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M_Richard

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M_Richard

Hi all,

Thanks for accepting me on this forum. Me and my wife (both 29) are discussing immigration to Canada on a longer term plan, possibly in 2 years from now. So I thought I might start getting active on this forum. We are planning a 3 week trip in May 2020 travelling from Los Angeles to Vancouver and spending around 7 days in Canada for vacation and then we will have a closer look at everything and also decide further from there.My dream destination would be somewhere outside of Vancouver, like Langley, the outskirts of Surrey or Coquitlam.

About us:

I am a civil engineer with an MEng degree and 3.5 years experience in the industry, mainly land development and project management. So if I do move to Canada I will start as an Engineer in Training to register as PEng there.

My wife is a pharmacist (BPharm) with 5.5 years experience and currently a pharmacy manager. I know her situation is a bit different. From my research she has to go through a longer process to register as a pharmacist with the Canadian Pharmacy board (PEBC). But the plan is that she will not work for a year and only focus on studying for the evaluating exams etc, and complete the required training courses.

That's the plan at least! Will see how everything pans out.

The only question I have at this stage is, is it best from me to seek employment and get a job offer before going and maybe start working in Canada on a work visa, or is it better to apply for PR straight away. Our score for express entry will be around 430 (assuming we do well in the IELTS tests), and +50 points if I can manage to get a job offer. Very theoretical at the moment but hoping for the best.

Kind regards

 

Edited by M_Richard

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LidiaS77

Hi @M_Richard,

Welcome to the forums!

Firstly, from the information that you give I’m pretty sure that you should actually have a much much higher score, like 492 (even without a job offer), unless I’m misunderstanding something. Perhaps you can double-check by using the official CRS score calculator?

My advice would be to start the process now as soon as possible. We don’t know if the process might change or become harder in the future so if you have a chance now I would say to go for it. Remember that you have a year to activate your PR after completing your medicals. With your age, qualifications and work experience it would probably be much easier to get PR without worrying about a job offer for now. It would be much easier for you to find a job once you have PR. The only reason that I can think of to consider the job offer route before PR would be if you don’t have the funds required to support yourself before getting a job.

If you want to visit Canada before deciding if you want to start the PR process and move here, perhaps you can consider doing the LA to Vancouver trip sooner. I can tell you that Canada is an amazing country and Vancouver and the West Coast is an awesome place to live 😁

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Reibtseb
On 4/21/2019 at 11:55 AM, M_Richard said:

Hi all,

Thanks for accepting me on this forum. Me and my wife (both 29) are discussing immigration to Canada on a longer term plan, possibly in 2 years from now. So I thought I might start getting active on this forum. We are planning a 3 week trip in May 2020 travelling from Los Angeles to Vancouver and spending around 7 days in Canada for vacation and then we will have a closer look at everything and also decide further from there.My dream destination would be somewhere outside of Vancouver, like Langley, the outskirts of Surrey or Coquitlam.

About us:

I am a civil engineer with an MEng degree and 3.5 years experience in the industry, mainly land development and project management. So if I do move to Canada I will start as an Engineer in Training to register as PEng there.

My wife is a pharmacist (BPharm) with 5.5 years experience and currently a pharmacy manager. I know her situation is a bit different. From my research she has to go through a longer process to register as a pharmacist with the Canadian Pharmacy board (PEBC). But the plan is that she will not work for a year and only focus on studying for the evaluating exams etc, and complete the required training courses.

That's the plan at least! Will see how everything pans out.

The only question I have at this stage is, is it best from me to seek employment and get a job offer before going and maybe start working in Canada on a work visa, or is it better to apply for PR straight away. Our score for express entry will be around 430 (assuming we do well in the IELTS tests), and +50 points if I can manage to get a job offer. Very theoretical at the moment but hoping for the best.

Kind regards

 

Also, IIRC 29 is the end of the last age bracket before your points start dropping... So I'd say go for it now.

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DocMartin
On 4/21/2019 at 8:55 PM, M_Richard said:

Hi all,

Thanks for accepting me on this forum. Me and my wife (both 29) are discussing immigration to Canada on a longer term plan, possibly in 2 years from now. So I thought I might start getting active on this forum. We are planning a 3 week trip in May 2020 travelling from Los Angeles to Vancouver and spending around 7 days in Canada for vacation and then we will have a closer look at everything and also decide further from there.My dream destination would be somewhere outside of Vancouver, like Langley, the outskirts of Surrey or Coquitlam.

About us:

I am a civil engineer with an MEng degree and 3.5 years experience in the industry, mainly land development and project management. So if I do move to Canada I will start as an Engineer in Training to register as PEng there.

My wife is a pharmacist (BPharm) with 5.5 years experience and currently a pharmacy manager. I know her situation is a bit different. From my research she has to go through a longer process to register as a pharmacist with the Canadian Pharmacy board (PEBC). But the plan is that she will not work for a year and only focus on studying for the evaluating exams etc, and complete the required training courses.

That's the plan at least! Will see how everything pans out.

The only question I have at this stage is, is it best from me to seek employment and get a job offer before going and maybe start working in Canada on a work visa, or is it better to apply for PR straight away. Our score for express entry will be around 430 (assuming we do well in the IELTS tests), and +50 points if I can manage to get a job offer. Very theoretical at the moment but hoping for the best.

Kind regards

 

Hi @M_Richard

I agree with the guys above. Unless you need the job first due to financial reasons, I would say go for it! At this age, it really is the best time to do it. And hey, you can always change your mind after you've got it, but at least then you have the choice.

My background is similar to yours. I have a B.Eng and M.Eng in Mechanical, am 29 years old and had (at the time we applied) 4-5 years of working experience. My common-law partner (24 years old) has a BA in Applied Language Studies. We did well in the IELTS and our qualifications were shown to be equivalent to Canadian degrees by WES. Our score was 483. So it's safe to say your score will be above 460 at least, so an ITA is basically guaranteed as soon as you submit your EE profile. 

With regards to the prospect of finding work without legally being allowed to work in Canada (i.e. without PR), it is very very very difficult. It get's a little easier to apply with the PR whilst still being in SA, but it is still difficult. I managed to find something outside of Canada 2 weeks after getting PR, but I did have to send out quite a few applications. It's an uphill battle 90% of the time when trying to find work outside Canada, even with a PR.

To cut a long story short, the real question for you is not if you can get PR for Canada, but if you want to get PR for Canada. Because you most definitely will get that ITA once submitting your profile through EE. Given the outlook in SA, and the opportunity presented to you, I really think you should go for it now. For all we know, after 2021 the political situation in Canada may change and the conservative parties may very well defeat the liberals who essentially drive these large immigration initiatives. So do it now whilst you have the chance. You can always come back to SA after you've got your Canadian passport. At least then you'll have choices. With only a South African passport, we don't really have any. That's my take on it any way!

Best of luck going forward!

 

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M_Richard

Hi, @LidiaS77 @Reibtseb and @DocMartin

Thanks for the welcome! 

You are correct, I miscalculated and did not include my 3 years+ work experience in the calculator. The score will be about 482 if we do well in the IELTS tests. 

The information provided was very helpful and made me reconsider my approach. Do you think it will be a good idea to start the EE process ASAP (WES and IELTS) to be able to create an EE profile and hopefully get COPR before May or June next year when we want to visit Canada for vacation. I See you have to be in Canada for 730 days in your 5 year PR period to keep it valid, so if we active our PR next year June on vacation, we can leave and then have time to decide on the next steps. The +-R20k extra it will cost us per person to have PR will be minor, compared to the risk of not going for it and possibly missing our window. Hopefully this is a realistic timeline, however we can postpone our vacation trip if required. 

Just a question, I see people talk about receiving passports, do you receive a special Permanent Residency passport on COPR or a visa in your SA passport? I have read about the PR cards, which is also a concern. What if we activate PR on our vacation and then leave again, how do we get the PR cards, since its only delivered to an adress in Canada? I read about a temporary PR travel doc, but apparently you cannot always get it? 

We will not have any problems with funds, but I would not want to be without a job more than a month or 3, can survive longer, but you know, time is money. 😉

Any comments, criticism or advise on the above will be greatly appreciated, thank you! 

 

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LidiaS77

@M_Richard, yes I would definitely say start with the process now as soon as possible. There seems to be quite a bit of a delay throughout the process now compared to when we did it about 3 years ago. You might only get an appointment to do IELTS in 2 months or so (not 100% sure what the timeline for this looks like nowadays) and then you have to wait for the results, there are delays with WES for some people that I'm aware of and then even after submitting the final application I know of people who've waited more than 6 months for their passport requests. You should get your COPR documents before May or June next year, hopefully, but it is difficult to predict.

After your final application has been approved you will get a notification that says you have to hand in your passports. You will then receive a single-entry PR immigration visa in your passports along with the COPR papers. You have to use this visa to enter Canada once to activate your Permanent Residence. After that you have to use your Permanent Residence card only, to enter Canada (you would of course still need your SA or other country's passport to enter/exit the other country that you visited).

There are many people who are in similar situations where they can't receive their PR cards in Canada because they don't have an address yet or they leave Canada again before receiving their PR cards. You can have the PR card sent to trusted friends or family in Canada and have them courier it to you. As far as I know there are conflicting reports about whether this is legal or not, but I've heard of people doing it. Otherwise you could stay in Canada until you receive the card, but that might be too long depending on your plans/circumstances. Otherwise you could look at applying for a Canadian tourist visa and use that to enter Canada instead of activating your PR, but I'm also not 100% sure if that would be a good thing to do. Here is another thread discussing this:

Just in case you are not aware, the funds that you have available have to be a specific amount. You need to prove that you have this amount if you do not have a job offer. Here are the numbers: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/immigrate-canada/express-entry/documents/proof-funds.html

 

Edited by LidiaS77
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M_Richard

Thanks @LidiaS77, lots of helpful info, I really do appreciate it! 

It seems like there are a lot more dates for the IELTS general training in cape town if you write the computer based test. If I try and book now, I can see 7 dates in May. Compared to paper based where there there are only 1 or 2 per month and first available is in June. Hopefully WES will be relatively smooth, at least we have a long slack time. 

Seems like the PR cards take about 45 days to receive, we obviously cannot wait that long on vacation as we will still be working full time in SA. We also do not have family or friends in Canada who will be able to receive and courier the PR cards. Nevertheless, I'm sure this would not be a deal breaker. I will continue to research this topic and find the best solution. 

And thanks for the funds required info, I am aware of it and will not be a issue for us.

Thanks again for the assistance and info so far! 

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MaryJane

Welcome to the forums, @M_Richard!

You've gotten some good advice above.

All the best with the application.

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M_Richard

Has anyone submitted a Master of Engineering degree to WES? Not sure if I should include my Bachelors as well.

I found this in the FAQ on the WES website:

Quote

If your master’s degree was obtained from an Indian institution, you MUST also submit your bachelor’s degree documents. WES cannot evaluate the master’s degree without the bachelor’s degree.

The only exceptions where your bachelor’s degree documents are NOT required are: Master of Education, Master of Engineering, Master of Philosophy, and Master of Technology.

This, however, is for Indian institutions, not sure if it counts for South Africa. Nevertheless, I can't hurt to include both degrees, the evaluation cost remains the same?

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DocMartin

@M_Richard

I have a M. Eng from the University of Pretoria and (at the end of this year) a M. Eng from UCT. I submitted all of my qualifications from the University of Pretoria to WES in May last year. This included my (4 year) bachelor's (graduated 2011), (1 year) honour's (graduated 2012) (which I think only UP does to extort students doing an M), and (2 years) master's degree (graduated 2014). WES certified them as follows:

Bachelor's degree : Equivalent to a Canadian 4 year bachelor's degree in engineering

Honour's degree: Equivalent to a Canadian 1 year postgraduate diploma 

Master's degree: Equivalent to a Canadian 2 year master's degree in engineering

To be on the safe side, I'd recommend submitting all qualifications from your university to WES. You pay per degree. This applies to the company which is designated by your university to provide certified copies and to WES. In other words, for UP, the company which handles it is MIE. I had to pay them for each degree which I asked to be sent to WES. They sent it to WES directly, in the manner that WES requires. You then pay WES for each degree you ask them to evaluate. 

It may be more costly, but then at least there's no chance of a back and forth between you and WES. Because if there was, it could delay your application by months. They are extremely slow to respond to any queries. So the less you have to deal with them, the better. 

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M_Richard

Thank you @DocMartin,

I have created an account on WES and entered both my degrees:  Bachelor of Engineering (4 Years) and Master of Engineering (2 Years).

When I go through the process on the website it shows the instructions for each degree separately, and then it shows the total as 220 CAD plus 85 CAD for the courier.

Maybe what I will try and do is go to my University admin building and ask them to put both my degrees in an envelope along with my academic transcript (My transcript includes both my bachelors and masters subjects/credits/marks lists). And then get them to seal and sign the envelope. I will send it to WES like that. Hopefully, it will be sufficient. To score points on your EE profile isn't the only requirement to have an ECA report for your highest degree? Anyways, if it doesn't work out, I still have time to redo any submissions as I am not really in much of a rush to get it done.

Or maybe this isn't the best strategy? Nevertheless, I have entered both my degrees in the WES application on the website and the cost remains 220 + 85 CAD. The only other option I have in courier the two degrees separately, or maybe in separate envelopes in one sleeve, so that I don't have to pay for two international couriers. 

 

 

Furthermore, I am thinking of not getting my wife's pharmacy degree evaluated yet. She has to get her degree evaluated through PEBC (Pharmacy Board) since it is a professional occupation which requires a license to practice.

If she gets her documents evaluated through PEBC it will give us another 10 points, or if she goes through WES (which is faster and 3 times cheaper) it might be seen as a bachelor's which is another 8 points. But if she wants to practice pharmacy in Canada it will have to go through PEBC eventually. But it seems like the spouse has a very minor effect on the CRS score. If I just say she has a high school diploma, we can still score 460+ (up to 476 with good IELTS scores) which should basically also ensure an ITA (Looking at the previous score cutoffs). I have also noticed that it is very important for the main applicant to score that 7 on the IELTS writing, the spouse can get 6 for everything and it won't have a big effect. The spouse basically just has to go write the IELTS test.

And just for her to register on the Pharmacist's gateway and get her documents evaluated will cost 1000 CAD. And I have also read that the documentation evaluation might only be valid for a certain period, I cannot find the duration anywhere, but since we are only planning to possibly immigrate in 2 years or more, It might not be worth it to take the risk and have to get it redone later. The PEBC doc eval process is also a lot more tedious and takes 3 to 4 months.

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M_Richard
Posted (edited)

Hi All, though I would just give an update here since I last posted here.

We did IELTS in June 2019 and was unable to get CLB 9 (Aka 7 for writing) on the first attempt. Managed to easily score 9s and 8.5 in the other categories. I did a lot of research before attempting IELTS again and I have seen numerous people getting 6.5 for writing and having to write 3 or 4 times and ask and pay for remarks to get a 7 for writing. 

Therefore, I decided to try my luck with some job applications since my profession was on the 29 in demand jobs in BC. Against all odds I was able to obtain a job offer after applying for around 20 positions. The idea was to rather spend an extra R8000 for the BCPNP Application and be ensured of PR, instead of attempting IELTS another 1 or 2 (or more) times. The process went pretty smooth from there. I did everything myself, here is my detailed timeline:

5 May 2019 – WES - Application paid and submitted

9 May 2019 – WES - Degree and transcripts collected at University and mail via Aramex

22 Jul 2019 - WES completed

8 Jun 2019 – IELTS

3 Oct 2019 – Job offer (BCPNP Tech Pilot eligible)

13 Oct 2019 – Created EE Profile

13 Oct 2019 – Registered on BCPNP

15 Oct 2019 – Invitation to apply for BCPNP

6 Nov 2019 – BCPNP Application submitted

7 Nov 2019 – BCPNP approved and 600 points added to EE profile

13 Nov 2019 – EE invitation to apply

22 Nov 2019 – Called to book medical in CPT, first available date 8 January 2020

2 Dec 2019 – Work permit and spouse open work permit applications submitted

2 Dec 2019 – Biometrics for work permit requested

12 Dec 2019 – Medical request for work permit

8 Jan 2020 – Went for Medicals in Cape Town

9 Jan 2020 – PR application submitted

23 Jan 2020 – Biometrics for PR

10 Feb 2020 – Additional document request for WP (SA employment reference letter)

24 Feb 2020 – Passport request for Work Permit

28 Feb 2020 – Passports submitted at VFS Canada CPT – Walk in

3 March 2020 – WP application status changed to approved and waiting for visas to be couriered back to CPT

 

Finishing at my current job on 31 March 2020, and looking to fly to Canada in Mid April. Starting work in Cloverdale/Langley, BC on 20 April 2020!

 

Edited by M_Richard
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Nelline

Fantastic news! Very happy for you! You made it happen, with a little luck and common sense. 

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