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First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Old Aug 4th 2015, 1:10 am
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Default First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Hello,

My girlfriend and I are considering emigrating to Ontario from Wales, UK, I've spent quite a bit of time reading over the information on the Immigration Canada site and must say, I'm feeling rather overwhelmed and have no idea which avenue to go down, what the first steps are etc.

So a little background...

Both of us are 25 and British Citizens - I work as a Software/Website Developer in the Insurance Industry and my girlfriend is a Copyrighter/Content Writer within a Marketing Department of an Insurance Company.

My auntie (+ 2 cousins) already live in Ontario. She has been living in Canada for around 36 years and is a Canadian Citizen.

I've visited countless times over the last 25 years and I love it. I took my girlfriend for a visit in July and she too loved it - We're heading back for a winter holiday in February for her to experience the winter, and that'll be the decider (we'll see how she handles the cold! :P)

I'm aware of the Points Based System (Skilled Workers?) which requires a minimum of 67 and I ran through the eligibility test - The results said I had 77 points and my girlfriend had 69.

The confusing thing is, if we come back from Canada in February, make the decision to apply, the first thing we'll need to do is know what we're applying for. Our full intentions are to move over to Ontario (providing we can find jobs straight away or have the required funds to support ourselves if we don't have an immediate job) and apply to become permanent residents which is what my auntie did many years ago (I guess the system has changed since that time).

Do we apply for just a work visa first which will require us to apply further once we are actually in Canada? Do we apply for permanent residency? Do we try and apply through the Express Entry for Skilled Workers?

I'm also aware of the family sponsorship you can get but is that an application of its own, separate to Express entry etc? The other thing I wondered, can my auntie sponsor me (and my girlfriend?) and if so, what does that involve? I would have thought because my girlfriend and I are not married, my auntie would not be able to sponsor her?

At the moment there's a lot of questions as you can see above!

If someone could take the time to help me understand the process a bit better, I would be extremely grateful!

Thanks very much!
Joel
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Old Aug 4th 2015, 2:31 am
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Originally Posted by Joel19891

Both of us are 25 and British Citizens
If you are both under 30, then by far the easiest way to get to Canada is through IEC program. This will give you a 2 year open work permit.
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Old Aug 4th 2015, 3:23 am
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

I second the IEC route for a number of reasons.
1. If accepted you get a 2 year work permit to work anywhere in Canada so not tied down to one or two areas.
2. If you don't like it you can always go back and you don't feel like you have wasted money or time by applying for PR.
3. You can gain Canadian Experience during those 2 years and might have an employer or Province willing to nominate for PR status via that route.
4. IEC can potentially open up other routes.

For your age group its a no brainer. Only downside is waiting for it to open up in 2016 and getting accepted as the quota soon fills up.
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Old Aug 4th 2015, 9:16 am
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Only thing I have to add is: no, your auntie can't sponsor you; look at IEC & Express Entry.
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Old Aug 4th 2015, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Thank you guys!

So having looked into IEC, Working Holiday is the only option available for UK Citizens. I can see that there's been two rounds this year already (January and April). Are there only two rounds each year?

I can see that the waiting list is currently open with around 3,200 people on it so I guess we'll just get put onto that list and just wait to see what happens.

If we went down the IEC route, would we have to leave Canada at the end of the 2 years to then re-apply for permanent residency outside of Canada, or is that something we can do from inside Canada during that 2 year period, so that we don't have move back to the UK, and then back to Canada at a later date (providing we're accepted).

Express Entry is the other option, based on the above, that would take longer?

Thanks for the info so far!
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Old Aug 4th 2015, 8:44 pm
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Hi, and welcome to BE.

Originally Posted by Joel19891
So having looked into IEC, Working Holiday is the only option available for UK Citizens. I can see that there's been two rounds this year already (January and April). Are there only two rounds each year?

I can see that the waiting list is currently open with around 3,200 people on it so I guess we'll just get put onto that list and just wait to see what happens.
Yes, just the two rounds this year, and you can't get added on to the waiting list now - that's for people that applied in one of the two rounds and weren't successful. As mentioned above, you'll need to wait until early 2016 when next year's program opens, do make sure you're on the ball with it as visas go within minutes.

Originally Posted by Joel19891
If we went down the IEC route, would we have to leave Canada at the end of the 2 years to then re-apply for permanent residency outside of Canada, or is that something we can do from inside Canada during that 2 year period, so that we don't have move back to the UK, and then back to Canada at a later date (providing we're accepted).
You can do it from Canada, no need to leave.

Originally Posted by Joel19891
Express Entry is the other option, based on the above, that would take longer?
Express Entry would take longer, but it would have the big advantage of you having PR before you go to Canada, so much more secure. And it's only taking around 6 months or so, so not too long at all in immigration terms.

What do you score on the CRS though? If it's less than about 450, you wouldn't be likely to be selected from the pool, so you may find you need a LMIA/PNP nomination to get extra points anyway.

And just a couple of points re: your first post too........you've not mentioned if you and your gf live together or not, but do note that to be considered 'common-law spouses' (i.e. to be able to go on the same visa application, or to get each other points for EE), you'll need to have lived together for at least a year or more as husband and wife. If that's not the case, then you'll both need to get your own visas independently, which will be trickier.

As already mentioned, your aunt can't sponsor you for PR unfortunately.

Originally Posted by Joel19891
I'm aware of the Points Based System (Skilled Workers?) which requires a minimum of 67 and I ran through the eligibility test - The results said I had 77 points and my girlfriend had 69.
67 points is the first eligibility requirement, but as above there's also the 'Comprehensive Ranking System', and only those that score the highest on that will get selected from the pool. So do check your score on that as well.

HTH a bit, best of luck to you.
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Old Aug 4th 2015, 11:22 pm
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Thanks christmasoompa!

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Yes, just the two rounds this year, and you can't get added on to the waiting list now - that's for people that applied in one of the two rounds and weren't successful. As mentioned above, you'll need to wait until early 2016 when next year's program opens, do make sure you're on the ball with it as visas go within minutes.
So, in terms of IEC we would need to wait until early 2016. We have a 2 week trip planned for the middle of Feb so my girlfriend can experience the winter before we make a final decision so the soonest we would apply for anything would be the last week of Feb when we get back to the UK.

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
You can do it from Canada, no need to leave.
Awesome!

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Express Entry would take longer, but it would have the big advantage of you having PR before you go to Canada, so much more secure. And it's only taking around 6 months or so, so not too long at all in immigration terms.
I know the rules here state not to ask for timeframes so I've refrained, but since you mentioned, it I'll reply directly to that :P When you say 6 months, you mean 6 months total? I'm sure I read on the Processing Times section of the CIC website that for the UK Visa Office it was around 31 months (but that was dated around June 2010 with no further update)

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
What do you score on the CRS though? If it's less than about 450, you wouldn't be likely to be selected from the pool, so you may find you need a LMIA/PNP nomination to get extra points anyway.
I just ran the calculator tool, I scored 481. However, I've not yet sat an English test so cannot put any actual results down so I just selected the top score bracket for IELTS just to see what the result would come out at. Would 481 be considered good? My girlfriend would no doubt be the same as me based on the questions and answers.

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
And just a couple of points re: your first post too........you've not mentioned if you and your gf live together or not, but do note that to be considered 'common-law spouses' (i.e. to be able to go on the same visa application, or to get each other points for EE), you'll need to have lived together for at least a year or more as husband and wife. If that's not the case, then you'll both need to get your own visas independently, which will be trickier.
Legally we do not live together. I house share with two other friends and while my girlfriend stays at mine 99.9% of the time in the eyes of the law, we do not live together.

So to be on the same application/visa, we must be married and have lived together for at least a year? Living together for at least a year isn't enough?

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
As already mentioned, your aunt can't sponsor you for PR unfortunately.
That's absolutely fine. I guess it removes some complication as even if she could sponsor me, she wouldn't be able to sponsor my girlfriend anyway.

I guess the big decision, should we decide to move is whether to go via IEC or Express - To be honest, I prefer security of quickness if anything and if Express takes a little longer but has the security with it (e.g knowing you have PR before hand) then I would prefer that. But in terms of timeframes what could the difference be between IEC and Express?

But Former Lancastrian made a good point in that IEC allows us to go over and if for example we felt like it wasn't for us, we wouldnt have wasted time and money going through for PR.
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Old Aug 4th 2015, 11:33 pm
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Originally Posted by Joel19891
So, in terms of IEC we would need to wait until early 2016. We have a 2 week trip planned for the middle of Feb so my girlfriend can experience the winter before we make a final decision so the soonest we would apply for anything would be the last week of Feb when we get back to the UK.
That would be no good if the IEC visas are released in January though, as they'll all have gone by then. So if you decide to go down the IEC route, you may have to just go for it before your gf has visited, unless you can change your trip and go earlier? The program opens anytime between the end of Dec and March, there's no fixed date, but historically it's normally January.

Originally Posted by Joel19891
I know the rules here state not to ask for timeframes so I've refrained, but since you mentioned, it I'll reply directly to that :P When you say 6 months, you mean 6 months total? I'm sure I read on the Processing Times section of the CIC website that for the UK Visa Office it was around 31 months (but that was dated around June 2010 with no further update)
That is for under the old system. Express Entry is (as the name implies!) supposed to be much quicker, people on the forum have had their PR within 6 months so far, although of course there's no guarantee that processing times will remain as quick in the future.

Originally Posted by Joel19891
I just ran the calculator tool, I scored 481. However, I've not yet sat an English test so cannot put any actual results down so I just selected the top score bracket for IELTS just to see what the result would come out at. Would 481 be considered good? My girlfriend would no doubt be the same as me based on the questions and answers.
That's great, so far they're selecting people down to about 450 so with 481 you'd be in with a very good chance of receiving an invitation to apply. Make sure you use the scores as a single applicant, as you couldn't claim any points for your gf's education etc, if you're not common-law spouses.

Originally Posted by Joel19891
Legally we do not live together. I house share with two other friends and while my girlfriend stays at mine 99.9% of the time in the eyes of the law, we do not live together.

So to be on the same application/visa, we must be married and have lived together for at least a year? Living together for at least a year isn't enough?
You don't need to be married at all, but to be considered 'common-law spouses' you'd need to have lived together for a year or more. So your current situation wouldn't count, and if you wanted to apply together you'd need to wait until you've lived as husband and wife for a year or more and combined your affairs (i.e. joint bank account, joint insurances, wills/life insurance naming each other as beneficiaries etc).

Originally Posted by Joel19891
I guess the big decision, should we decide to move is whether to go via IEC or Express - To be honest, I prefer security of quickness if anything and if Express takes a little longer but has the security with it (e.g knowing you have PR before hand) then I would prefer that. But in terms of timeframes what could the difference be between IEC and Express?

But Former Lancastrian made a good point in that IEC allows us to go over and if for example we felt like it wasn't for us, we wouldnt have wasted time and money going through for PR.
EE you could apply for now (well, as soon as you've got your ECA, etc sorted), whereas IEC you can't apply for until next year but it only takes about 8 weeks to get. So they'll probably both be through in about the same timescale.

Really it depends on what you're after, I'd recommend IEC for the same reasons as FL, but if you're sure you want to move to Canada permanently then it might be worth looking at EE if you don't mind spending the extra money to get that security. Really it's your call.

One thing to be aware of is that the IEC visas go so quickly that both you and your gf will need to be very, very quick - it would be awful if one of your got a visa and the other didn't, so that's something to consider.

HTH.
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Old Aug 4th 2015, 11:52 pm
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
That would be no good if the IEC visas are released in January though, as they'll all have gone by then. So if you decide to go down the IEC route, you may have to just go for it before your gf has visited, unless you can change your trip and go earlier? The program opens anytime between the end of Dec and March, there's no fixed date, but historically it's normally January.
To be honest, I don't think we'd actually want to move over next year anyway, it would more than likely be a case of aiming for 2017 (giving us some time to save up some money). I probably should mention (not sure if it matters) but my girlfriend has a cat that she would definitely not leave behind! Not sure if that changes anything, I haven't read that it would change anything in terms of immigration.


Originally Posted by christmasoompa
That's great, so far they're selecting people down to about 450 so with 481 you'd be in with a very good chance of receiving an invitation to apply. Make sure you use the scores as a single applicant, as you couldn't claim any points for your gf's education etc, if you're not common-law spouses.
The CRS score was based on just me and just my gf individually.


Originally Posted by christmasoompa
You don't need to be married at all, but to be considered 'common-law spouses' you'd need to have lived together for a year or more. So your current situation wouldn't count, and if you wanted to apply together you'd need to wait until you've lived as husband and wife for a year or more and combined your affairs (i.e. joint bank account, joint insurances, wills/life insurance naming each other as beneficiaries etc).
So if we were not married, but have been living together for at least a year, would that alone be enough to allow us to be on the same visa (under common-law spouse)?
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Old Aug 5th 2015, 5:24 am
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Originally Posted by Joel19891
To be honest, I don't think we'd actually want to move over next year anyway, it would more than likely be a case of aiming for 2017 (giving us some time to save up some money). I probably should mention (not sure if it matters) but my girlfriend has a cat that she would definitely not leave behind! Not sure if that changes anything, I haven't read that it would change anything in terms of immigration.
Doesn't change a thing, other than costing a bit more money!

Originally Posted by Joel19891
The CRS score was based on just me and just my gf individually.
Fab.

Originally Posted by Joel19891
So if we were not married, but have been living together for at least a year, would that alone be enough to allow us to be on the same visa (under common-law spouse)?
Yes. Do note that you're required to show you're living together in a 'marriage like' relationship, so you'll need to have proof as mentioned above (i.e. joint bank accounts, wills etc). You basically need to show that she is your spouse even though you're not married, and not just housemates etc.

HTH, good luck.
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Old Aug 5th 2015, 11:24 am
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

If you go to the capital make sure you speak French, they are very biased to French speakers for job placement...... To every on who will comment n this I know this as a first hand experience. I'm an engineer but the companies preferred Quebec French speakers
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Old Aug 5th 2015, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Thank you guys! I've also found an old uni friend who just recently gone back over to Vancouver on an IEC so I've been chatting to him too.

Seems like that's the best option for us I think.

@Aqua, I know that Quebec is heaving French speaking. I don't think Toronto is as bad though is it? It'll probably be Toronto area we'll look to go. My family live around Lake Simcoe so our plan would be to stay with them for a while and around that area (based on all of the times I've gone over there) its not that French speaking at all.
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Old Aug 6th 2015, 2:23 am
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Originally Posted by Joel19891
Thank you guys! I've also found an old uni friend who just recently gone back over to Vancouver on an IEC so I've been chatting to him too.

Seems like that's the best option for us I think.

@Aqua, I know that Quebec is heaving French speaking. I don't think Toronto is as bad though is it? It'll probably be Toronto area we'll look to go. My family live around Lake Simcoe so our plan would be to stay with them for a while and around that area (based on all of the times I've gone over there) its not that French speaking at all.
I believe Aqua is referring to the Capital, not Toronto...
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Old Aug 6th 2015, 2:27 am
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Yep I know I was just saying I'll be around the Toronto / Lake Simcoe area which isn't as heavy on the French speaking as Quebec (as far as I am aware) so that shouldn't affect me too much, or not as much as if I were to go to Quebec at least
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Old Aug 6th 2015, 3:38 am
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Default Re: First steps to deciding to emigrate to Ontario

Originally Posted by Joel19891

@Aqua, I know that Quebec is heaving French speaking. I don't think Toronto is as bad though is it?
They were referring to the capital (ie. Ottawa), not Toronto.


It'll probably be Toronto area we'll look to go.
No worries then. I have lived in the Toronto area for the majority of my life and I speak less than ten words of French.
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