Since my last report I have
been working rather hard on getting my immigration application together
and boy is it time consuming.
Clearly you need to provide
proof of everything you claim in the application forms of which there are
four of them to complete. It's not complicated but you have to
gather together so much information and then try to organize it all into a
package that hopefully will make it easy to use for the immigration folk.
I think I've re-done my
covering letter about a dozen times so far :-)
At time of writing I only
have to get proof of the formation of the USA company which hopefully will
come tonight as the paperwork is down with Steve in Kentucky. I will also
need to get the check tomorrow for the application fees.
One of the problems I had
was that they want to know the addresses of all the places you have stayed
since aged 18 and that was a real problem. I couldn't for the life
of me remember where I lived in Coventry. I could visualize it but
couldn't remember the address. Then I remembered it was next to the
"Chestnut Tree" pub so looked for that on the web and found it and of
course as I was just next door I got the address.
The same kind of problem
applied to where I had worked. Of course I remembered every place I
had worked but seeing as I am now 54 years of age I was having to try and
remember all the dates back to aged 18.
They do want you to provide
proof of you having worked in your various jobs over the past 10 years but
as I was the owner and MD of all my companies over the past 10 years it
seemed a bit daft to sign my own letter and so I simply had to provide
some proof that I did own them.
Another problem I had was
to provide the birth and death dates of my parents. While I
remembered the days I couldn't remember the years of their birth. So
it was another scramble to find those.
You also have to show your
job codes so that immigration can see the work you have done and while you
only need to complete the first 10 years on the form another one indicates
it wants to know every job since 18. So it was off to their web site
to figure out all the jobs that I've had and capture the codes for the
In my case the covering
letter, which is some 9 pages, also includes lots of links to pages on the
web site to try and explain the work that I do. I felt it might be an idea
to produce a web page version of the letter in case it would help them to
check everything out. It's no fun having to type in lots of web
addresses. So am hoping this idea might be of some help to them and
earn me some brownie points :-)
You also need to produce
proof that you have enough funds to live in Canada and on the immigration
guides they give you tables which show the minimum funds you must have to
come into Canada. Of course it is helpful if you can also show that you
also have enough income to live here and so some proof of income is
useful. A letter from an employer in Canada is perfect but in my case
being self employed I really needed to show some income so I sent them
some recent bank statements. Be warned that they are really looking for
funds in Canada so it is helpful if you can have the minimum level of
capital here in Canada and it in any event it does need to be liquid
capital and not tied up in a house.
So my total presentation is
quite large with all the supporting information. I've found a
plastic binder to cover it all and I went and purchased dividers to put
everything into sections. Have not found a way to keep it all
together so looks like it will have to go into a jiffy bag and just hope
they don't spill it all out when they open it. I might head back to office
depot to see if I can find another way of keeping it all together.
I must have gone through
half a ream of paper getting everything together. I've always had
this problem that when on the screen all looks to be fine but when printed
out you notice mistakes and have to print them out again.
You also have to get police
statements saying they don't have any record of criminal activity about
you and that can take around 6 weeks. In my case I also didn't have a
record of my school certificates so had to order these up as well.
In all cases there are fees to pay for these items.
You also need to provide 4
photographs of yourself and you have to ensure they comply with the
standards they supply on the appendix of the application.
In my case I delayed
everything so I could get all my addresses changed from Toronto to Chatham
and I decided to put all my cards together and take a photocopy of them
all although I'm not sure that was really needed. These are my SIN
card, OHIP card, Canadian Driving License and my credit cards. I tend to
work on the presumption that if they might want it then include it.
I was told that if I didn't provide some information then they would need
to write to me for it and thus delay the process. And so I feel it's
more a case of if they might need it, send it.
It's also important that
when listing jobs and addresses that you don't leave any gaps or if you do
leave gaps then you need to explain them otherwise they will simply write
to you asking for an explanation.
The whole idea is to
present as complete a case as you can so that they don't need to get back
to you for any additional information which would just delays things.
I also got a form from the
meeting I had in the Canadian Consulate in Detroit and that is supposed to
give you a bit of a fast track on the process. You are told to put
this right on the top so it is the first thing they see when they open the
package. In my case this was only good if I got my application in by the
end of May 2005 and hence my needing to get a move on with all this.
You also need to keep
checking everything and once all has been checked and pulled together you
really need to do one final check that everything is there. You need
to ask yourself - "If I have said this how do they know it's correct?".
They are not going to take your word for things so you need to be able to
prove anything that you claim. For example, I said I'd done a column
in the Family Tree Newspaper so I went and printed a couple of issues to
show that I had really done that. I said I wrote a weekly email
newsletter so I printed out one for them to see. I said I'd spent 2 years
moving around Scotland, USA and Canada so I gave them the urls of my
So when in doubt include
the information as if they need to clarify anything it will just add to
the waiting time. In my case I was told that it could take up to 18
months to approve my application but thanks to the form from Detroit it
might take just 6 months but you never know for sure. I am told that I
shouldn't have a problem in extending my work permit for another year if I
haven't heard by the time it expires although I suspect I'll need to get
in touch a good month before it expires just to make certain.
I had intended to make a
self employed application but was advised by Larry at the Toronto Business
Immigration office that I'd be better to do a Federal Skilled Worker
immigration application. He felt I had the required points total for this
and that it would be a lot faster. So taking his advice this is what I
have done. You do apparently get 10 points if you are on a work permit and
a further 5 points for adaptability. So this certainly helped.
Should you want to see if
you quality for skilled worker immigration you can take the test online at
And all the information
about immigration to Canada can be found at
And so this is what I have
been working on these past few days :-)