JDP29

Our Journey Step by Step EE FSW

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JDP29

Part 1 - Getting everything ready! WES, PCC, IELTS 

Our journey started in May 2020 during lockdown. Myself (28) my wife (28) and my son (1) made our decision to make a move, at first, we decided on Australia, but due to the difficulty in applying and cost, it never sat completely well with us. We just kept on reading and talking without actually doing anything. But through our research, especially in regards to my wife’s occupation, we came across possible opportunities for her in Canada.

We started reading and watching as much as we could, and something about Canada just sat well with us. The process cost was a lot cheaper than Australia, and the process simpler. 

So, in just two weeks of starting we decided to start our process by ourselves. The following steps are as thorough as possible to help others in the future. 

We decided that we would pay extra wherever we could to make things move along, for example, DocAssist etc. in order to reduce stress somewhat and perhaps make things as quick as possible. I will add in the steps as we go along. I hope you enjoy!

Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) - 2 Adults

We decided to start with his step due to possible delays in getting them granted, and rather get them out the way first thing.

I contacted PostNet Pretoria in regards to their assistance, and they sent an email with all the steps and costs in this regard. This is how our process went:

Printed out form SAPS 91(a) and went to Durban North Police Station bright and early at 8 when the lady started work, paid our R300 (R150 per applicant) to the cashier and received a receipt, took our fingerprints on the form and took back both the completed set of prints and receipts. In and out in 30 min.

Printed out the Application for Police Clearance Certificate and filled out all info. Made certified copies of both ID’s, and marriage certificate and scanned all above documents. Dropped off the following at PostNet for courier to Pretoria PostNet, Cost R113:

    Original form 91(a) 

    Application: Police Clearance Certificate 

    Certified ID’s and Marriage Certificate 

    Receipt of Payment for PCC

 Timeline:

1/07/2020 - Did fingerprints and couriered to Pretoria

20/07/2020 – Email to say our certificates are ready to be sent back.

28/07/2020 – Collected from PostNet

 

Total Cost: R1 213

Application - R300

Courier to Pretoria - R113

PostNet Pretoria Fees - R800

IELTS:

2 July 2020:

We were both really nervous for the English tests, due to the extreme difference in possible points if it goes bad, plus the cost of R4 429 per test.

But this was the first real step in making this all come true. 

So, I hopped on to the IELTS website and booked my wife’s test for the following month (8 August) and made payment. I then went to book a test for myself, but there were no more dates available for August.

 Now I generally like to get things done as quick as possible, so my first instinct was to book in JHB and catch a flight for the day for early August, but my wife convinced me to rather book in September in Durban, and save a possible flight if one of us needs to redo the test at short notice (smart lady I married). 

 

In the end both tests booked:

    Wife: 08 August 2020 (Cancelled Due to Covid) 

    Myself: 12 September 2020

 

Little did I know how frustrating IELTS would become, 1 week before my wifes exam, the dreaded email arrives, cancelling her exam until a still to be announced future date. At this point you become frustrated, because form here on out, every week lost is another week added to the process, and the question of draws and points and limits start to play on your mind. 

 The communication from the British Council was poor at best. No updates, the same generic answers to your queries, you feel like you are left in a void, just waiting for them to grace you with their decisions. 

 2 days before my exam, I receive an email to rebook my exam. At literal lightning pace, I follow the link and am relieved to find a new date in Durban the following week, so I was able to rebook for both my wife and myself for the 17th September, and at the end of the day only 5 days lost through the whole ordeal, not bad in hindsight. 

Total Cost: R8 858

2 x Tests - R4 429 each.

Results: 

 

 

Reading

Listening

Writing

Speaking

Overall

Wife

8.0

9.0

8.0

8.5

8.5

Myself

8.0

8.5

7.5

9.0

8.5

 

As you can see from above, unfortunately there is now clear proof that my wife listens better than I do, and that I speak too much. 

However, we were both ecstatic with our results, knowing that we now had guaranteed our points were going to be enough for the next draws. 

We received our provisional results on our IELTS profile on the 9th October, but had to wait until the 19thbefore we got our couriered results. You have to wait to get the TRF as you need the certificate number and date of results on the certificate in order to submit your EE application. 

 WES Assessment:

 Next on our list was applying for our ECA through WES. We decided to get both my wife’s education assessed as well as mine in order to get maximum points. 

 Wife’s Assessment:

    Bachelor of Arts (UNISA)

The easiest way of getting the official stamped transcripts from UNISA was to go to our local UNISA office, for us that is Bram Fischer Road in Durban. They would put them in a sealed envelope, stamp and sign the seal and I would then send them to WES. 

However, due to lockdown, no UNISA offices in Durban were open, so we had to do it the hard way. I managed to track down an email address for someone at UNISA who knew about WES and their requirements etc. and WES had instituted a process whereby they were accepting digital documents, as long as they came from the University directly.

 He was immensely helpful, replied to my initial query at 7AM with exactly what we needed to send to him, which consisted of:

    Completed WES form (WES Provides)

    Copy of Degree Certificate 

 Received an email back at 7PM Friday Night letting us know that our documents had been sent to WES. 

 Timeline –     Enquiry 7am 10 July 

                        Documents sent 7pm 10 July

                        WES Confirmed receipt and acceptance 14 July.

                        Completed Evaluation – 21 July 

 If I hadn’t found this gents email, we would still be floundering around with UNISA until their offices reopened. 

    Bachelor of Social Science Honours (Psychology) (UKZN)

    Master of Social Science (Health Promotions) (UKZN)

UKZN tended to be more difficult, due to their alumni offices being closed due to lockdown. However, we tried our luck and sent off an email with the WES forms attached and hoped for the best. 2 days later we received an email back from UKZN informing us they had digitally sent off the transcripts. 

 My Assessment: 

    Bachelor of Law (UNISA)

 See above, followed the same process as my wife’s application.

Cost:

UKZN Transcripts x 2 - R140 

UNISA Transcripts x 2 - Free 

Courier to WES – No cost, all digitally sent.

ECA Assessment WES x2 - R2 976,44 each (230 CAD) = R5 952,88

Total Cost – R6 092,88 

 

Total Cost: R16 163,88

 

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CapieCanadian

What a great article!

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JDP29

Created our EE Profile last night, now in the pool with a CRS Score of 482, so hopefully part of the draw next week on the 28th. Will update this post with a full write up on this step in the next few days. 

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LouiseV36

Loving your blow by blow.  All the best for the next draw.  Welcome to the rollercoaster that is going to be your life for the next few months.

But it is worth it in the end when that golden e-mail comes through.  😀

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Ozzie1404

Hi JDP29

For how long will the PCC be valid?

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Ozzie1404
On 10/21/2020 at 12:26 PM, JDP29 said:

Created our EE Profile last night, now in the pool with a CRS Score of 482, so hopefully part of the draw next week on the 28th. Will update this post with a full write up on this step in the next few days. 

SO, you CRS score is 482 without the ECA results??

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MaryJane
4 hours ago, Ozzie1404 said:

Hi JDP29

For how long will the PCC be valid?

Hey Ozzie

PCC should be valid for 6 months, with an option to renew around the 6th month mark.

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JDP29
4 hours ago, Ozzie1404 said:

SO, you CRS score is 482 without the ECA results??

Hi Ozzie1404, we received back our ECA from WES on the 21st July, so Wife got masters approved and a couple of bachelors, and my LLB was approved as a 4 year bachelors.

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RFed

Wow, that is great score! Based on recent draws, you should definitely get your PR.

We entered the EE pool this week on 454 points. Age is slightly against us as I am 34 and wife 37 which is why we lost points.

If anyone knows of any job avenues we can follow besides Canada Job Bank, please let me know!

I work within the banking field in data analytics and have B.Eng (Stellenbosch), B.Com Hons (UCT), M.Com (UCT) and MDP (Stellenbosch business school).

Wife works as finance manager (CA SA) and has B.BusSci (CA option @ UCT),  Masters in finance (WITS) and MBA (UCT).

Please inbox me if anyone knows of anything as we would need a job to get the +50 CRS points to qualify for PR.

 

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JDP29

Part 2 – Express Entry Pool and getting the ITA

Up until this point, all we have done is hurry up and wait. You rush around to get WES sorted, study for IELTS and then all you can do is wait for everything to come through. Eventually after 4 ½ months we had everything in order for us to enter the Express Entry Pool.

I have been watching the draws, analysing the points cut off and date of draw, trying to establish our own timeline, but due to Covid, draws for EE FSW had started to happen on their regular bi-weekly schedule since September, so this meant we were submitting out Profile midway between 2 draws, expecting a draw of between 469-471 points, which would grant us our ITA. 

The Process of Creating Your Profile:

Creating your profile is the easiest thing you can do up to this point, fairly straight forward and completely in your control. 

The first thing you do is create your GC Key on the CIC website, now I’m not completely certain what this key is, but my understanding is it is like an ID number attached to your profile. 

Once you have created your GC Key, you are then directed back to the CIC website in order to create your profile. 

Completing all the sections are fairly straight forward, the one section we found that took some time was selecting the correct NOC code for my wife’s work history. It is critical that you select that correct code, because if you select a code that IRCC don’t believe matches up with your experience, that’s your application done, no 2nd chances as far as I’m aware. So go through all the NOC codes that may be applicable and analyse them to your experience and select the one that is closest. 

After completing all the sections, save your progress but don’t submit. Come back the next day or a few hours later and go through all the sections again, just to make sure everything is correct. I took screen shots of every page, in order to refer to it after receiving our ITA in order to make sure what ever we claimed points for initially, we submit the same information. 

Once you 100% happy with your profile you can then submit it into the pool. We received an email within the hour confirming our entry as well as a couple messages on our profile in regards to Jobbank. In the past you had to create your Jobbank profile within 30 days in order to stay in the pool, otherwise it would kick you out. However in 2017, this stopped being the case and it is now optional to create your profile using the codes from the message you receive. We created the profile on Jobbank, as the plus membership which is free when you have a EE Profile, allows for matching of your profile to possible jobs, allowing employers to reach out to you upon matching if they decide. 

Once you are entered, all you can do is wait for the next draw, and I must admit, this past week has seemed like the longest in terms of waiting, but only 2 more days before we hopefully receive out ITA. 

In the mean time, we have drafted our reference letters for work, which seems to be quite daunting, but I found a Youtube channel called Canadian Immigration Institute which has the most helpful content I have yet to come across in terms of every aspect of Express Entry as well as Immigration in general. 

Will book our medicals for next week, as well as get our Proof of Funds Information together, fortunately it is sitting in a 7 day notice account, so should be fairly straight forward.

Will update more after we receive our ITA! 

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JDP29

Our Journey Part 3

 

We Got Our ITA!

Just when I thought I had everything under control, everything was going to plan, and Canada Immigration throw you a curve ball, fortunately nothing major but still causes you concern at the time. 

We submitted our EE Profile on the 20th October, expecting the draw on the 28th to be called, and our ITA in the mail, but on the 27th they change the scoring system to give French bilingual speakers more points, and have to update all the profiles first. We then resigned ourselves to wait another couple weeks for the next draw, and our timetable keeps shifting further. But randomly on a Thursday evening the 5th November, an email pops up with an update, they had done a draw, with a score of 478 and 4500 invites. We were part of those 4500 and our next step could begin. 

Submitting your e-APR:

So what happens after you receive your ITA, well for me everything I read and read seemed to disappear momentarily, looking through the application bought on a sudden bought of anxiety, so I decided to leave it till the next day and a fresh mind. 

The application is very similar to your EE profile, but they go into more detail into your personal life, a lot of the sections are prepopulated with your EE profile information. 

Some of the info they require that I found a little more time consuming was the following:

·      Address history for the last 10 years, for both spouses.

·      Travel History for the last 10 years. (I found the best way to this is write down the information in chronological order and transfer to the application)

·      Personal history for the last 10 years.

 Nothing was overly difficult, but I think that the result of getting it wrong becomes quite heavy when you’re filling everything out, but take your time, go through it a few times, and get your spouse or partner to go over it as well before submitting it. 

I decided to purchase a online tutorial pack from Canadian Immigration Institute called DIY Express Entry, it’s a phenomenal resource from an immigration lawyer with video and step by step instructions. Me felling was all of this costs so much that the $97 USD (R1 565,15), is a safety cushion just to make sure I didn’t mess up. I highly recommend purchasing it prior to even creating your EE profile, as it assists from before then.

Supporting Documentation:

 Proof of Funds: There is so much information available about what everyone did for their POF, but I will give our experience and what we did. 

 My wife went off to FNB, as all our accounts are with them. Fortunately, all our savings was in a 7-day notice account in her name, which made it easier. She asked for a confirmation letter for her profile, as well as 6 months’ worth of statements for cheque account, credit card and notice account and had each one stamped by the bank. Due to a bulk of our savings coming from an inheritance pay out less than 6 months before, we also got a letter from the accountants who administered the estate confirming the payment for authentication purposes, and that was it. Unfortunately, I can’t give more info on Annuities or RA’s or any more complicated situations. 

 We decided to do an LOE (letter of explanation) for our POF section. In it I explained what I was attaching, an explanation for the large deposit (inheritance), a table for the 3 accounts, with a closing balance for the last 6 months, as well as attaching our vehicle registrations, title deed and recent RA statement. Even though I know these last few attachments aren’t unencumbered funds, I stated that we would be selling the assets, and cashing out the RA upon financial emigration, and wanted to give a full picture of our financial situation, and that we had enough cash as required but we also had unencumbered assets to utilise as well. 

 I then created a PDF made up of the LOE, statements, title deed, RA statement, email and POP of inheritance and vehicle registrations, to make one uploadable PDF. Because there is so much info in your POF upload, make sure you scan the documents at lower settings to be within the 4mb upload limit.

 Employment Letters: You only have to submit letters for jobs you claimed as your experience when creating your EE profile, so if you are able to maximise the points for foreign experience without listing every job you have done, then do that, because it will save you time in trying to get letters for jobs that didn’t give you additional points, and why create a possible problem if you don’t need to? Besides, you are going to list them in your personal 10-year history section.

We each wrote our own letter for our employers which I explained in part 2 and had them sign them after they were satisfied with the contents. 

 Police Clearance Certificates: I explained this in part 1, and fortunately even though I did them as the very first step, they were still within their 6-month validity period.  

 Below is a table of all the documents we uploaded:

 

Passports (new and old)

Birth Certificate for child only

Marriage Certificate

IELTS TRF form

Employment Letters

Education Certificates

Education Transcripts

WES report

POF

Police Clearance

Medical Report Form

Digital Photos (R450)

*  We didn’t do unabridged birth certificates for my wife and myself. 

Passports:

 Because you upload any travel history for the last 10 years, its more than likely that your old passport was used for some of the trips. So I took the cautious approach and scanned both the new and old biographical pages as well as all stamped pages from both and created a PDF of these scans and attached an LOE explaining my reasoning. The purpose being, you won’t be denied for uploading more than they ask, but you can be denied if you decided not to upload something that you didn’t think necessary.

Medicals: 10 November 2020

 Because we live in Durban, there is only one registered Dr. to do the medicals, Dr. Blankenburg in Westville. We managed to do everything in one morning and still get our son home for his lunch time nap. The process went as follows for us:

 We went to Ampath in Westville, with our passports and a colour photo, who had all the correct forms, and my wife and myself did our bloods and urine test, only children older than 15 do blood tests. Ampath then give us a completed form that we take with to the Dr’s rooms. Total Time, 20min

Total cost: R 788.80 (R344,40 each)

 Next up was the medical check with Dr. Lots of forms to fill in, but the actual time spent with Dr. is quite quick. An eye test, weight, height and normal pressure readings, and all was done. In and out in 40min. 

Total Cost: R3 300 (R1100 each)

Lastly was the X-Rays at Westville Hospital, apparently, they are able to upload direct to e-medical through an agreement so we didn’t have a choice, and I’m fairly sure we paid more than normal, but so be it, I knew going into this it would be expensive. Only children over 11 need X-Rays. Total time, 45min

Total Cost: R2 842.02 (R1 421.01 each)

Total Medical Cost 2 adults, 1 toddler: R 6 930,82

Last Step:

Once you are all done, and if you are like me and my wife, we spent 2 evening of about 4 hours checking and rechecking all the dates and info, and made sure our uploads were correctly named and uploaded correctly for each person (I have read people being rejected because they uploaded their spouses PCC instead of their own and not being allowed to rectify it). Thie biggest tip I can give you in this regard is to create a folder for each person, and name it exactly as the document checklist says and number it in the same order, that way it is easy to cross reference your upload to the required upload.

It was then time to submit and make payment!

Total Cost: R37 471.52 ($ 3 045) ($ 1 325 per adult, $ 225 per child, $ 170 biometrics fee) 

 

Total Cost for Submitting e-APR: R46 417,49

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LouiseV36
13 hours ago, JDP29 said:

 

Our Journey Part 3

 

We Got Our ITA!

Just when I thought I had everything under control, everything was going to plan, and Canada Immigration throw you a curve ball, fortunately nothing major but still causes you concern at the time. 

We submitted our EE Profile on the 20th October, expecting the draw on the 28th to be called, and our ITA in the mail, but on the 27th they change the scoring system to give French bilingual speakers more points, and have to update all the profiles first. We then resigned ourselves to wait another couple weeks for the next draw, and our timetable keeps shifting further. But randomly on a Thursday evening the 5th November, an email pops up with an update, they had done a draw, with a score of 478 and 4500 invites. We were part of those 4500 and our next step could begin. 

Submitting your e-APR:

So what happens after you receive your ITA, well for me everything I read and read seemed to disappear momentarily, looking through the application bought on a sudden bought of anxiety, so I decided to leave it till the next day and a fresh mind. 

The application is very similar to your EE profile, but they go into more detail into your personal life, a lot of the sections are prepopulated with your EE profile information. 

Some of the info they require that I found a little more time consuming was the following:

·      Address history for the last 10 years, for both spouses.

·      Travel History for the last 10 years. (I found the best way to this is write down the information in chronological order and transfer to the application)

·      Personal history for the last 10 years.

 Nothing was overly difficult, but I think that the result of getting it wrong becomes quite heavy when you’re filling everything out, but take your time, go through it a few times, and get your spouse or partner to go over it as well before submitting it. 

I decided to purchase a online tutorial pack from Canadian Immigration Institute called DIY Express Entry, it’s a phenomenal resource from an immigration lawyer with video and step by step instructions. Me felling was all of this costs so much that the $97 USD (R1 565,15), is a safety cushion just to make sure I didn’t mess up. I highly recommend purchasing it prior to even creating your EE profile, as it assists from before then.

Supporting Documentation:

 Proof of Funds: There is so much information available about what everyone did for their POF, but I will give our experience and what we did. 

 My wife went off to FNB, as all our accounts are with them. Fortunately, all our savings was in a 7-day notice account in her name, which made it easier. She asked for a confirmation letter for her profile, as well as 6 months’ worth of statements for cheque account, credit card and notice account and had each one stamped by the bank. Due to a bulk of our savings coming from an inheritance pay out less than 6 months before, we also got a letter from the accountants who administered the estate confirming the payment for authentication purposes, and that was it. Unfortunately, I can’t give more info on Annuities or RA’s or any more complicated situations. 

 We decided to do an LOE (letter of explanation) for our POF section. In it I explained what I was attaching, an explanation for the large deposit (inheritance), a table for the 3 accounts, with a closing balance for the last 6 months, as well as attaching our vehicle registrations, title deed and recent RA statement. Even though I know these last few attachments aren’t unencumbered funds, I stated that we would be selling the assets, and cashing out the RA upon financial emigration, and wanted to give a full picture of our financial situation, and that we had enough cash as required but we also had unencumbered assets to utilise as well. 

 I then created a PDF made up of the LOE, statements, title deed, RA statement, email and POP of inheritance and vehicle registrations, to make one uploadable PDF. Because there is so much info in your POF upload, make sure you scan the documents at lower settings to be within the 4mb upload limit.

 Employment Letters: You only have to submit letters for jobs you claimed as your experience when creating your EE profile, so if you are able to maximise the points for foreign experience without listing every job you have done, then do that, because it will save you time in trying to get letters for jobs that didn’t give you additional points, and why create a possible problem if you don’t need to? Besides, you are going to list them in your personal 10-year history section.

We each wrote our own letter for our employers which I explained in part 2 and had them sign them after they were satisfied with the contents. 

 Police Clearance Certificates: I explained this in part 1, and fortunately even though I did them as the very first step, they were still within their 6-month validity period.  

 Below is a table of all the documents we uploaded:

 

Passports (new and old)

Birth Certificate for child only

Marriage Certificate

IELTS TRF form

Employment Letters

Education Certificates

Education Transcripts

WES report

POF

Police Clearance

Medical Report Form

Digital Photos (R450)

*  We didn’t do unabridged birth certificates for my wife and myself. 

Passports:

 Because you upload any travel history for the last 10 years, its more than likely that your old passport was used for some of the trips. So I took the cautious approach and scanned both the new and old biographical pages as well as all stamped pages from both and created a PDF of these scans and attached an LOE explaining my reasoning. The purpose being, you won’t be denied for uploading more than they ask, but you can be denied if you decided not to upload something that you didn’t think necessary.

Medicals: 10 November 2020

 Because we live in Durban, there is only one registered Dr. to do the medicals, Dr. Blankenburg in Westville. We managed to do everything in one morning and still get our son home for his lunch time nap. The process went as follows for us:

 We went to Ampath in Westville, with our passports and a colour photo, who had all the correct forms, and my wife and myself did our bloods and urine test, only children older than 15 do blood tests. Ampath then give us a completed form that we take with to the Dr’s rooms. Total Time, 20min

Total cost: R 788.80 (R344,40 each)

 Next up was the medical check with Dr. Lots of forms to fill in, but the actual time spent with Dr. is quite quick. An eye test, weight, height and normal pressure readings, and all was done. In and out in 40min. 

Total Cost: R3 300 (R1100 each)

Lastly was the X-Rays at Westville Hospital, apparently, they are able to upload direct to e-medical through an agreement so we didn’t have a choice, and I’m fairly sure we paid more than normal, but so be it, I knew going into this it would be expensive. Only children over 11 need X-Rays. Total time, 45min

Total Cost: R2 842.02 (R1 421.01 each)

Total Medical Cost 2 adults, 1 toddler: R 6 930,82

Last Step:

Once you are all done, and if you are like me and my wife, we spent 2 evening of about 4 hours checking and rechecking all the dates and info, and made sure our uploads were correctly named and uploaded correctly for each person (I have read people being rejected because they uploaded their spouses PCC instead of their own and not being allowed to rectify it). Thie biggest tip I can give you in this regard is to create a folder for each person, and name it exactly as the document checklist says and number it in the same order, that way it is easy to cross reference your upload to the required upload.

It was then time to submit and make payment!

Total Cost: R37 471.52 ($ 3 045) ($ 1 325 per adult, $ 225 per child, $ 170 biometrics fee) 

 

Total Cost for Submitting e-APR: R46 417,49

And now you are in the hurry up and wait part.

This was the worst part.  You will constantly check you CIC account.  And wait and wait and wait.

But when you get that golden e-mail it is the best feeling in the world.

All the best with this part.  Try not let it make you crazy.

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