My road to getting Canadian Permanent Residence started in 2011 and it took me almost exactly 3 years to get the landing visa and become eligible to enter Canada as an immigrant and later receive my 5-year PR card. And while there are many websites and blogs that provide you with a detailed documents checklist and right ways of filling out those forms, I would like to share the timelines of this process, how I stayed in contact with the immigration offices, what did go wrong, and of course preparations for landing, possible issues at the border and first steps I took after coming to Canada.
Research for countries with more or less simple and fast immigration procedures began in 2010 and after careful consideration and tons of material read online I had a choice between Australia and Canada. Canada was more appealing to me as our good family friends immigrated couple of decades ago and I had more first-hand information about the country. Also, distance-wise, Canada is closer. And last but not least, I seemed to qualify for Quebec Skilled-Worker program, because of languages (English and French fluent), two University degrees (hospitality management and economic science) and age (at the time I applied, I was 21).
Based on the information from the immigration website I calculated that my whole process would take from 18 to 24 months, I gathered the application package, paid first government fees and sent it to the immigration office in Vienna in February 2011. At that time they decided to move some (or all, I still don’t completely understand) of the paperwork procedures from regional offices to unified immigration center in Canada. I waited for the letter confirming my registration and immigration file opening, obsessively checking my mailbox box everyday. Only 8 months later I got a mail from Canada stating that during the movement of all the files from Europe to Canada the bank slip confirming I paid the fees for registration was lost and they were asking me to get another copy and send it to them. And so I did, and in October 2011 I finally got a letter confirming my file was finally open. Now I had to wait for the invitation to interview or request for any other supporting documents.
In my application file for Selection Certificate of Quebec I provided:
- Filled application form for Selection Certificate for Skilled workers
- Declaration of common values
- Contract respecting financial independency
- National and foreign passport copies, translated and notarized
- Birth certificate copy, translated and notarized
- Parents divorce certificate, translated and notarized (since my mother and I have different family names after their divorce)
- Copy of my expired Swiss student resident permits (was not required)
- Passport-size photo
- All diplomas of higher education and detailed transcripts with the list of completed courses and marks, translated and notarized
- High-school attestation and detailed transcript, translated and notarized
- Work certificates (I only had internship certificates from Switzerland) with number of hours per week, duties and responsibilities, period of employment, position (had those in French, so didn’t have to translate, but certified copies at notary office)
- Proof of tax payment (requested from Switzerland before-hand with details about all taxes I paid during employment) – certified copy. Had to request the same one in my country and send it later with my new employment confirmation after I got a job in Ukraine
- IELTS test certified copy (at the time of my application it wasn’t required to submit a French language test, since the language proficiency was checked at the interview. I heard that those who submitted French language test results and met all other criteria had their interview waived at that time)
- Confirmation of payment for the registration of file
- Labels in French and Ukrainian (official language of the citizenship country) for mailing
I will continue to post about my immigration process.
Please feel free to ask any question regarding the procedure, timelines and documents.