Hey there, I’m back with another piece of my immigration process story.
Initial application and documents required: Read Here
In October 2011 I received a letter confirming the registration of my file. This is a sad part – despite my expectations on the process timeline (interview invitation usually arrives 8-10 months after the file registration), my invitation came only (!) in March 2013 or 17 months later. To be honest, by that time I lost most of my hope to ever get any communication from Canadian government, and was thinking about looking for other options on immigration. Of course, I was beyond happy when I received that e-mail. They told me my interview was scheduled for June, 6th 2013.
I spent whole week prior to the interview to prepare. From what I read on the immigration forums and the official website, immigration officer is meeting you to check the following:
- all the original documents sent with the initial application & filled application form again
- language proficiency – English and French
- any work experience that wasn’t documented, in case you were working while waiting for the interview and didn’t send them your last work certificate(s)
- your knowledge of Quebec – values, culture, laws, climate etc
- your adaptability – knowledge of market situation on real estate prices, best areas to settle first after your arrival, resources you can use to look for a job
- make sure you’re planning to settle in Quebec
Expectation vs. Reality
By the time of my interview I read all I could about Canada and Quebec in particular. My biggest fear was to make a mistake in Prime Minister’s last name :) But the officer never asked me such questions.
He didn’t ask me to recite Quebec common-values one by one in the right order or name all Canadian Provinces in order from the most populous to the least ones
(But believe me I was prepared to do so :))
In the interview room was officer and translator waiting for me. They followed the protocol very carefully, and even though from the first moment I introduced myself I said that I don’t require a translation and speak English and French fluently, he read a short instruction paper to me covering the interview process and topics we will talk about during the next hour and added that at any time of the interview I have a right to ask the translator for help. During the interview the Ukrainian lady-translator went through my documents as well as the officer to check the authenticity.
Along with all my original papers, I brought print-outs of various job offers (10-15) and apartments available for rent (8-10). And while the apartment search was done only in Montreal, because it was my primary choice, I was advised to provide job offers from different cities in Quebec, including not-so-popular Northern cities that have higher pay rate and lots of jobs available. I didn’t contact the employers, just found offers that suited my education and experience and printed it. I added a couple of offers that had the most simple qualifications required and lower salary to say that if I can’t find a suitable employment right away I’m willing to start from the bottom again since I’m moving to a new society and fully understand all challenges. It shows the higher level of your adaptability, because at some point during the interview he will ask you “What will you do if you can’t find a job in the city of your first choice?” and you need to be prepared to answer it without hesitation.
To find job offers for the interview check the official immigration websites (Federal and Quebec) first and find websites they promote for job search. I don’t know whether they don’t accept offers from other websites, but as usual being prepared and knowing what information they find credible will certainly give you extra points
The officer asked questions such as:
- where did you learn languages? why did your parents decide for you to start language school at early age?
- are you planning to continue working in the same industry? did you research the job market for this industry?
- why did you choose to immigrate to Canada?
- why do you want to leave from your country?
- are you planning to settle in Quebec?
- did you sign the Contract respecting financial independency and do you fully understand its meaning and the amount of money you will need to possess when entering to Canada to be able to support yourself during first 3 months of your life there? etc.
It took us only 20 minutes to go through all the questions and get to the point of “We will be happy for you to become a Permanent Resident of Canada” and 5 more minutes while they printed and signed the CSQ certificate. They told me now I could move on to the next step – submit another application along with the Certificate for immigration visa to the Federal authorities in Canada.
My advice – BE CONFIDENT. If you got to this point, it means your application was carefully examined and most probably you will be granted the CSQ if you will be prepared and speak with confidence.
After me, there was an interview of a middle-age couple with a child and only the woman spoke English and little French, but (!) I had a chance to speak with them for 5-10 minutes before my interview and not only they were genuinely excited to move to Canada and only Canada, they had a step-by-step plan of how they will establish themselves in Quebec after arrival. Yes, their interview took about an hour, but they were granted a CSQ too! So it’s not always about speaking languages fluently, sometimes it’s about being half-way there and showing them you’re really motivated and encouraged to do your best.
Feel free to ask any questions or share your immigration experience! I’d be glad to share all information I know.