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Friday, December 26th, 2014
12:10 pm - Question about the Case Processing Center in Ottawa

So, I sincerely thank everyone here who's been so helpful to me and answered all my questions. I was checking the CIC website, and I noticed that in the processing times section of the site, based on the geographical region of the Americas, the CPC-O said it had a wait time of 16 months. Does that mean I could mail in my permanent residency application to them directly? Or is that impossible and I would have to go half-way across the country to either L.A. or New York City? If I could somehow get my hands on an application packet and just send it to them through the post, that would be ideal. I await your answers patiently.

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Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
8:21 pm - I have a serious question... again.

My fiancee and I are finally getting married next September. We've had a lot of difficulties getting to this stage, mostly from her family, but it's finally happening. The thing is, we still haven't started the process of my Canadian immigration. Originally, I was supposed to visit her for her 30th birthday, but it's likely that she'll be coming south of the US/CA border instead. The thing is, I had planned to go to an immigration attorney even if just to ask questions and get squared the plan squared away and, if possible, under way. Now I'm wondering exactly how I would go about getting paperwork. Also, is it possible to get my hands on the forms for spousal immigration before actually being married? For example, she takes them to the states with her and we fill them out together, and then I apply with the fees attached from the states?

What I guess I'm basically asking about is what would the best plan of action be depending on both outcomes, i.e. I go there for her birthday, or she comes here instead?

Honestly, I'm pretty stupid when it comes to legal jargon, so PLEASE break it down for me in simple speak.

(3 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
6:42 pm - Quick question

Is it a thing for Canadians to visit all the provinces either accidently through the course of normal life or purposefully?

I hope I'm phrasing this right and this is the appropriate place for this post. I'm just super curious! Thanks in advance for any responses.

(7 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014
2:23 pm - Changing name after immigration

Hello again,

I am a US citizen and have been living in Ontario as a permanent resident for about a year now, and I have some questions for anyone who's changed their name after recently immigrating.

I didn't take my husband's last name immediately after marrying, because we had already begun gathering our paperwork months before the wedding (which took place in Ontario). I didn't want to deal with updating my passport, license, security papers, etc., at the time. But now that we're settled, I would like to change my last name.

So here are my questions:

Will I have to change my last name in both the US and Canada? Just the US? Just Canada? Will changing my last name invalidate all of my current documents (i.e., passport, health card, SIN card, etc.) and therefore require me to apply for new ones? Is anyone at all familiar with the name-change process in Canada or the US? For example, which gov't agency deals with the paperwork, what documentation (birth certificate, marriage certificate) is necessary, etc.?

Also, my husband is originally from a country where the naming convention adds an "a" if it's a woman's last name. Will it be an issue that our names would therefore not look exactly the same (e.g., Belyakov vs. Belyakova)?

Thanks in advance, and thanks also for all the help you guys have given me throughout this entire process.

(2 comments | comment on this)

Saturday, January 11th, 2014
3:38 pm - Establishing time together to be eligible for permanent residency
tamarasisu Hello there!

I am a Canadian citizen and my fiancé is an American. He has lived with me for 6 months in Canada. He is returning to the US today to reset his clock. We have some of questions:

Question 1. How long should one stay out of the country in order to reset the clock? To my knowledge this is not mentioned anywhere on the CIC site.

We want to build up another 6 months living together in Canada in order to be eligible to apply for family sponsored (common-law) permanent residency. We also are planning to marry and hopefully have a child within the next year.

We assume that they track all border movement because of the radio frequency chip imbedded within all US passports. So upon returning to Canada they will know that he just spent 6 months here and they will likely question why it was such a long visit and why he is re-entering.

Question 2. Would it be detrimental to state to the border guards that we are trying to build up enough time to be eligible for a family sponsored permanent residency application?

Question 3. Would it be detrimental to say he is intending to come into Canada for another 6 months?

I understand that he needs to maintain proof of ties to the US. His online business is registered in the US and due to the nature of it he can work remotely from Canada or anywhere.

Question 4. Besides having a business tied to the US, a mailing address, and bank account, is there anything else that he should consider using as proof of US ties?

He is very nervous of not being granted entry or having the amount of time reduced.

Question 5. Is there any way of requesting an extension of the time granted to visit Canada if it is less than the maximum 6 months?

Thanks so much in advance! Tamarasisu

(2 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
9:14 pm - Where to start?

Hey all you helpful human beings!

I decided to try if I could find some help here, I've been checking out a million different websites about immigration to Canada and working there etc. but right now I just feel like my head is about to explode because of all the information...

So anyway, I'm a 26-year-old Finnish woman, born and raised, 100 % Finnish. I've been dreaming about living in Toronto or nearby for quite a while now and ever since my relationship came to an end a while ago I sort of gave that dream a real chance.

Yes, there's plenty of information about immigration online but it's mostly for students or people who already have a job etc. My situation; working in Finland now doing waiting jobs on passenger ferries that operate between Finland and Sweden. I acknowledge that moving to another country requires money and time, that's why I'm bringing this up now - I'm planning to move in around a minimum of year or two once I've managed to save up money and get rid of most of my material belongings.

What I'm wanting to know is, in general, what sort of requirements do they have in Toronto if I want to some day live and work there? For example in Finland if you want to work in a restaurant or a bar you need to have a document showing you have successfully completed an exam on serving alcohol, in a kitchen you need a similar pass on hygiene. Here they don't necessarily require a degree in the field you're planning to work in if you have enough work experience or good references etc. This kind of stuff I'd be interested in!

I don't have a high school diploma but I have an equivalent vocational school degree in audiovisual communication. My English skills (spoken and written) are excellent as well so that shouldn't be a problem at least! I have around 2-3 years' worth of full time work experience, all in customer service jobs.

Do you guys think I would have any chance to live in Toronto some day? And where should I start with my long project of one day living there?

ANY help will be extremely... well, helpful, and I'd be tremendously grateful for any bit of information you can provide me with.

TL;DR: A Finnish girl desperately wants to move to Toronto and wants to know would that even be possible, and what she needs to do before that.

(8 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
3:19 pm - Serious question..

It's been some time since I was last here.. and recently while looking further into immigration to Canada, I found this "partner sponsorship" thing.. is that seriously a legit way for my fiancee and I to live together there? we've been together for a little shy of 3 years, engaged almost 2. And we are both rather poor.. I don't have a job offer in Canada and I'm not in school. So, if this sponsorship thing is an actual way to live together with her in Canada, are there any prerequisites, OR can I seriously just move up there as long as we stay in the relationship? Also, is it possible to use a permanent residency card to apply for work? I was reading something about preventing marriage fraud referencing this very "sponsorship" and apparently certain "types" of people will fake marry to get a permanent residency card.. and that was the only reason I could think of why they'd fake marry to get it, to get a job.. no? Seriously.. needing answers!

(6 comments | comment on this)

Monday, April 1st, 2013
8:04 am

Hi, folks. I have a question I'm asking for a friend: he was born in the US to a Canadian father and a US mother and is thinking about moving to Canada. Does the fact the his father is a Canadian citizen afford him any special rights or priveleges as far as becoming a citizen of or resident in Canada even though he was born in the US?
Thank you.

(3 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, March 31st, 2013
12:41 pm - Financial Aid

I am presently in Canada as a temporary worker and I have an application for permanent residency in process under the Quebec Skilled Worker class (programme d'experience quebequoise). I was just recently notified of my admission to a CEGEP for a 3-year professional career program.

I do not expect my permanent residency to be finalized before August so I am fully anticipating needing to get a study permit and all that jazz, which is unfortunate because permanent residency would get me free tuition and access to all sorts of financial aid...

Does anyone have any experience getting financial aid as a foreign student? What can I qualify for? Does having a Quebec Selection Certificate give me any advantages in my situation?

I'm also assuming that by applying for a study permit I will have to lose my work permit? I don't know what the rules are about these kinds of things...

Thanks for your help!

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Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
4:28 pm - Will having a Fiance in Canada hurt my chances at a Study Permit?
eternal_one9079 Hello all! Sorry for the long post but I felt I should put as much info in as I can:

I am a US citizen and was accepted to a Canadian College and have received financial aid for it. In addition I have been saving up money for a few months and just had an interview for an on-campus job that it was determined that I was a great candidate for and should hear back from them next week. No criminal records or anything and I have been admitted to Canada several times in the past year to visit my Fiance, sometimes for several weeks, and have always left when my visitor visa was up. So all in all I have had no previous issues entering Canada.

However I need to apply at the border next month for my Study Permit and I read somewhere that if the officer does not believe you will be leaving Canada once your visa is up, they will not admit you one. I talked to my international student advisor about this and she said it is mainly a system in place to prevent people who try to enter Canada under the premise of studying but end up not doing that. However she did say that if I divulged the information that I will be staying with my Fiance and her father, they might think I am trying to cheat the system or something. However I told her that I told them that I had entered before and had told the CIC that I have a fiance. She said that they will have that on file so its best not to lie (I won't lie obviously because I don't want to get in trouble) and that she thought it wouldn't be and issue. However her answer to me was kinda back and forth so I thought I'd get some other opinions.

Basically I am concerned that I won't be admitted to Canada to study based off my pre-existing relationship, although I am planning on teaching overseas once I get my degree and will of course leave Canada if/when my visa expires as I don't want to cause any issues. Should I be worried about this? Any help will be greatly appreciated!

(1 comment | comment on this)

Monday, February 18th, 2013
4:33 pm - Ways to fund a Private Career College education?

(Wow, I had to log back into my ancient livejournal account... @_@ do forgive the dust)


I was refereed to this community by a friend in Toronto who used it to help her with her student permit and then immigration through the 'spousal' method, when she married her husband ^^. I hope you might be able to help me with this conundrum:

I am a U.S. citizen and after visiting Toronto twice to see my friends and attend TCAF, I began to search for ways to move there. I tried applying for work, but did not learn till recently how much red tape an employer has to go through to hire a foreign employee. So my friend suggested the school route.

The school I preferred and applied for was Max the Mutt School for Animation.

And what do you know, I was accepted!

But being that Max is a private career college, I am having issues finding a way of funding my tuition. My family has agreed to do it as a last resort, but I, and they, would rather not resort to that if at all possible.

I have found scholarships and the like I can apply for, but, just incase, I need a base method to pay my tuition for sure.

I checked the FASFA site already, and my previous student loan provider (I have a bachelor's from a U.S. college already) and neither can help or are throwing me any bones.

If anyone has dealt with this situation before, or has any advice (or even a bit of good cheer), it would be DEEPLY appreciated.

Thank you for your time!

(5 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, February 10th, 2013
4:24 pm - Important question. Need help ASAP.

Okay so... It's once again me, and while looking through the website for the City of Toronto dealing with the marriage requirements, I stumbled upon a problem. http://www.toronto.ca/marriage/
See, the problem is that other than the Passport, which really is just a passport card, I don't have any other probable type of identification. I had a state ID but that expired, and I don't drive. Would it be a good idea to get that renewed? And also, would they accept a state ID instead of a Driver's Liscense? Would they accept my passport card?

Really needing help. Getting married to my fiancee in 2 months up in Ontario.

(3 comments | comment on this)

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
6:48 pm - Me again.

Thanks for everyone's help earlier with my initial post. While looking all the comments and replies over, I now believe that either inside or outside spousal would work best. But after settling that issue with myself, I started pondering another one about work permits. How much do they cost? How do I go about getting one? Which would be the best type of permit in my situation? How long would it take to get?

I once again await your replies. :)

(4 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
3:33 pm - Need help with Canadian immigration ASAP.

Hello, I'm Joe. I'm 25 years old and I'm currently engaged to a beautiful, 27 year old, Canadian model, Frances. Here is a picture of us from last year outside my Nebraska home. Profile Pic with Fran

Due to some credit card issues, Fran can't move down here, and can't really sponsor me, I think, though I could POSSIBLY be wrong.. Basically, I need to move to Canada (Ontario), in as little time as possible. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please, someone, help a fella' out!

A QUICK NOTE: Neither of us know how to drive. So the way we traverse back and forth is by bus or plane. Soooo, yeah.

current mood: confused

(22 comments | comment on this)

Monday, November 26th, 2012
2:30 pm

Just a quick question. My visitor's visa expires November 30th. I applied for a very small extension on September 30th, but haven't heard back one way or another. Am I allowed to stay at least until I receive an answer?

In my previous post, I asked about leaving the country multiple times throughout October, and they allowed me to return each time. During my last return, I let the border guard know that I had applied for an extension on my visa, and he let me through, saying I could have them print it at Immigration, or just keep waiting for it in the mail. I opted for waiting (it was cold and late, we'd driven 9 hours, and I was happy to not have to go to Immigration for once), but I'm not sure if that was the right decision.

(4 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, November 4th, 2012
9:23 pm - Nova Scotia questions...

So, my wife and I are hoping to restart our escape from Britain and have been looking around Canada for a place to settle. We're kinda done living in a city, but being a lesbian couple are a bit wary of living too far out in the sticks, which I hear can be a bit Tory and homophobic.

However, during our exploratory googling we randomly hit upon the Annapolis Valley - and specifically Wolfville - as somewhere that looks really interesting. We're trying to sort out making it over there for a proper visit, but before we do, has anyone got any comments on the LGBTQ atmosphere in that area?

Cheers folks.

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
10:21 pm - visitor status

Hi again! My husband and I submitted our sponsorship application at the end of August, and I'm currently staying with him in Canada until the end of October. (ETA: Will they notify us when they begin processing it? There's currently no info on his account as to whether or not it's been received, but perhaps that's because they're still working on applications from July? I'm really nervous, and also anxious at the idea that I may have to re-do all of that paperwork if it gets lost in the mail.)

I have a Visitor Record stapled into my passport now. Got it in July, and it expires on November 30th. There's a big note at the bottom that says "THIS DOES NOT AUTHORIZE RE-ENTRY." So I have a few questions.

1. My husband and I are going to see a concert in New York on October 18th. We will not be spending the night in the US, just driving to the show and back. What are the odds they won't let me back into Canada after the show, given the fact the above document will not yet have expired, and that my intention is to leave again a week later?

2. On October 25th, we will be driving back to the US to celebrate our wedding (which was in Ottawa in June) with my/our family and friends, and then we will be staying in NY for a week for our honeymoon (the hotel is already booked). I would really like to accompany my husband back to Canada afterward (November 2nd or 3rd - can't remember the check-out date). What are the odds they won't let me back in, with the visitor's doc again still being valid?

3. My husband and I have tickets to see a concert in Ottawa on December 7th, which we got back in May. If I were to apply to extend my status as a visitor now and then purchase a plane ticket home (aiming for December 16th), what are the odds that after our honeymoon, they will let me back in (until December 16th)? Would I need to apply for the extension online, or is that something I could do at the border if I show proof of my plane ticket home? I would really like to get an idea of what would happen in this situation before I drop $300-400 on a plane ticket... :/

4. And finally, the plan so far is for my husband to visit me in the US around New Year's, at which point he may or may not attempt to take me back to Canada with him. Is there a certain length of time after an extended visit that I should wait before attempting to return? Ideally, I would like to come back in January (or February) and stay until May, at which point I will have to return home to fulfil job duties. Then in June, my husband and I will be travelling to Russia to visit his family. We won't have tickets by Jan or Feb, probably, but would it help to inform the border guard of this?

Actually, I have one more question - completely unrelated.

5. My FBI background check is already expired. Should I send for a new one in anticipation that Immigration will probably request it anyway, or should I wait for them to actually request a new one? I don't think they've even opened my application yet, so I'm worried that if I apply for one now, it'll be expired again by the time they need it. But if I wait, it could delay the process...

Thanks in advance to anyone who even read all of this, and also thanks for all the help with my previous posts. @_@

(4 comments | comment on this)

Sunday, June 17th, 2012
7:32 pm - PR success! (and timeline)

Hi everyone! I think it's been quite awhile since anyone has posted a timeline, but I just became a permanent resident on Thursday (YAY!), so I thought I'd share my timeline. I applied via the spousal class, with my application being processed outside Canada. I've also been in Canada for about two years on a work permit, and live in Ontario.

February 2011 - fingerprints done, sent to FBI
March 2011 - FBI clearance received, application paperwork filled out
March - June 2011 - documentation collected for application
June 17 2011 - immigration medical exam
June 24 2011 - application fee paid, application mailed to CIC

November 2011 - husband approved as sponsor, application sent on to visa office in States
February 28 2012 - received letter requesting payment of right of permanent residence fee and proof of immigration medical exam
March 9 2012 - RPR fee paid, receipt and proof of medical sent to visa office
end of May 2012 - payment of fee processed
May 31 2012 - request for passport
June 1 2012 - passport and photos mailed
June 11 2012 - received passport and confirmation of permanent residence
June 14 2012 - landed at Niagara Falls!

I'm so happy and relieved to be done with the process and to finally be a permanent resident! I think that my FBI clearance came back so quickly because I'd already had one done once before in order to get my work permit. Also, the delay between my payment of the RPRF and them processing that payment was I think due to the fact that I'd mailed a copy of my receipt to the visa office that was processing my application, but not to the processing center in Mississauga, which I was apparently also supposed to do. Once I sent it to them as well, they processed it right away.

Hope my timeline is helpful to anyone else applying for their PR. So excited to finally be here on a permanent basis!

current mood: happy

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Tuesday, May 15th, 2012
7:53 pm - Wanting to Move to Ontario

Hi, everyone. I am new to this journal and was curious if anyone had any ideas for me and my fiance. We met 6 months ago and I am currently living in Michigan and him in Ontario. I am wanting to move myself and my almost two year old son (who I have sole, physical custody of)  to Ontario, but we do not know where to start. It seems as if every site we go to really doesnt help us out, and just gives us information that talks in circles. If anyone who  is in or has been in a similar situation could maybe give us a few ideas, we would greatly appreciate it. We are both wanting to be with each other so bad, but it seems like there's a barrier that wont let it happen.

current mood: pessimistic

(3 comments | comment on this)

Saturday, April 14th, 2012
8:40 am

Hi there! I found this community by accident and I've been reading a lot of back entries. You guys are really helpful!

So if you don't mind, I need some advice on my current situation to make sure we're doing this right.

I met my fiance back in 2006 online. We had been best friends since then and started dating in 2009. I traveled up to Canada to live with him for a few months and after a lot of drama at the border, they let me in with a four-month visitor's pass. We hit it off quite well and have been together ever since. He visits me at least two times a year and I try and visit once, but with our jobs, that's rather hard sometimes.

A bit of background on both of us, we're both 25 and he lives near Toronto, ON and I'm from West Virginia. He's a factory supervisor with a high school education. I have my BS from WVU in Animal Science and I work as a Vet Tech (WV doesn't require you to be certified, so I never took the test to become registered) and a Dog Groomer for a huge cooperate company for which I am under a two-year contract. The company I work for has bases up in Canada and my job transfers, as long as I can work legally in Canada. I've already talked to the President of all the stores in Canada and he just told me that I would put in a transfer and I'd have to talk to him a few months prior to me moving.

Because of this and my education, we decided it would be easier for me to cross the border and come to Canada instead of him coming here. The place he's renting allows dogs, he has a spare room for me already, and there is a place quite close to his house that I could work.

Last month, he went and talked to an immigration lawyer who advised him to sponsor me and for me to apply for a work VISA. But he told us to get married first. We're waiting to see if his vacation days go through, but we're planning for the marriage to happen around the first week of June.

So, while we're waiting, I've been trying to do research down to the nitty gritty to find out if we're doing this right and what to expect as we go along so I can plan for it. Any advice is greatly, greatly appreciated since I'm rather lost about this whole thing and no one around here has done such a thing. You should have seen the confusion at the courthouse when I asked the laws and what he'd need for us to get married.

(7 comments | comment on this)

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