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  1. 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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  2. 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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