27 June 2011

The Decision To Immigrate To Canada

So, picture this if you will! You have been on holiday/vacation to somewhere nice, you have enjoyed the culture, the people, the sights and sounds, the lifestyle, you feel energized and now you are packing your suitcase back up, gathering your memories of your trip soon to be heading to an airport. Soon you are up in the air for a period of time with nothing much to do but contemplate the time you have just had on holiday and that voice creeps in your head saying, 'Why am I going back?'.

Well, the second time I left Canada after seeing my girlfriend who lives here in Canada I had that voice in my head and right there mid way over the Atlantic ocean I decided to apply for immigration to Canada. I know what some of you are thinking, 'It is a different thing visiting a place to living in a place'. I know this, but you can live your life with 'what if's', but the only 'what if' that I would regret is what if I didn't try this?

The fact that my girlfriend was in Canada simply was my decision to apply for immigration. It was an easier decision for myself, single, mid 30's, no major commitments in the UK such as property, loans etc, compared to maybe uprooting a family, sell a home, pay loans, find a school for kids etc. There are many factors that some people would need to consider, however there are plenty of families that have done this not just to Canada but to other places, and likewise some people have done this to move to the UK. For me it was a fairly easy decision, but for others it maybe not so straight forward. But if you do make that decision, be ready for a long drawn out process, nothing difficult, but a lengthy one.

There are many ways to immigrate to Canada, but I can only speak of my approach which was to apply for a skilled worker visa. Your first port of call must be the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website. Perhaps more important as a starting point would be to check online if you have the appropriate general points that will indicate if you are eligible to apply. You can check this using the self assessment test for skilled workers, remember this is the process I went through, there are many other ways to apply for visa's in Canada.

The CIC website gets updates on a regular basis as the government changes their policies regarding immigration and so you should check the website on a regular basis. I know that in 2010 that they were limiting the number of applications that they were processing, this was due to the backlog of applications they were dealing with and the goal was to reduce processing times. It is worth pointing out here that if I had left my application for another year I probably wouldn't have been successful, also my National Occupation Code (NOC) was no longer on the list of trades that was needed in Canada. I am not sure how long the government will keep this cap in place but details can be found here.

The one thing I will say about the process of immigration to Canada under the skilled worker visa is that it is not difficult, nor is it too costly compared to other countries. There are plenty of agencies out there that will do all the paper work for you, but seriously the paperwork is not difficult and these agencies will cost a fortune for what I have done myself, which is not a lot just a lot of waiting! Just over two years for myself from initial application to actually landing in Canada.

I guess my point is this with regarding to emigrating to anywhere is that if you find yourself on that plane hearing that voice asking, 'Why am I going back?' then maybe you should act upon that voice. Stop putting it off for another year as in my experience that could have been a year too late!

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