Showing posts with label Landing Concerns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Landing Concerns. Show all posts

March 8, 2016

As a Permanent Resident, May I stay outside Canada longer than 6 months?

Filipinos leaving the Philippines with Immigrant Visa are required to attend Pre-Departure Orientation Seminar (PDOS) conducted by Commission of Filipinos Overseas.  Even if you have the the Immigrant Visa, you can't leave the country if you do not have proof that you have attended the PDOS.  This is a mandatory requirement by the government to make money to make sure that Filipinos are aware of their rights, responsibilities and the do's and dont's while abroad.

Now there are clients who after attending the PDOS are asking us if it's true that as Permanent Resident in Canada, they can't live outside Canada longer than 6 months.  This is contrary to what we are telling our clients.  

As a Permanent Resident, is it ok to stay outside Canada longer than 6 months?

March 7, 2016

Your First Two Weeks in Canada

This video, prepared by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will help you get ready for your new life in Canada. It will explain some of the things you should do during your first two weeks in Canada to help make the transition easier.

June 3, 2011

How to Keep Your Car If Entering Canada from the U.S.

Many immigrants from Asia applying for Canadian visas came to the United States first. If they had established livelihoods in the U.S. for years before being told they could no longer re-apply for a visa or gain citizenship, it presents a particular problem about where to go to next. Either they can go back to their home country or try another industrialized nation to move to. Immigrants in America who are told they cannot stay oftentimes look to relocating to the U.S.'s northern neighbor as an option to preserve their western way of life.

Canadian immigration bureaucracy aside, the transition can be difficult. Even assuming you clear the qualification hurdles and successfully cut through the red tape, the cultural shift from the U.S. to Canada is not like moving from New York to Pennsylvania. You undoubtedly already had the difficult task of understanding and adapting to the American way of life, and despite the similarities in language, geography, and culture, the two countries are very different. Prepare for higher taxes and a harder time finding a place to settle that has accessibility to employment and the necessities for a family you may or may not have in tow.

But there are perks. The higher tax means better social welfare programs especially for those getting started on a visa. It also means superior public transit, something you might not be familiar with if you originally lived in the US. Chances are you got yourself an automobile while living in America, so you might opt to put it in a metropolitan storage center, like a Toronto self storage facility, if you can't find a place to live right away that has room for a vehicle. If you move to a Canadian city then mass transit will easily take you wherever you need to go, and anywhere else can be accessed by getting the car out or taking the train.

They say America is the land of opportunity but if the U.S. government rejects your visa then perhaps your only hope of further opportunity lies in Canada. But remember the process is not easy, and even success through the rigmarole of becoming a temporary and hopefully permanent subject of the Commonwealth of Canada doesn't mean you won't have further logistical issues to worry about. But if there's a will there's a way, and if you had the will once to journey across the ocean to get to the U.S., then relocating once more across the northern border will be a cinch.

March 2, 2010

Online Resource for Newcomers | Finding newcomer services in your area

As you may have noticed, more and more applicants are getting their visas within a short processing period of 6 months on the average. These new immigrants will have a common concern once they landed in Canada - Finding newcomer services in their area.

Well, here's a good news.

Minister Kenney announces expanded on-line resource for newcomers
Ottawa, March 1, 2010 — From finding information on how to start a new business to opening a bank account, there are many steps newcomers take to successfully make their way in Canada. Now, an internet resource has been created for newcomers to help them quickly and easily find a range of government services, in addition to settlement services, in their communities, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today. This resource is easy to find at

“The Services for Newcomers resource has been put in place to help newcomers find the private sector and government services they need to succeed. With this resource, newcomers will easily find the many services available to them, such as how to buy their first home,” said Minister Kenney. “This can only increase their chance of successful integration within their new communities, and this is an important goal for Canada.” [Source]

The said Online Resource for newcomers has two major services being offered - Community Service and Government Service.

Community services for newcomers include free services such as:
  • language training

  • help with everyday tasks

  • finding a job

  • helping newcomers adjust to life in Canada

  • Government services include:
  • driver's license

  • passport

  • health care

  • government benefits

  • For more information, visit

    Before moving to Canada, be very sure to check out Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP) too!

    December 16, 2009

    Welcome Centers for Newcomers in Canada

    A prospective client asked me an interesting question yesterday. She is a Registered Nurse without known relatives or friends in Canada. 'Who will guide me once I landed in Canada?', she asked.

    Welcome to Canada
    Image from

    I told her that there are Welcome Centers for Newcomers in Canada managed by various organizations in Canada whose main objective is to provide support for newly-landed immigrants. These organizations are in fact receiving financial support from the Canadian Government. Support is everywhere.

    Here are some of the organizations which would be of great help:

  • Thurder Bay Multicultural Association - a non-profit organization whose objective is to encourage and facilitate co-operation among ethnic organizations in promoting the concept of multiculturalism.

  • Central Alberta Refugee Effort Committee (C.A.R.E.) and Catholic Social Services (CSS) - organizations providing support for newcomers in Red Deer

  • And just recently, it was announced by Newmarket-Aurora MP Lois Brown that the Government of Canada is investing in four New York Region Welcome Centers to help immigrants settle and integrate into Canada. The Welcome Centers will be managed by the following local community organizations:

  • Markham North: Job Skills Employment and Business Programs and Supports

  • Markham South: Centre for Information and Community Services

  • Newmarket: Social Enterprise for Canada

  • Richmond Hill: Catholic Community Services of York Region

  • I will update this post later to include other Welcome Centers in Canada.

    It is indeed easier if you have relatives and friends in Canada, but it will never be a problem if you don't.

    October 17, 2009

    Language Training Vouchers for Newcomers

    Language Training Vouchers is the latest program by the Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Canada. It will benefit newcomers who are permanent residents and need official language training currently access free training via local settlement service providers. Initially the program will be available to some 2,000 newcomers, chosen randomly in Ontario, Nova Scotia and Alberta.

    “Language Training Vouchers” to help newcomers succeed

    Ottawa, October 16, 2009 — Starting this fall, new immigrants will receive “Language Training Vouchers” as part of a pilot project to encourage newcomers to participate in settlement programs, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced today.

    “Speaking English or French is key to finding meaningful employment and successfully integrating into Canadian society,” said Minister Kenney. “Whatever we can do to help newcomers take language training is a step in the right direction.”

    More information here.

    September 20, 2009

    Landing in Canada: Prepare yourselves

    Since more and more are receiving their permanent residents visa fast, the next concern that these applicants will have is how to prepare themselves for their landing in Canada. Here are some tips from a former colleague at Canadian Immigration Consultancy, Ms. Marivic Solis.

    Landing in Canada: Prepare yourselves

    She landed in Canada on December 2008. You will learn a thing or two from her experience.

    So, this is it! The minute I landed at the Vancouver International Airport, I get to experience the things that I used to tell our clients. Now, putting those tips in reality is another thing. I realized that most of the tips we shared to our clients were the same tips that I applied in my own situation. There are a bit of some deviations but it only boils down to one thing ---- the feeling of landing as an immigrant to Canada is an extraordinary one.

    Euphoric first days
    The first few days upon landing in Canada is revealing for a first-time immigrant. One good thing about the Canadian government is that they have a well-funded immigrant settlement program. Thanks to the immigrant organizations. I have the opportunity of dealing with the Centre for Newcomers and the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association. Both of them have Filipino counselors. (It is a lot different dealing with “kababayans” since they will give you 150% support.) These organization offer more than just providing you with information. CIWA for instance, offers free legal clinic that allows you to talk to an immigration lawyer or to a family lawyer (for free). Also, at CIWA, I had the chance to do volunteer work which counts as a Canadian experience – something that you can put into your resume when looking for a job. I volunteered to work for the Women’s Day and to assist the computer instructor in his classes.

    It also pays to be resourceful and find out what programs and services you can benefit out of being a new immigrant. There are more good things than bad --- you get a free bed (the only setback is that you need to wait for a few months). If you go to Scotia Bank and tell them that you are new immigrant, they welcome you by letting you open without putting up a deposit (incidentally, I had already set up my account with another bank until I learned that this bank has a better program for new immigrants.) Scotia Bank will even throw you in with an unsecured credit card!

    (By the way, if you chose Alberta, you do not have to pay for your health insurance premium, which is a good thing --- that is around $60 dollars or more off your pocket.)

    Job hunting: quite an experience
    It was on my first week in Canada that I got a job offer. However, I did not start working on that job since I was asked to report after the holidays. I arrived in Canada shortly before Christmas and everyone was in a holiday mood. I took that opportunity of going through the internet, searching for more job opportunities. It was very tough considering that the recession fever has just set in Calgary and I couldn’t get a job interview not until after Christmas. After turning in so many resumes online, finally, I got another job interview with one of the biggest hospitals in Calgary. Unfortunately, though the HR Manager wanted to hire, he said that he has to follow the hiring policy – which is – that one should be hired if he has the proper qualification. It turned out that I need to get a Medical Assistant Certification. However, it did not discourage me. I still have a few more interviews after this.

    Barely after a month of searching, had I finally landed a job that I really wanted. My tip to a new immigrant: keep looking for the job that you wanted to work in. It does not matter if it may take longer but the minute you landed on a job that is not in line, you may have difficulty jumping to another job.

    Settling down
    With a job in hand, the next thing to do to is to get settled in a community that you want to live. I had to move to 2 different places before I finally decided what area to live in. Factors that I considered is the location of the school, the church, the stores (malls, of course --- knowing how much we Filipinos love to go to the mall), among other things. I am blessed to find a place where it is just walking distance to Wal-Mart and to a Filipino store, of course.

    Now, I am settled with a job that I love (and a boss that I love working with!) --- I can’t believe that I will be working in Sales Department. My son goes to school on 3rd Grade. (Going to school is not really free: there are fees to pay but they are minimal as compared to the fees in the Philippines. However, you need to pay for the lunchroom supervision, which is a new thing for us. (It costs $26/monthly). The idea is to have the kids eat their lunch supervised (and make sure that no kid bullies another kid). The only thing that concerns me now is babysitting. I realized how expensive it is to have a nanny here in Canada. (You cannot leave your kids alone if they are below 13.)

    One final word…
    For those who wanted to immigrate to Canada – be brave enough. It is not easy leaving your comfort zone --- friends, family, officemates -- the environment that you have accustomed to since the day you were born. I have learned to love Canada and its people. Although, most of the times, I still long for Filipino shows (and the Filipino “chismis”). If asked if I have to live my life again, I would still do the same thing, which is, to go to Canada!

    This testimony is just a repost from Canadian Dream. I hope Ms. Marivic Solis' story will help you in your preparation for your landing in Canada.

    March 13, 2008

    Newly-landed Canadian immigrants get more support from government

    Immigrants landing in Alberta will surely be enthusiastic to hear this!

    The government of Alberta, recognizing that most of the professional immigrants need to register and be accredited in their chosen field, is providing a program that will make it easier for them to be integrated into the labor market.

    Through the Immigrant Access Fund (IAF), the Albertan government will provide loan of up to C$5,000 repayable within four years. The loan will cover the cost of tuition fees, course materials, exam fees, living and travel expenses, qualification assessments and professional association fees. Most foreign-trained professional immigrants cannot practice their profession unless they have been properly accredited or registered in their professional field. Employers in Canada and the government do not recognize the qualifications earned by immigrant overseas, not until they have undergone accreditation.

    Minister Iris Evans of Employment and Industry realize that during this stage of Alberta’s unprecedented growth, they need every worker’s potential and new immigrants are not exempted from this. "Some newcomers have trouble finding work in their profession because of a range of registration, certification or education issues-we need to overcome these barriers in a way that allows them to practice their professions fairly and safely, and in accordance with Canadian standards," Evans said.[Gateway to Canada]

    January 31, 2008

    Top 8 Reasons not to Immigrate to Canada

    You've probably heard about the Top 8 reasons not to immigrate to Canada. If not, click here. This was forwarded to me by a client asked me to comment on it. I thought of posting my reply here.

    8. Discriminatory and Dishonest Immigration System.
    Immigration to Canada is based on a point system, obtained with your education, qualifications and job experience. Points are good enough for immigration, but in Canada, they are not good enough to get a job in your field. Amazing, how the credentials that qualify you to come to Canada are the same credentials that don't qualify you for your profession in Canada. The reason is, Canada only wants immigrants to do the labor jobs - pizza delivery, driving taxis, factory work etc.

    Before you decide on filing your application for permanent residence in Canada, you have to ask yourslf- Why are you doing it in the first place? Are you doing it for the right reason? If you think you're comfortable with your life, why is there a need to apply?

    If you decide to apply, be prepared to start at entry level jobs and sometimes even odd jobs. If you're not ready for this, forget about Canada. It is not for you. And if you're planning to apply because you are looking for a better quality of life, remember that it entails sacrifice.

    I have a friend who is a network administrator here in the Philippines and his first job upon landing in Canada was as a service crew. But after several months, he was able to get the job that he wants. He now have a car and his own house and lot (Hi Adonis!). But not everybody starts with odd jobs. Read success stories here.

    You find the immigration system discriminatory? You always have the choice not to apply.

    7. Out Of Control Cost Of Living.
    From rent, to utility bills, to shopping, to phone, internet and cable bills, to gas, to car insurance, to eating out, to basically anything you have to pay for or buy, the cost of living in Canada has become astronomical. Recent immigrants are astonished as to how expensive everything is. It is estimated that compared to most countries around the world, the cost of living in Canada is on average five times greater.

    If one will compare cost of living between the Philippines and Canada, it may indeed be five times greater. But that's comparing apple to an orange.

    Here's a cost of living comparison by cities/countries. See it for yourself.

    Based on the Human Development Index Study conducted by UN for 2007/2008, Canada is No. 4 in the rankings. For six consecutive years until 2001, Canada is No. 1. Human Development Study focuses on cost living, quality of life and literacy rate.

    6. Health Care Crisis.
    Practicing physicians in Canada are in a shortage, 1 in 4 Canadians cannot get a family doctor. Canadian doctors are leaving to move permanently to the United States. Statistics Canada and the Canadian Medical Association both have identified that for every 1 American doctor that moves to Canada, 19 (nineteen) Canadian doctors move to the United States! Doctors in Canada are overworked and underpaid, and there is a cap on their salaries.

    Canada medicare provides high-quality health care for free. It may not be perfect but it's working. Here's an answer to Canada health care myths.

    But then again, you always have a choice. If you think your country has a better health care system, why go to Canada in the first place?

    5. Very High Taxes.
    Yes, you have the GST, the PST, totaling 15%, on practically everything you purchase and many other taxes taken out of our weekly paycheck. You have to pay a whopping amount to the government, out of your hard earned salary, so that the government can turn around and give it to beer drinking, hockey watching welfare bums. Fair? It does not matter, it's Canada.

    Whew! What can I say? Man by nature is insatiable being and is very difficult to satisfy.

    Taxes is where the government gets funds to finance its operation, to deliver social services and other social benefits to its constituents. In the Philippines, we also have high tax rates. In fact, Value Added Tax was even increased from 10% to 12% (No thanks to Sen. Recto). And it's open secret where these taxes go, Hello Garci!

    4. Money Hungry Government.
    Canadian Embassies around the world lie to foreigners, painting this picture that Canada is Utopia, because they want them to come to Canada. Why? Because foreigners bring money! So after being deceived, these foreigners come. They must bring with them at least $10,000. Canada has an immigration quota of 250,000 per year. So please do the math, 250,000 multiplied by $10,000 each equals a whopping 2.5 Billion dollars that Canada gains from immigrants every year.

    I know my math. But there is also a thing called logic.

    Sure, immigrants are required to bring in certain amount of money as their settlement funds. It's not as if you will give this amount to the Canadian government upon landing in Canada. It is still yours and you can bring that back home if you decided to leave Canada just because you can't figure what a Canadian food is (Reason No. 3).

    3. No Culture.
    Unlike almost every other country in the world, Canada has no culture. Actually American culture is what dominates Canada. When was the last time you had some 'Canadian' food? There are no Canadian traditions and there is no national identity. What does it even mean to call yourself a 'Canadian'. . .nothing really. People living in Canada, still identify themselves with the country they 'originally' came from.

    Wow! While some people seeks Canada Immigration looking for an opportunity to have a better quality of life, here you are driving yourself carzy figuring out what a Canadian food is. Way to go! :-)

    But since culture is what you are looking, I think you'll be interested with this video.

    2. Worst Weather.
    Yes, Canada has the worst weather conditions of any country in the world. Freezing cold temperatures, snow, ice, hail, winds, storms etc. From the Prairie provinces to the Maritimes, from the Territories to southern Ontario, the weather is so horrific and disgusting that many Canadians leave Canada simply because of this reason alone.

    Don't go to Canada. Weather is really bad. Stay where you are.

    The easiest thing to do I think is to complain. Even kids can do that.

    1. No Jobs.
    Yes, coast to coast, there are no jobs. Immigrants are highly qualified (MD's, PhD's, Lawyers, Engineers etc.) but they are driving taxi cabs, delivering pizza's or working in factories. Even people with bachelors degrees from Canadian Universities cannot find jobs after graduation. This is the tragedy associated with immigration to Canada. I feel sorry for those immigrants who are stuck in Canada for the rest of their lives. It is indeed a very sad and hopeless future.

    Canadian Government is evil. Aside from opening their country for immigrants, they are now even accepting temporary workers to make their lives miserable. Don't go to Canada. There are no jobs there. Labor shortage in Canada is a myth. In fact, POEA is misleading Filipino people by coming up with list of accredited placement agencies with approved job orders for Canada, I-jobs being one of them.

    The world is full of conspiracy. Be safe, stay home.

    August 2, 2007

    It was a risk worth playing

    CANADA is a wonderful place to live, a lot of benefits for its citizens and residents. All you have to do is to work hard to acquire these benefits. This is the story of 35-year old graduate of Hotel and Restaurant Management who ventured in this wonderful place to live in.

    "I was delighted when I received the letter. It was from the Canadian Embassy. Finally, we are immigrating to Canada! After four years of waiting, our application is approved," Anna Solitario shares in her email message.
    March 16, 2005 was a day of rejoicing for her and her family. Anna's dream of going to Canada is finally unfolding from the minute they passed the interview.

    Until now she could still remember the questions tossed by Ms. Griffin, her Visa Officer. First, she asked about her job experience, as well as her husband's work. Lastly, she asked about their settlement fund. Anna narrates, "I told her that we have a buyer for our car, aside from the separation pay that I will be receiving from my company to prove that I have sufficient funds to settle in Canada."

    With the support of CIC, her dream of landing in Canada last March 25, 2006 became a reality.
    At present, she's working at A&W located at Eaton Center, the biggest shopping mall in Toronto. Her daughter, Angela, is studying in a Catholic School. "She loves Canada and doesn't want to come back to the Philippines," she proudly shares.

    Now, they are living in the country that will give Angela and her husband Ron, a chance to live better and a secured future. Though at first, she had difficulty living in a different culture, in a different environment, she is confident that somehow her sacrifices would fade out. After all, the eagerness of giving her family the best for their future supersedes whatever homesickness, risks and disappointments she may encounter.

    She has taken risk at playing a game of chance --- a game where she does not even know if she will survive. Eventually, she knows that she will come out as a winner as she continues walking towards the right path to a pasture filled with fruits of their dream.