EtienneL

Noobs from Pretoria

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EtienneL

Hi all,

My wife and I decided to move to Canada and have just started the long process.  We have booked our IELTS and will do our WES soon.

I am still not sure which immigration route I should take as I may have a few open to me.  Currently the options seems like the following:

1. Express Entry as a skilled worker - we both have Bachelors degrees and many years of experience in our fields.  However, our age will count against us (we are both around 45).  Our English is good.

2. I have a consultancy business in South-Africa.  What are my options of immigrating and starting my own business there?  Maybe this is a better route?

3. My wife has family in Fredericton - are there options for them to sponsor us?

4. Provincial Sponsor - It seems Fredericton has a provincial sponsorship program that may be a quicker option - will have to investigate

If I go to Fredericton in New Brunswick, I will have enough money to buy a house and car from the funds I will get selling my house here.  That would at least reduce the amount of money I need to survive while looking for a work and it should be easier to get along on a "survival job" if need be.

I am leaning towards going to Fredericton for two reasons:

1. Family - I believe having close family close by can be a big advantage.  They have visited us often in South-Africa and we are close enough that we know they will bend over backwards to help us where they can (they are very excited that we are going to Canada and have pledged to help us wherever they can).  They have even offered that we can live with them while looking for jobs.

2. Cost of living - finding work may be hard in a small town like that, but we should be able to survive longer due to lower cost of living.  We should be able to buy a house and have a good amount of money left to help us survive a few months should need be.

We are still considering whether we should use an agent or "do it ourselves".  This forum makes me think we could manage that ourselves!

I'm considering taking a LSD trip as I can stay with my family there for as long as I need to to see what prospective work there may be for me.

So far this forum has been a great resource and I'm looking forward to any suggestions the veterans may have!

 

Etienne and Amanda

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Lizelle

No Agent!! :)  They do not add anything that you can't do already, for a crap load of money :) .

I think you have to start with what your EE points would be if you assume the highest marks in IELTS.  That will inform a lot of your decisions from there.

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/skilled/crs-tool.asp

Straight EE is the fastest path into Canada.

If you get anything over 450, you will either be selected straight away, or wait maybe one or two draws.

430 will mean you will likely be looking at a few months, at least.

400 and under means that you need to look at alternative pathways.

If you get Provincial nomination, you still have to go through the EE process after nomination (now you have 600 extra points, and will be selected immediately).  

Using the family depends on how close they are in relation.  There is normally a cut-off point (I don't think having a cousin here gets you any extra points).

I have not looked at the business visa very hard, but I get the impression from conversations on here that it can be pretty difficult to get (and I believe it is pretty slow, but again, it is just an impression in my mind).  Generally, again, straight EE will be your fastest and easiest path.

Personally, I think any South African opening a business in Canada where you are dealing with customer satisfaction has a great chance of succeeding.  Customer service in Canada is a bit of an oxymoron.  Saying you will call back or email back does not actually mean you will do it.  Calling someone and getting an actual informed person on the other side is a serious frustration 95% of the time.  

Our definition of what constitutes good customer service is worlds away from what you get in Canada, and it will be a very easy way to differentiate you from the rest of the businesses.  Now, again, that depends on how good you are at marketing yourself in the beginning, but only you can answer that.  I have not experienced any negative remarks from being South African.  There's no stigma to the fact that you are not from Canada (in terms of getting an audience).  Sure, some places may be more insular than others, but this is a general observation.  

New Brunswick is a lovely province.  I would certainly not minding living anywhere in New Brunswick.  Fredericton looks great too (we did a quick stop there in our tour of New Brunswick :) ).  I completely agree that having family here makes a huge difference.  Even if you simply look at your establishment costs in the first few months.  Not having to rent a place, or AirBNB saves you loads of money that you can use down the road.  The emotional support of having some family close by can not be overstated.

Edited by Lizelle
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SunshineGirl

Welcome, @EtienneL & Amanda! 

How wonderful to have so many options!  Options are great :-).

If I may make a suggestion - if you haven't already, try to calculate what your CRS points for each of you would be (there are a number of them online).  This may help you streamline your options a little bit.  If your CRS points are in the region of 440 points, then it is likely that you will receive an ITA from the federal govt & will then have the luxury of choice as to where in the country you can settle.  If your points are far below the 440 point mark, suggest you look at your other options (ie. provincial PNP options).  Each province has it's own requirements for the different pathways eg. starting a business (amount of capital, amount of turnover, Canadian employees, etc).   If you are interested in the New Brunswick PNP programme, they usually require that applicants attend an information session as part of their requirements (I'm not sure however if this would apply for a family sponsorship).    This info may guide your choices a little bit. 

 

While you are researching, suggest that you get your other documents together - unabridged birth & marriage certificates (if applicable) & passports with the recommended 2 years validity left on them.  Local PCC's are quick to obtain ( a couple of weeks surprisingly) & also quick to expire (6 months validity) , but if you have lived overseas for more the 6 months, it's probably wise to start getting the overseas ones done asap (esp. as the USA ones take about 6 months, if I'm not mistaken).

Hope this helps & to see more of you guys on the forum.

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EtienneL
20 minutes ago, SunshineGirl said:

If your CRS points are in the region of 440 points, then it is likely that you will receive an ITA from the federal govt & will then have the luxury of choice as to where in the country you can settle.  If your points are far below the 440 point mark, suggest you look at your other options (ie. provincial PNP options). 

I have done the CRS on the CIC web site and it seems (if we do well in ouer IELTS tests) we are looking at a maximum of 349 points (our age is a big handicap, it seems), so I may have to look at the Provincial Nomination option.  I'm not sure there's much we can do otherwise to improve our score significantly.

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SunshineGirl
4 minutes ago, EtienneL said:

I have done the CRS on the CIC web site and it seems (if we do well in ouer IELTS tests) we are looking at a maximum of 349 points (our age is a big handicap, it seems), so I may have to look at the Provincial Nomination option.  I'm not sure there's much we can do otherwise to improve our score significantly.

Cool, so now you know where to start looking!  It does look like the PNP route will be the best option for you both.  If you obtain the maximum points for IELTS, then there's not much more that you can do to improve your points score.  Hubby & I are in a similar boat wrt age. 

Have a look at each province's PNP requirements & see which ones look viable for your family & which ones not so much.  My gut says that your gut re New Brunswick will probably be the easiest PNP route for you both, but as you've noted, the province is small.  Do you think that you will both be able to make a living in NB?  It's one  thing to get that PNP nomination, it's another to successfully live in a province.  Having family there to help out will probably be a very big help.  This is just my opinion.

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Lizelle

This may be something to consider, depending on your net worth - http://www.welcomenb.ca/content/dam/wel-bien/pdf/Guide_to_the_Entrepreneurial_Stream.pdf?random=1518385509478

If they are a niece or a nephew, they can still do a family support application - http://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/petl-epft/PDF/PopGrowth/GuideSWApplicantsFamilySupport.pdf?random=1518385663135

 

Edited by Lizelle
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MaryJane

Welcome to the forums @EtienneL and Amanda!

NBPNP have a route called "Skilled Worker with Family Support" http://www.welcomenb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/petl-epft/PDF/PopGrowth/GuideSWApplicantsFamilySupport.pdf

Depending on how close you are to your relative, he may be able to sponsor you. 

Quote

You are a close relative of the Family Supporter. You, or your spouse or common-law partner, must be a non-dependent child, brother, sister, niece, nephew or grandchild of the Family Supporter.

Hope this helps! Good luck!

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Kanrabat
2 hours ago, Lizelle said:

 

No Agent!! :)  They do not add anything that you can't do already, for a crap load of money :) .

 

YES! Save those rands!

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EtienneL

Thanks for the warm welcomes and all the advice so far.  It seems the consensus is if you are prepared to ask here, and do some investigation on your own, that an agent is not really needed.  I'm glad to hear this, as those are funds that I can apply better elsewhere!

 

9 hours ago, MaryJane said:

NBPNP have a route called "Skilled Worker with Family Support" http://www.welcomenb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/petl-epft/PDF/PopGrowth/GuideSWApplicantsFamilySupport.pdf

Depending on how close you are to your relative, he may be able to sponsor you. 

I have looked at this and it looks like an option.  There is one sentence that's a bit confusing : "You have at least two years of continuous full-time work experience within the last five years, in your intended occupation in New Brunswick."

I'm guessing this means I should have two years of experience in the occupation I intend to do in New Burnswick.  Not that I have that experience in New Brunswick itself?  (It would be a bit silly if I want to go there that I should already have experience there?)

 

9 hours ago, Lizelle said:

I have looked at this and have already sent an e-mail to the contact people there.  I'm just wondering, what would be the effect if my business "does not work out" there and I have to take a survival job to make do?  Will I be allowed to enter the job market under that program?

The ideal situation for me would be to work a "day job" in the beginning to make sure I have some income (even if it's minimum wage work) and work at nights to build my business.  Being in software development lends itself to do jobs after hours, so I'm prepared to go that route.  But then I need to make sure that I enter Canada and be allowed to work AND run a business.

 

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EtienneL
12 hours ago, Lizelle said:

Some feedback on this option:  one of the key requirements is that your business must employ two Canadian residents (which do not include yourself, your spouse or any of your family).  So, one would need to be in quite a strong financial position to cover not only your own salary, but two other people's salaries and all that time try and get your business of the ground.  

This option seems to be out for me, then.

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EtienneL

I see there are various organizations that can do an ECA:

ICAS : C$200, 20 weeks assement time, 2 reports

WES : C$200, 20 business days (about 4 weeks)

Alberta IQAS : C$200, 12 weeks

BCIT ICES : C$200, 8 weeks

It seems WES is the best option as 20 business days is roughly 4 weeks.  I also see many other people using WES - I guess this one would be best?

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Lizelle

Yip, WES seems to be the best of the bad options :) (they are fine, just very unresponsive, but that is what happens when there is not a lot of competition).

Remember that you cannot send your qualifications yourself to WES (sort of).  Your institution have to send an official thing with stamps and an official envelope.  The way to ensure that that is done correctly is to go there, get them to do the paperwork, stamp the envelope (addressed to WES), and then put that in a DHL envelope and mail it off.

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Lizelle

I believe you are right in assuming that the guide does not mean you need 2 years employment in New Brunswick.  That sentence is very ambiguous.

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Kanrabat

@Lizelle, you always  post good advice here! 

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Lizelle
4 minutes ago, Piper said:

@Lizelle, you always  post good advice here! 

Aww shucks.  Thank you :)  

(although it does feel like 90% of my advice is - don't come to Canada, go to NZ :P )

Edited by Lizelle
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MaryJane
7 hours ago, EtienneL said:

I have looked at this and it looks like an option.  There is one sentence that's a bit confusing : "You have at least two years of continuous full-time work experience within the last five years, in your intended occupation in New Brunswick."

I'm guessing this means I should have two years of experience in the occupation I intend to do in New Burnswick.  Not that I have that experience in New Brunswick itself?  (It would be a bit silly if I want to go there that I should already have experience there?)

It is a little ambiguous but....

I believe it can't be an "intended occupation" if you are already in NB. It would have to then say, "You have at least 2 years of continuous full-time work experience within the last 5 years in NB".

Further, you don't need family support if you are already working in NB. Why would you? You can support yourself. ;) (A little bit of a philosophical look but yeah.)

Whatever you decide though, good luck on the path! :D

 

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EtienneL

Thanks to everyone so far, you have all been fantastic!

Now I have another (complicated) issue to decide on.  Sigh.

I have four kids - the oldest two are 18 and 20 and both studying at university here in RSA.

Should I try to get them in as adult dependents with my application (I think I read somewhere that for students the adult dependent age is 22?).

My ideal would be to get them residency together with my application, but have them continue their studies in RSA until we are settled and at least a bit surer of our financial situation, and then bring them over and hopefully complete their studies in Canada.

Is that even possible?  I'm guessing they may lose their residency status if they stay in South-Africa too long?  Or can they stay in RSA, finish their studies, while still maintaining resident status?

Or should I let them finish their studies in South Africa, and then try and bring them over on their own EE applications.  Would that even be an option for someone that just finished studying and has zero experience?

(to complicate matters further, both are in serious relationships and both plan to marry their other halves - but let's cross THAT bridge when we get there)

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MaryJane

How far along are they in their studies?

I had a 16-year-old that came to Canada with me. I know it's not the same, but it was also the question of whether to let her stay to finish her studies, or she can just do it here.

I am lucky she was not at the marrying age at the time. I suppose the decision was easier.

I'd encourage you to include them in your application if you can. That's just me though. Might be harder for them to do it on their own, after they just finished school going through EE, etc.

Having said that, they could perhaps take the route of "Family Support" as well once you've settled.

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Lizelle

I would include them.  Trying to immigrate after you studied can be really hard, since you have no experience.

You can definitely take the Family Support route, as Mary Jane said, but from everything I've read that takes a really long time.

To keep your PR you have to be in Canada at least 2 years of the last 5 (https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/new-immigrants/pr-card/understand-pr-status.html).  So, after you get PR, then that 2 year count starts, and they have 3 years to start living in Canada permanently.  That should give you enough time to get settled and then bring them over.

I don't know about Canadian Universities, but when we moved to New Zealand I got credits for loads of subjects that I did at Tukkies.  In theory it is possible, but like I say, I don't know about Canada (Canada tends to believe that no one can possibly know as much as they do :blink: - looking for an eye roll emoji - so it is possible that they will not do credits, but it should be easy enough to check)

 

Edited by Lizelle

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Nelline

DEFINITELY include them in your application! You can worry about the "resident status" later.

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EtienneL
10 hours ago, Lizelle said:

To keep your PR you have to be in Canada at least 2 years of the last 5 (https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/new-immigrants/pr-card/understand-pr-status.html).  So, after you get PR, then that 2 year count starts, and they have 3 years to start living in Canada permanently.  That should give you enough time to get settled and then bring them over.

Thank you Lizelle, that's exactly what I was looking for.

It means they can continue studying in South-Africa for up to three years after gaining PR, giving me enough time to sort myself out before I bring them over to conclude their studies in Canada.

I'm really really happy to read this!!

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EtienneL

I can also confirm that adult dependant child age has been upped to 22 years (my daughter turns 21 this year)

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/sponsor/aod-tool.asp

It's like a massive weight has rolled off of my shoulders.  I can add ALL my children to my application and will not be under undue pressure to move them to Canada immediately.

You guys have been such a massive help so far, I can't thank all of you enough.  It's like all the pieces are starting to fall in place, and though I'm not normally a "hyper-charsimatic", I still see this as a sign of confirmation from above that I'm not crazy to start this process.

In fact, the last major hurdle (my eldest two) for going through with immigration has just disappeared completely.  Praise the Lord!

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EtienneL

Two young kids (10 and 13) were just held at gunpoint four houses from mine in our street while their house was being robbed.  In the middle of the day.  "Thankfully" they were not hurt.  Apart from the psychological issues and trauma, they're "ok".

Never been more motivated. :censored:

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Lizelle
2 hours ago, EtienneL said:

Two young kids (10 and 13) were just held at gunpoint four houses from mine in our street while their house was being robbed.  In the middle of the day.  "Thankfully" they were not hurt.  Apart from the psychological issues and trauma, they're "ok".

Never been more motivated. :censored:

Oh, that is terrible! 

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SunshineGirl
On 2018/02/13 at 1:54 PM, EtienneL said:

Two young kids (10 and 13) were just held at gunpoint four houses from mine in our street while their house was being robbed.  In the middle of the day.  "Thankfully" they were not hurt.  Apart from the psychological issues and trauma, they're "ok".

Never been more motivated. :censored:

So sorry to read this!  Thinking of your family.

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