her an open work permit, which means that she should be able to apply for any job when she gets here.

- Do we all need unabridged birth certificates (I know the kids do).

Yes. As chantelie said, it is necessary that every single one of you have unabridged birth certificates.

- How much funds do I need to have in my account (do they want statements etc...we also own a house...well a part of it at least...we've paid off around R300k) Will that count in our favour?

Surely cannot hurt. But as far as I know, if you apply with arranged employment, it is not mandatory to have proof of funds.

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cliveza

Have a look at my signature for a timeline, in my case we spent a long time was waiting for the LMO. Some of the LMIA requirements sort of remind me of the Accelerated LMO they used to have and I know some folks, where I work, got this within 10 days. So if you meet the in demand/highest paid category of the LMIA you should get it pretty quickly.

- How long before we can apply for PR?

1 year , with the Canadian Experience Class program. I went this route.

Do I need to secure visitors driving permit and international driver’s license

You'll need to check as this is province specific. In Ontario, if you live here, then after 2 months (or 3 months) you have to stop driving on your foreign drivers licence irrespective if you have an international drivers license or not.

Edited by cliveza
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warney

Thanks for the quick response.

Strife & Tifa: I am a qualified Landscape Technologist with 6 years experience in the field of landscape design and construction. I am currently working in Landscape Architecture, but i will be joining a landscape contracting/construction company as their in-house designer and project manager.

Wow, looks like this process will take a lot longer than anticipated...

Mary Jane: I see you applied in Dec 2009 and landed in Dec 2012? (does that includes getting residency?) Which route did you take, if not the work permit route with LMO?

So, we will need to get visitors permits for the children then?

Edited by warney

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Nelline

The WP route when applying from outside Canada really shouldn't take more than 4 months in total unless there are unforeseen complications. Delays are sometimes due to things like the medicals, or a problem with the LMO. Applying from within Canada goes much quicker (no medicals for one) but with a SA passport that's not possible.

You will need the usual visitor's visas for the kiddies but if they are under school age you won't need study permits for them.

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MaryJane

Mary Jane: I see you applied in Dec 2009 and landed in Dec 2012? (does that includes getting residency?) Which route did you take, if not the work permit route with LMO?

Hi Warren

I applied via the FSW (Federal Skilled Worker) route. Basically, ours was a PR application from the start. I did not have arranged employment so I did not go through the work permit route.

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M-N

Hi Warren,

Welcome to the forum!

I'm not an expert but I am more or less in the same situation as you. The fact that you have a positive LMO counts for a lot. if you are keen to start asap then you can go the Temporary Working Permit (TWP) route. Everything you need to know is on the website.

I can't help you with the kids part but I can give you our story in a nutshell. Perhaps it can help:

I managed to secure a job in Calgary last year but we had some hassles getting a positive LMO. We finally managed to get one a month or so ago. We are a family of two, engaged and have been living together for 5 years.

I will be applying for the Temporary working permit. My fiance will be applying for an open working permit as my spouse.

We have lawyers helping us (although this is really not necessary at all) because the employer offered their assistance to us and also because they have been waiting for almost 2 years to get me over and want to make sure that everything is a 100% i guess.

We have already applied for our Police Clearance Certificates and went for upfront medicals which you can do on a TWP application. We managed to collect all our documents, certified and did passport photos. Once we get the go-ahead, we will submit at the VAC (Visa Application Centre).

You've probably seen this but this is your starting point:http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/apply-who.asp and of course any questions you have, you will find on this forum.

Pity I am only in Cape Town for the night. If you posted this yesterday then we could have met up and had a chat. Perhaps the Capetonian SACanadians should arrange a coffee club?

Have a great evening and best of luck.

Nicky

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warney

Thanks again to everyone. Super helpful.

Stoked to hear that we can apply for PR after a year. That's awesome!

We collected the forms to apply for our unabridged birth certificates this morning and hope to submit them on Friday. Home Affairs said it will take 12-18 weeks, which will definitely set us back an extra couple of months (or not?) Can we apply for permits and visas without them? Are they only for travel purposes? They aren't on the checklist that I downloaded from CIC.

Edited by warney

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warney

Hey Nicky,

Thanks for the advice. Only saw your response now. I'll definitely look into the TWP. Anything to speed up the process. Our lives are in limbo at the moment (I'm sure you can relate), and I'm desperate to get things going. We've already moved out of our house into a rental and sold most of our stuff. We'll basically be starting fresh in Calgary (prob ship a few things over - can't live without my coffee machine). We're ready to go...itching to start this new adventure...

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Sideline

Hey Nicky,

Thanks for the advice. Only saw your response now. I'll definitely look into the TWP. Anything to speed up the process. Our lives are in limbo at the moment (I'm sure you can relate), and I'm desperate to get things going. We've already moved out of our house into a rental and sold most of our stuff. We'll basically be starting fresh in Calgary (prob ship a few things over - can't live without my coffee machine). We're ready to go...itching to start this new adventure...

Hi, welcome.

Won't be of any use for LMO etc as we did PR route.

Just remember your coffee machine better be working on 110v :-). Or you best price in a really good 220v transformer, and take into account that Canada runs on 50hz and not the 60hz SA has. In effect your machine is working less efficiently than it could/should and that causes some issues over time.

Edited by Sideline
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GrantM

Thanks again to everyone. Super helpful.

Stoked to hear that we can apply for PR after a year. That's awesome!

We collected the forms to apply for our unabridged birth certificates this morning and hope to submit them on Friday. Home Affairs said it will take 12-18 weeks, which will definitely set us back an extra couple of months (or not?) Can we apply for permits and visas without them? Are they only for travel purposes? They aren't on the checklist that I downloaded from CIC.

It costs a lot more but if you need your birth certificates in a hurry get DocAssist to get them for you. Took us 5 working days to get ours from them.

Edited by GrantM
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warney

Hi,

Okay, so its been almost a month since i last heard from my potential employer. I've emailed him twice to follow up, but had no response (nervous!).

I've also been corresponding with Deanne at CanadaAbroad (super helpful) and even forwarded our correspondence to my potential employer requesting the formal written letter of employment, work contract and positive LMO so that we can get started with the application for a work permit. That was sent on the 10th July...still no response (should i be worried?)

Has anyone else been in a similar situation?

I've only really had 2 interviews in my professional career, since I've only had 2 jobs. Those interviews were more like an interrogation compared with the 2 x 2hour skype interviews that i had with my potential employer in Canada (so positive). We've had 4 hours of skype interaction and he basically told me to pack my bags...

I don't want to nag for fear of rubbing them up the wrong way, but i'm starting to get a little worried here. Our entire lives are hanging on this job offer.

I also understand that these things can take time and that the government sometimes drag their feet...

Should i be patient and wait it out? Is there a diplomatic way to ask perhaps? Maybe forward some information around the LMO (obviously don't want to undermine his intelligence)...

The anticipation is KILLING me!

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Edited by warney

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milo23

Hi

We are kind of in the same boat. The HOD of the dept said the job is his. The CEO of the health authority sent him alll the details regarding relocation incentives etc etc. Then a few days later the HR lady contacted us and said she would get back to us by the end of that week regarding registration and immigration. That was the last we heard 2 weeks ago. Our house transfer should start next week. My hubby only has a job till the end of Dec so we would like to start in Jan.

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OutOfSa

The lack of communication from your prospective employer sucks... I don't think these people have any idea just how big a deal the immigration thing is for the person on the receiving end. I would consider taking a flight over to find out exactly what is going on - I know it costs a lot, buy it's only your future that is at risk. They might change their tune if you are standing in their reception !

Employers in Canada are ruthless, especially when it comes to foreign workers - " The country of Africa :whistling: " is considered very 3rd world...

It's little consolation, but if it all turns bad, I seem to remember that there is government department that black-lists companies (which prevents them from doing this again).

Back to the visit thing, you could take the opportunity to secure another position if you previous offer has gone bad.

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Nelline

Pick up the telephone and call them. Emails can be ignored, it is less easy to ignore a phone call. Rather rub them up the wrong way now than find out in 2 months' time that you've committed your whole future to the wrong employer! If they're "right" for you they won't be upset at you calling them.

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warney

Thanks for the responses,

I think i'll give them a call then... i keep telling myself that its okay to follow up every week...just so nervous, don't want to blow it (how often do these opportunities come your way?) It really is such a BIG DEAL like you say "OutOfSa".

I've already turned away a prospective job offer in Oakville ON, because i was so certain that this was a sure thing...I really hope that it is.

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canuck nick

I can't stress this point enough - until you have a written contract or job offer in your hand and a positive LMO, theres no such thing as a sure thing. Even with a written job offer, if the LMO gets turned down, you are hooped.

Warney, I hope it works in your favour. I know it sounds like your prospective employer gave you all the right answers and every indication that you got the job. Its hard not to be excited about it.

My advice would be to continue applying to other Canadian companies and see if something else comes up. Stack the deck in your favour and dont hang your whole life on one company.

Good luck

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warney

Update:

Ok, so my prospective employer replied to my mail on the 21st July.

His response: Hi Sorry to take so long to get back to you, I gave the info to Pina a while back and she has been dealing with the government.They have changed the rules once again on us and still have not issued the LMOs that they had promised. She is still working with our representative from the government to try to speed up the process unfortunately our hands are tied until they get the documents to us. Ill keep you posted! As soon as we have them ill forward them to you! Cheers!

Its now the 23rd August. I understand these things take time, but the anticipation is killing me... I mailed him again on the 21st August to follow up....still no response.

I have in the interim, applied for probably 10 other jobs - in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.

I got this awesome response from a company in Vancouver:

Thanks for replying to our search. Quite honestly we would love to have on board based on your experience etc. but we our obviously concerned about when/ how/ and what does this move over mean for us.

Being born in Piertermaritzburg myself..... long story.... family came from various parts of Africa..... I would love the opportunity to make this work. We would need to have an understanding of what is happening here.

Regardless, let me know your plans and timing etc and we will see what happens.

Super stoked about the prospect of working in Vancouver...and for a fellow South African. I replied with as much information about the LMO as i possibly could...even going as far as putting him in touch with a fellow Saffa in the same profession that had recently moved to Kelowna on a positive LMO work permit.

To my disappointment, this was his response:

I have quite honestly had a very tough time with the LMO process here as they have really clamped down on guidelines.

For our line of work, we had tough times justifying to them that we needed foreign workers to fill our position.

I had this issue last year with an guy from Ireland you was already here and on our team.

It was a terrible amount of work and it got us nowhere...... and took forever.

So... needless to say... I am a little apprehensive to get into this process again.

I will have to give this due thought.

My blood pressure is not doing so well with all the ups and downs...highs and lows, if you know what i mean. First the good news...followed by the bad news.

What to do? I don't want to sound desperate and push the wrong buttons with these people, but the truth is...I am! We so desperately want go...

Our whole lives are in limbo waiting on something to happen. I'm sure some of you can relate

I had so hoped that a fellow South African would understand and follow through on his original response... "I would love the opportunity to make this work"

There are no landscaping/horticultural professions listed on the Federal Skilled Workers (FSW) programe...so the LMO work permit is my only option (or is there another way???)

I've had so many good first responses...but mention LMO and everyone backs off. Is it really that difficult to secure?

It also got my conscience thinking about the idea of dropping someone who had possibly spent a lot of time and money trying to secure a positive LMO for my employment, only to find out that i had taken a position somewhere else.

If anyone has some solid advice, please help out. Really want this so badly for my family. The emotions are currently running pretty high at home...

Edited by warney

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Nelline

Go the PR route. I know it takes longer but quite honestly it is the better route in the long run. I can say this from the experience of landing on a WP myself. Sounds like you won't have problems finding a job once you're legally there, which is half the battle won.

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Jules

Can I be honest? If your blood pressure and stress levels are a problem this early in the process then I would say you should reconsider moving. It only gets worse before it gets better. You need a thick skin and lots of patience for this. Lots.

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warney

Thanks Jules...I know this is gonna be a long bumpy ride, one that we are prepared to take. I'm a sanguine melancholic by nature so I tend to over dramatize things a little. I figured that if i put my heart out there someone might throw me a bone...I've looked at the timelines of some of the peeps on this forum...and they're not pretty. It is what it is...and we'll play it for as long as we can, in the hope that something comes of it. Hopefully my skin can wear the damage...

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Jules

Good luck :-)

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Tracey22

@warney - my 2 cents worth - the government has clamped down significantly on TWP and WPs. there has been a fortune of abuse of both programs, and legitimate companies and workers are paying the price. I would try the PR route or the PNP route. Either way, I agree with Jules. This is not for the faint hearted. You cannot assume that because someone says they can get you an LMO or WP, that in fact they can or that they will. asusme that there is no job offer until the govt paperwork is finalised.

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