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Kayla

To immigrate or not to immigrate?

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Kayla

Hello everyone! 

A bit about me. My husband and I, and our 2 young kids live in Cape Town. We love it, but the constant crime and the worry for our children's future has made us concerned about remaining in the country. 

My husband has recently been offered a well paying job in Victoria. The company would pay for our move and handle the immigration side of things. 

My concern is, how do you make that final decision to leave? I keep trying to weigh up the pros and cons in my head, but I always end up feeling just as confused and panicky. As a family we are all very close to the grandparents who live very close to us, and the idea of leaving them and moving their grandkids away makes me wonder if moving would be the right decision. Our kids are also in a wonderful public school here, would they get that same standard in Victoria? Would they be worse off if we uproot them from the grandparents they adore ?

Any advice would be really appreciated ❤️

 

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Nelline

Welcome Kayla! No-one can answer these questions for you as you and your immediate family are the only ones who know what really makes you happy and what you need and want from life. All I can say is we moved out of SA in 2003 to the UK and then again to Canada in 2013 and we're VERY happy. My son is doing well in school, we have a lifestyle we would never have been able to afford in SA given our careers and career prospects. We really enjoy the outdoors and I am happy that my son is safe bicycling down to see his friend, or walking home from the bus stop after school. We have no fences / walls around our property and all of these things are important to US as a family. Having said that, my parents are long gone and we're a very close knit "gesin" so we're not really bothered about not having extended family close by. You see what I mean - we each have to make this decision for ourselves, based on what makes us tick...

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Cathy K

Kayla,  there are thousands of Canadians who would love to move to Victoria. It is one of the nicest cities in Canada. The climate is temperate when compared with most of Canada. It almost feels like a little piece of England - very British. Nature is out of this world: rainforests, beautiful beaches, mountains.... You're also just a ferry ride away from downtown Seattle in the USA.

Quite a few South Africans call it home.

I always come back to the same suggestion: you can always sponsor your parents at a later date and then you will have the peace of mind knowing that they are also safe.

We live in Nanaimo, about an hour and a half's drive from Victoria. Our daughter sponsored us, and we can not be happier.

Google Butchart Gardens, Sidney BC, Victoria Harbour, or simply Victoria BC.

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Merida

I recommend that you jump at this opportunity as you don't know if the opportunity will present itself again.  

Each year one loses points for age, therefore don't delay coming to Canada while you can.

The rules keep changing and one day when you are desperate to leave South Africa, it might not be possible.

You could apply for a supervisa for the grandparents to be able to visit: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/supervisa.asp

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Wolverine
1 hour ago, Merida said:

I recommend that you jump at this opportunity as you don't know if the opportunity will present itself again.  

 

Especially with a job.

However, on the other hand, i am not sure if you have any knowledge of canada's cost of living. You said the job is "well-paid". I hope you are not comparing ZARs to CADs.

Get on the plane anyway.

 

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Nettie

Dear Kayla. It sounds like this has come on short notice, so you are not quite as prepared to leave as most people, who usually go through these decisions and questions over at least about two years. The hardest, hardest thing of moving so far, is to leave family behind. That is a valid concern. Having said that, although it was very hard to leave family behind, I am not sorry that we made the decision. It is like Cathy K said, Victoria is one of the places, I think, most Canadians would want to live. I would move there tomorrow if I had a job offer and everything regarding the move was paid for. That is a great opportunity and it may be easier to try not to think too long term at the moment. I would at least give it a go, if I were you. Also, before you come, make plans to visit so that you have that to look forward to. Your family would love to come and see where you live and what you are experiencing. There are only pro's to moving to Canada. In my humble opinion, the only con, is to be away from family. 

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Lizelle

There is no question - being so far away from grandparents suck.  But there is Skype.  You have to ask yourself a different question.  When your kiddos are grown and the grandparents are no more, where do you want them to be?  Do you see a future for them in SA?  

I think we Saffers tend to be like frogs in the ever warming pot of water.  We don't see what SA has become until we leave.  When was the last time you went out at night by yourself?  When was the last time you let your kids out of your sight at the shop?  When was the last time you simply climbed in your car and drove out your garage without checking if someone is there?  When was the last time you saw a house without safety bars everywhere?  When was the last time you drove with your windows open?  When was the last time you drove with the car doors unlocked?  When was the last time you drove with your hand bag on the seat next to you?  How many times this year did you not have power?  How many times did you not have clean water?  When was the last time you slept with your front door unlocked?  How many times did you see a Chubb security truck and worry that they will be robbed?  All of those things are pretty standard in SA.  They are completely alien to my kids (and now to me).  The freedom and future that they have here vs SA is not even in the same universe.  When we left SA in 2004 a degree from Tukkies meant something.  If you tell someone you have a degree from Tukkies now it is probably on par with telling them you have a degree from Zimbabwe.  Can you just imagine how it will look when your kids are grown?  Can you imagine how hard it will be for them to leave SA then?

You will find a wonderful school for the kids many times better than anything they have in SA (for next to no money).  I don't know about BC, but here in Alberta you can choose Montesorri or Waldorf or Play based or Sport or .... school.  Pick which one works for you.

I am pretty sure every Canadian dreams of living in Victoria.  I would jump at the opportunity (and use the money that you save in immigration and moving and pay for the grandparents to come visit for 6 months every year :) )

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Painter lady

@Kayla, you have been given very good advice now. Are you packing yet??? Some opportunities only come around once in a lifetime. 

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CrystalClear

Hi Kayla,

The decision to leave everything you know is very hard! I and my family are currently going through the process of immigrating and I sometimes find myself having a panic attack about all the things we are leaving behind, but then I just remind myself that SA is no longer growing and the future generations are going to be affected by this. The process of immigrating is becoming harder to go through as well, with the education system declining etc. the future of leaving the country without the great opportunity you are presented with, would be much more difficult. 

Our kids are also very close to their grandparents and I know they are going to be missed when we leave, but the future in Canada is much brighter for our children outside of SA and the grandparents are happy that we are going as they understand and want the best for their grandchildren. We have taught them how to use Skype and WhatsApp so communication won't be a problem, we will always keep in touch and make plans to visit at least once a year. My husband has HUGE sleeping problems due to anxiety from the crime in SA. He is constantly on edge and I don't want my kids growing up in a place where this the norm. 

I'm not saying Canada is not without its problems but for us we want a country that has a competent police force, no government corruption, actual customer service, a place where 30% is not the mark you strive to meet in school to pass, a place where my kids can play outside without myself feeling on edge, a place where we can take our kids to the parks and not be hassled by drug dealers. the list goes on. 

No one can make the decision for you but we made our decision based on our children's future. I wish you the best of luck with the decision you take.

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Kayla

WOW!! Thank you all for all your invaluable feedback and words of encouragement!!
I honestly didn't know if I'd get any responses, and boy was I surprised when I woke up this morning to see all your messages.

Thanks to each and every one of you for all your messages - I understand that immigrating is never going to be easy, but its so nice
to know that there is a wondeful community of people here to help along this exciting (yet scary) journey!

xxxx Kayla

 

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YolandaB

@Kayla welcome here and before I start... this is the BEST FORUM in the world !!! I absolutely love all the peoples advise here and you'll never ever go wrong to post here and read up on Canada ! :)

That said...we were not sure if immigration was for us as we have a comfortable life here but the way we looked at this was the word "temporarily immigration" what I mean by that is well move and see if we can obtain our passports in 4 years (maybe 3 soon) then you have the rest of your life left to decide where you want to be...see this as a working holiday...

For a Job offer in Victoria....and employer paying..... well you have won the lottery !!!

Its still your choice but you don't have to see this move as "permanent". best of luck to you and your family.

 

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Merida
19 hours ago, CrystalClear said:

no government corruption

Not actually 'no government corruption' - really much less than South Africa.  Politicians are still politicians, no matter where you are in the world.

 

Edited by Merida
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