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Holmes Family

Our Journey from start to finish(hopefully)

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Holmes Family

So im going to use this thread as a blog basically. What we have done already, what we are doing and what still needs to come up until we are happy and basically setup in Canada.

So our journey started in August 2013 when we officially decided to immigrate and Canada was first on our list. Don't ask why but to us it was the most appealing of the options.

Australia : Very far from everywhere except SE Aisa and NZ. Not a fan of the accent at all.

New Zealand : Very far from everywhere except Aus. Mixed feelings about the accent or economy.

England : Absolute no in my books. The youth are taking control and not in a good way. The accent is just horrid. Schools are very hit and miss unless you pay a helluva lot for private schooling. Being overrun by other countries and they are struggling to control it.

USA : I lived there when I as young and have visited a few times since. Looks great on the cover but the actual book inside isnt great. A second choice for me.

Canada : Best of UK and USA. Economically sound and looks to have great culture and history with a good french influence but not too much. The right blend of alot of things. The weather we will have to deal with as it comes.

So decision made, and 2 months later our house was broken into. Thankfully no one really hurt but it was a sign we were doing the right thing. We put our house on the market and moved into my inlaws house (basically took it over) :P our house sold for our asking price in 2 months :o (March 2014)

I then booked my IELTS for June 2014 and passed with an average of 8.

Then i paid and applied for WES in October 2014 as did my wife and she booked her IELTS for November.

My WES was a bit painful. I got around to submitting my credentials from CTI to them but i then got a request for my Matric certificate. This being SA and early December meant nothing was going to happen until the new year. To add to that the process was changing so we were just paying for the best that the new process would favor us.

My wife also submitted her WES in October and got her MBL approved as a Canadian MBA masters equivalent.

2015 : Express Entry is launched and we are still eligible with great delight!

I immediately apply for my matric certificate 2nd daughter is born and we go and request passports for the 2 girls and myself as well as birth certificates for myself and my wife.

I finally received my martic certificate over 2 months later and got them sent to Umlausi and then sent to WES. heard back mid March that i have a Canadian secondary school equivalent (high school). I then queried my CTI credentials and heard back at the end of April that it is not recognized.

Application into the EE Pool was completed on the 05 May 2015.

10th of June we realise that Ontario is handing out PNPs and we have to re-create our profile. Profile recreated and we received a request for PNP. Application completed and sumitted 2 days later with a bank signed check for a pretty CAD1500.

Police clearance certificates were requested towards the end of May.

On the 10th July my wife was retrenched due their product not performing well so the team was downsizing and she having told them about our plans regarding Canada, was the first to be cut.

on the morning on the 11...We got an ITA.

Medicals booked ASAP and confirmed for the 22nd July. PCC collected and i discovered i had to suddenly get all my work employment letters (wife had all hers as she was the primary candidate).

Application finally submitted and paid for on the 27th July (CAD 2500 odd)

15th August we got confirmation that our medicals have been passed.

Eligibility still being processed. and then an interview and hopefully our visas.

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Holmes Family

So this is where things get a bit tricky and where we could use some assistance.

So we ideally going to leave our girls with the grandparents for 2 weeks, go do our landing and my wife return to get the girls but then we found that the PR cards take 90 days to process so that scrapped that idea. Whole family is landing at once with us needing to get a place to stay and alot more. We are ideally going to try and stay in Kanata, Ottawa, Ontario.

So ive found a few things i would like comments on please.

Bank : PC Financials (free banking with what looks like all we need. A few transfers, withdraws etc)

Cell provider : Wind mobile. We have phones that we are happy with. $50 for 2 sim cards and we will be saving $$ after a month anyways. Decent data and unlimited calls.

More to come soon :)

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Guest

Wow Holmes family. Sounds like your plans are solid and it is just the final bit to fall into place.

I've heard mixed things about Wind. Would be eager to hear about your experiences with them.

Its amazing how life works. When you get retrenched, the day after you get your ITA. Literally when one door closes another opens.

So pleased for you guys. Keep us updated about your progress.

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Guest

Hi Holmes!

I would recommend using a bank that has national reach as some of the institutions are not banks per se...some are credit unions and others are like the old Volkskas / Perm / UBS etc in SA. Their reach is limited in terms of ATM's and physical branches.

You might be better off using RBC (Royal Bank of Canada) / BMO (Bank of Montreal), TD Bank or Scotiabank. They offer newly landed immigrants excellent packages to get you going at some of the lowest banking charges.

Good luck!

Edited by AshB

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MaryJane

All the best for the rest of the journey, Holmes family!

With regards Wind, it has bad reception when you are in the basement, actually almost non-existent. But if your place of residence is above ground, you shouldn't have any issues. :)

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Guest

Holmes Family, Congratulations! Great to see a well made plan come together. I always say the secret of something well planned; it affords you the opportunity to overcome any obstacles much quicker.

All the best with the rest of your exciting journey.

Edited by Lawrence

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Holmes Family

So there is a massive list of things to still do from now until our first night.

So my Mother in law is going to join us on a visitors visa for the first month or 2, basically until we have jobs and can send the girls to daycare, although she may stay a bit longer, and as long as she is staying with us there are no employment issues from the other thread on the forum here somewhere.

  1. We need to wait for our passport request :holy:
  2. Wait to have our passports returned with all the paperwork.
  3. Find flights. Flying with my MIL so thats 3 adult tickets, a toddler and a baby :ph34r::unsure:. We are ideally looking to get flights straight to Ottawa, and not via Toronto so there are a handful of flights that go to heathrow and frankfurt to Ottawa so thats the idea. We can handle 1 stop but 2 or more is really not cool so we may have to pay a bit more but we would rather do that.
  4. Once flights are booked, do the MIL's visa application.
  5. Start looking for jobs 2-3 weeks prior to landing. Most positions are not looking further in advance than that and we dont want to create a bad name at all the recruitment agencies by looking now already as the bit of looking we have done, have been requesting interviews the following week :blink:. Not cool.
  6. Start hunting on Kijiji for a place to rent. We will probably have to pay more or co-sign with our friends their but ideally we dont want to have to involve them. So we will pay more. Our friends there ahave already confirmed that they are happy to go and look at a place or 2 for us. that we are interested in.
  7. Figure out how to get our money across. We have a fair bit that we need to move. How is this best done? We are thinking of taking some as cash ($10k) to open our bank account immediately and get pre-paid credit cards for me and my wife (about $1000 each). But then how do we best bring the rest over? SWIFT transfer? Also i know we will need to basically account for every cent of it but thats ok, as my wifes retrenchment paperwork includes that in there so it cover 70% of it and then her RA paperwork should cover the rest hopefully. If we need to show for a bit more, we can show the paperwork of car sales etc.
  8. Get international drivers licenses and book a car that side. Probably a big van and hopefully for just a few days.
  9. Get G2 book and start studying
  10. Get Driving license history from RTMC
  11. Get Insurance History for cars
  12. Get credit history/statement
  13. Start packing :ilikeit: :ilikeit:
  14. Ship 2/3 boxes of things we really really really want to our friends there.
  15. Make list of Import Items.
  16. Book as many job interviews for the week we land as possible. Might try land on a Friday though just to acclimatize over the weekend before jumping from interview to interview.

Then once our landing is complete :

  1. Got to a Wind Mobile store and buy 3 simcards. We are going for their $35 monthly package.
  2. To to a bank and open a bank account. So you guys are suggestion going with one of the big ones. I have a liking to CIBC (Dont know why) and they have a newcomers package too so they are my other option as opposed to PC financials.
  3. Go buy mattresses, bedding pillows and beds. Well just a bed for the toddler and baby. the rest of us are sleeping on mattresses on the floor for the first bit, at least until our first pay check.
  4. Get groceries and a few necessities (kettle, microwave, cups and cutlery).
  5. Move into our place :ilikeit::blush: and start making it home.
  6. Book G2 written test for my wife and me.
  7. Go for job interviews like crazy until one sticks, ideally for both of us.
  8. Book G2 practical test for my wife and me(Once we are comfortable driving around, provided we both past the written test :P )
  9. Provided we pass our G2, we can then start car shopping (as we can finally get insurance for it). Will probably be looking to spend about $7-$10k and will need to fit a booster seat, car seat and 3 adults and be easy to maintain.. What do you guys suggest. I can do most of the maintenance as i do already on my 4cyl A4 already but don't really want a V8 to start with if you know what i mean :whistling: so ideally something fairly simple engine wise with parts that dont break the bank although they seem to be ALOT cheaper that side. At least for the VAG group.
  10. Apply for Health Cards
  11. Start living life :ilikeit: :ilikeit:

Is there anything im missing? Anything i should add? We really do want to plan things to a T. Best chance of success.

Thanks for reading :)

Edited by Holmes Family

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Guest

Holmes, don't forget to apply for your SIN number because you won't be sale to open a bank account or get employment without it. Also dont forget to apply for health cards, and you must have at least 90 days worth of health cover for when you first arrive.

Also dont forget to draft a list of goods to follow. Even if you bring the goods over in 10 years from now. Otherwise you will pay import duties.....

Edited by WernerC

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Raquel

Wow Holmes - Fantastic... Keep it up! soon you'll be LIVING Life!!! :ilikeit::ilikeit::ilikeit:

Edited by Raquel
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Holmes Family

Thanks guys, slightly updated. Werner, do we not get our SIN numbers when we do our "landing" at the airport?

With regards to the Health cards, please explain a bit more. What do you mean we need 90 days cover? Ie from say discovery or a travel medical aid?

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Tracey22

Well done. i have a few comments. firstly, you must get your driving record from RTMC. This is the key to applying for the G2 licence.

Secondly, AshB and Werner said you can apply for your SIN at the airport if you land after a certain time in the day. find out if you can get the SIN at Ottawa's airport, or if it is only done in Toronto. find out what time that desk opens as well. It may be worth your while getting a later flight so that you can apply for SIN as soon as you land.

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Guest

Thanks guys, slightly updated. Werner, do we not get our SIN numbers when we do our "landing" at the airport?

With regards to the Health cards, please explain a bit more. What do you mean we need 90 days cover? Ie from say discovery or a travel medical aid?

I can't speak for Ottawa, but in Toronto the desk that does the SIN numbers only opens at 1PM. So we couldn't do it at the airport as we arrived at 9:30 am. As Tracey said, research this facility at Ottawa airport. It may be that they don't even do it there at all, or only from a certain time. That would then either mean a flight that lands later or a trip to service Canada.

About your health cards. You are only entitled to health coverage after your first 90 days in Canada. Therefore you must make provision for the first 90 days if something goes wrong. If you are with discovery, they cover you for 90 days after your departure from SA. If you don't have this, you will have to pay for all medical visits etc which you may need in the first 90 days.

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Nelline

I may be wrong but I don't think you can apply for SIN at Ottawa airport. It is actually a very small, provincial airport, believe it or not, not a patch on Toronto Pearson. Even Montreal is bigger and better equipped.

Having said that it is easy to apply for SIN once you land - just get to your nearest Service Canada, and they are splattered everywhere.

I can't speak for Ottawa, but in Toronto the desk that does the SIN numbers only opens at 1PM. So we couldn't do it at the airport as we arrived at 9:30 am. As Tracey said, research this facility at Ottawa airport. It may be that they don't even do it there at all, or only from a certain time. That would then either mean a flight that lands later or a trip to service Canada.

About your health cards. You are only entitled to health coverage after your first 90 days in Canada. Therefore you must make provision for the first 90 days if something goes wrong. If you are with discovery, they cover you for 90 days after your departure from SA. If you don't have this, you will have to pay for all medical visits etc which you may need in the first 90 days.

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Nelline

Holmes Family will you be living and working in Ottawa? If so let me know if you want to connect to talk about areas, "local tips" etc. We lived there for just over 2 years.

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Lizelle

Also, don't bother with the international drivers licence. You don't need it, can drive on your SA licence until you get an Ontario one

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Guest

Also, don't bother with the international drivers licence. You don't need it, can drive on your SA licence until you get an Ontario one

Correct. I think you have 60 days to convert.

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M-N

Wait, did I miss something? Holmes Family? Have you received PPR already? If so, wow, that was fast!

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Raquel

M-N, they have received an ITA and submitted their application for PR :)

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Holmes Family

Thanks all, Yes @M-N, Rquel is spot on. Killing the time by trying to plan everything down to the last detail so long :boxing:

Ok so no international drivers license needed. Thats cool.

Also i have found the Service Canada office closest to us to. 20min from the airport and they say it takes about 15 minutes to process.

So we want to try and land as early as possible so we can get as much done as possible on day one.

Guys, please speak to me about bank accounts. Why is it recommended to get a physical bank? I hear about people being paid with a physical check. Is that still the case? Are EFT's not that popular there?

Then ow can we get our money across? Best most used method with the least red tape and pain :whistling:

THanks

Hoping this thread can also help other when going through the process as well(@Raquel, W-T and others)

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W-T

Thank you Holmes!

I am following your thread like a hawk!

Best of luck for this final stretch.

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OutOfSa

Also, don't bother with the international drivers licence. You don't need it, can drive on your SA licence until you get an Ontario one

Take care on this one, we could not get any insurance on the car we bought because we did not have our international licence. Even though it was perfectly legal to drive here, the insurance companies refused to cover our SA licences.

So while the international licence is useless for just about everything else, in our case, it was needed to get insurance to get a car. (Before we did our G2's.) - i.e. no insurance, no car on the road - except a rental. [ Many dealers will refuse to complete a deal if you cannot get insurance. ]

Great plans :) , well thought out; now......

Hopefully you are able to make extreme deviations from your "plan" as this process has a way of derailing every plan into a train wreck - which will do one of two things, either make you stronger and more resilient - or send you into shock and disbelief. (As you have made it this far, I assume the former. ;) )

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Guest

Bank accounts and bank transfers as it is commonly known here can be carried out using online banking with one of the larger banking institutions who provide this functionality.

Cheques are common method of payment here and trumps most other methods when it comes to large sums of money. This does not mean that you would get paid by cheque if you are with a larger corporate, this may happen if it is by a smaller company. Paying with your debit or credit card is also common place.

A physical branch visit is required for your initial settling in period and especially when securing bank drafts (bank guaranteed cheques in SA) for rental property / vehicle purchases. The bank branches are quite efficient and friendly - there are no extreme security measures in place like you are used to in SA...

Northern America still believes in a trust system and cheques are huge here so get used to writing out cheques for big ticket items if no debit / credit card is accepted. Typical limits on bank cards are around $1000 - $1500 by default.

Getting your money across can be achieved in two ways:

Most forumites have used Exchange4Free and find that the rates offered are much better than other organisations.

The other option is to use your private banker (assuming that you have one) to arrange for the transfer on your behalf.

For both options there are several pages of paperwork to be completed each time you want to transfer money out. You have up to ZAR 1 million tax free discretionary allowance thereafter it gets a little more complex with tax certificates etc.

Either option essentially requires completion of SARB regulatory type documentation from the bank / institution you choose to use in SA. Key thing is you have to have a Canadian bank account or an offshore account (like one on the Isle of Man) to complete these type of transactions.

And for that you need to be in Canada and physically visit a branch. Smaller banking / credit unions / institutions will be limiting in terms of convenience factor and technology / facilities offered.

Thanks all, Yes @M-N, Rquel is spot on. Killing the time by trying to plan everything down to the last detail so long :boxing:

Ok so no international drivers license needed. Thats cool.

Also i have found the Service Canada office closest to us to. 20min from the airport and they say it takes about 15 minutes to process.

So we want to try and land as early as possible so we can get as much done as possible on day one.

Guys, please speak to me about bank accounts. Why is it recommended to get a physical bank? I hear about people being paid with a physical check. Is that still the case? Are EFT's not that popular there?

Then ow can we get our money across? Best most used method with the least red tape and pain :whistling:

THanks

Hoping this thread can also help other when going through the process as well(@Raquel, W-T and others)

Edited by AshB

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Guest

Take care on this one, we could not get any insurance on the car we bought because we did not have our international licence. Even though it was perfectly legal to drive here, the insurance companies refused to cover our SA licences.

So while the international licence is useless for just about everything else, in our case, it was needed to get insurance to get a car. (Before we did our G2's.) - i.e. no insurance, no car on the road - except a rental. [ Many dealers will refuse to complete a deal if you cannot get insurance. ]

Great plans :) , well thought out; now......

Hopefully you are able to make extreme deviations from your "plan" as this process has a way of derailing every plan into a train wreck - which will do one of two things, either make you stronger and more resilient - or send you into shock and disbelief. (As you have made it this far, I assume the former. ;) )

Good point. We had our temporary Ontario licenses already when we did the car purchase and that was sufficient. But didn't think about what would happen if you have a SA license. So thanks for adding that bit of info as well.

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Tracey22

So we want to try and land as early as possible so we can get as much done as possible on day one.

Don't land too early. The only things open before 10am are coffee shops (Starbucks, Tim Horton's etc) and breakfast restaurants

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MaryJane
On 2015-08-25 at 3:18 AM, Holmes Family said:
Why is it recommended to get a physical bank? I hear about people being paid with a physical check. Is that still the case? Are EFT's not that popular there?

Maybe it's the old touchy-feely thing. You need something you can see and touch to trust it. Not that there's anything wrong with "online only" banks. For the most part, all my experiences with my bank (RBC) have been more than pleasant.

I used to get paid by cheque so yes, they're still quite a common thing here. Banks are open till late on certain days so you can do your transactions at a time that suits you.

EFTs are also done but there are still a lot of cheques floating around :-)

On 2015-08-25 at 3:18 AM, Holmes Family said:
Then ow can we get our money across? Best most used method with the least red tape and pain :whistling:

We used Exchange4free at the time.

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