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AntoinetteG

Express Entry 2020 Questions

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AntoinetteG

Hello Everyone

I have been slowly working through all the posts relating to Express Entry and Immigration to Canada. I knew immigration is the right answer, but am a slight wreck at the risks involved. 

I have a few questions, which I hope can be helped with. I am 35 years old, turning 36 in October this year...basically at cut-off age for max points on age. I have roughly 11 years work experience in Architecture and Interior Design (studied both disciplines, and work as both). I am hoping to immigrate under either the Express Entry programme or the AIPP (provided I can find a job, which is tricky)...I have done a basic assessment and qualify for the Skilled Workers option via EE. I will be coming over by myself (no partner or children), which in itself is daunting. My biggest worries at this stage is the settlement funds and the CRS score...

Some questions:

1. Can one use your RA and Pension (Sanlam and Discovery) as settlement funds? I realise one cannot physically cash out these before age 55, but (and this is my understanding) one can get access to the money upon immigration. Whether this means financial immigration is necessary, I don't know, but believe it is necessary.

2. I do own property (nothing spectacularly expensive) and would like to keep it (mainly as retirement plans for my parents). I am reluctant to sell this, but if push really comes to shove, then I won't have much of a choice.

3. Has anyone actually been successful in using the AIPP programme (in my field)? Not sure if there are any other Architecture/Interior Designers out there... 

4. I was listening to a podcast today and they recommend using either the Saskatchewan PNP, Prince Edward Island PNP or Nova Scotia PNP if looking for PNP nominations as these are some of the easier PNP options...any input on this? I am merely considering this as I am worried about my CRS score. I also assume you need to be in the EE pool before investigating this...or not?

5. When doing the ECA (I am considering WES)...do you pay per degree submitted? I have a complicated situation (degree wise) as I have a Bachelors in Building Arts and a BTech in Interior Design (and then half a Masters Professional...different story).

6. Is it actually possible to handle the whole process without a immigration consultant/company. It seems fairly simple, but I am worried that I may miss some small intricacy and then compromise myself completely in being successful.

7. I have read in a few posts that there are spreadsheets involved with a breakdown of funds and assets etc needed when one has gotten an ITA...I have a little bit of credit card debt (about R2500), and then my home loan (keeping my home) and car (which I will sell)...I am in a catch 22 because I either need to go into debt to get my IELTS and WES done (economy is pretty crappy and I'm owed a lot of overtime...no money...no building work, unfortunately)...and then possible the rest too if I get an ITA...I am not sure if this is wise...mainly because I don't know if this will be counting against me if I get an ITA? I have enough money in my RA and Pension fund to meet the settlement amount, and there will be some left, so I will be able to clear this additional debt if that pays out. Money makes me nervous...hence the query...would love to get some opinions on this.

I really would appreciate any help available. Or just thoughts...

Thanks so much, in advance!

Antoinette

 

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CapieCanadian

Hi Antoinette

Exciting but terrifying, right!? Don't worry, there's plenty of people in the same boat. You're in good company.

1. I am also under the impression that one can only cash in on your RA upon financial immigration. I have personally reached out to someone about financially immigrating and was informed that you need:

  • A certificate of residency from the Canadian tax authority.
  • Your South African bank must provide you with a Blocked Rand Account.
  • A copy of the tax clearance certificate in respect of emigration issued by SARS.

So I walk away with understanding that one can only get the money upon retirement or once you're settled in Canada. Perhaps look at this article as well. It does not address pension fund money.

2.  I didn't keep my property in SA since I wanted to close as many doors as possible for myself to make going back as hard as possible. Heaven knows, on some days I would've jumped on the first flight back if I had a property waiting for me. Having some money when I landed also didn't hurt.

3. Sorry, I didn't take this route so I can't help

4. It's true that each Province has their own criteria for their PNP stream. For example, when applying to Manitoba you'll get points for having a friend in that Province! This may lead to seem some are easier to get into, perhaps it is, perhaps it isn't. However, consider the weather and labour market for those provinces. Some provinces don't have enough immigrants but this is for a reason :) (Just my opinion). Look at this article, you can apply for PNP directly with the Province or select which Provinces you are interested in while creating your EE profile. You can picked right out of the EE pool if a province wants you.

5. I didn't need to have my qualifications assessed but from my understanding, WES includes all academic credentials listed on your application which they evaluates and you don't have to pay per qualification. But make sure with them.

6. Many people do their own application with success from start to finish. Read, read, read and ask, ask, ask. As long as you do that and don't misrepresent yourself during the application I'm sure you can do it on your own with success. If you have specific questions which you can't find answers to after reading and asking on this forum then you can always phone IRCC directly for advise. They have a Help Centre to this effect. I am also here to help with whatever I can.

7. I hear ya...personally I sold everything so that I can leave without debt and land here on a clean slate with as much money as I could. We all do what we think is best for us. You will find the best solution for you. Think about these things with a relaxed mind, ones mind it's most clear when idling in neutral.

Hang in there!

Edited by CapieCanadian

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AntoinetteG

@CapieCanadian

Thanks so much for taking time to reply to my questions...this forum has been great in providing information and insight, a real blessing.

Some updates since my last post:

The building industry is taking a really bad knock, and I have become increasingly worried about retrenchment (already gone through it once, managed to keep my job, but the stress of that was anything but fun...neither was the ensuing office politics) and/or the company forcing to shut down, simply due to no work...literally, none...people are panning and zooming to get through the day. 
 

Needless to say this has prompted me to make some decisions which, now that they are made, wasn’t that bad afterall:

- I sat my bosses down and told them that I am going to Canada (even though I have nothing saying I am...but sending it out there...knowing in my heart of hearts that this is the path)...needless to say...lots of shock and concern re clients etc...but I feel a lot better for putting it out there.

- Decided to go into debt to do my IELTS and WES...so that I can set up my EE profile...I HATE debt...but I just got to a point (see work situation) where I needed to make a decision...I feel a lot more in control now that I have made some progress...real progress. Got the ball rolling on these yesterday...so happy.

- set up a Skype session with Canada Abroad (who came highly recommend by some friends who successfully landed in Sept last year)...for this coming Tuesday. Depending on this, I will likely still do the whole process myself, but just need to ask my last questions and get an ‘official’ answer. As a side note...I have been battling to get ‘answers’ from the IRCC...and can’t find a e-mail address to direct queries too...any ideas?

- depending on the inconvenient  loadshedding I will again send out a million job applications on the weekend.

- I have an incredible accountant friend who will be helping with the Financial Emigration process...so a lot of peace of mind there.

By no means am I expecting things to be easy...but I do feel really relieved at every step taken in the last couple of days. 
 

@CapieCanadian, where are you based? Any other random pieces of advice?

 

 

 

 

 

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CapieCanadian

Oh wow, I strongly believe that we need to speak things into existence. So, Canada will indeed become a reality ;)

I am based in Vancouver. Please ask any BC related questions you may have.

Have a look on Job Bank for industry forecasting and salary trends across Canada, play around on the site and see. When looking for work make sure to use Indeed and LinkedIn. Here in BC LinkedIn is widely used so making sure you have a stellar profile will serve you well, perhaps this is true for the rest of Canada as well. Also, make sure you know what the going trend is for resumes in Canada. I can help and take a look at your CV if you want. Collectively I've been doing recruitment in SA and Vancouver for over 6 years, I've seen my share of resumes!

You are right, things won't be easy but 'n boer maak 'n plan. We have steel in our bones and with the right attitude nothing is impossible. You can do this.

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AntoinetteG

Hi @CapieCanadian

Thanks fir the advice wrt the work search...I would love to take you up on your offer of looking at my CV...just need to get your details...not sure how to private message in this forum...do you know? I’ll definitely look at the job bank option this weekend.

Thanks again for the help!

Antoinette

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CapieCanadian

I'll send you a private message, you should get a notification :)

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