ICAS & more!

Old Jul 27th 2017, 4:00 pm
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Default ICAS & more!

We have had a few up's and down's on our Alberta adventure.

So I thought I'd post an update on a few recent events.

We have been in Alberta for just over 3yrs and still enjoy it...
Hubby's work situation has been dire, laid off twice last year and one employer didn't pay his work forces wages...but we got by.

So we decided to look at applying for PR
(having used all our saving in the down times, we've had to save up again)
and sent in the paperwork to ICAS for his qualification equivalency check.

From start to finish it took 29 weeks!
That was with instruction and payment, contact with the Uni in the UK for his transcripts to be sent directly to ICAS and so on...

*Please note that the Uni/college MUST send all paperwork direct to the assessment company you use, if you handle it in anyway they say it may be tampered with and will not be processed!*

His UK HND in Electrical Engineering came back as a Canadian equivialant to a 3 yr Diploma...

Next came the news that Alberta where stopping new permits being issued for certain trades...and Yep, hubby's job was one of them...at the same time we where trying to renew our permits!

AT NO POINT did the CIC/IRCC website make it clear that we could not renew.
We had to find a consultant, explained our situation, who said we have no grounds to reapply and would have to leave!! (but would take $1300 if we wanted her to try and apply for 'something')

Quite frankly she p££££ed us off...so hit the phones...as usual CIC call centre was SOoooooo busy the system hung up.

Ended up at the local MP's office.
A lovely member of staff did some phoning on our behalf...it took a week to find a 'person' at CIC who could answer our query.

***So when we entered Canada in 2014, Hubby was on a closed work permit under a mobility scheme (at no time did we ever know this or had any paperwork to show this)...we renewed our permits in 2015 with no problem, but now the mobility scheme he was under no longer exists.***

'As he is an Electrician in Alberta, he would have to leave the province, find a new job, get an LMIA and apply for a new work permit'.

So you can imagine the panic, or take the kids back to the UK and live with my parents...huge backwards step!

After the initial panic settled down to totally being heart broken, a friend recommended the New comers service...we found one lady her new her stuff.
She sat with us, helped fill out the renewal paperwork and recommended we apply for the AINP (Alberta Immigrant Nominee program).

I have never moved so fast in all my life...got Everything posted that day.

We qualified under the employer stream or the strategic stream.
We chose the Strategic stream, due to the low number of applicants and kept our fingers crossed.
10 days later, we had a nomination...

Our permits where very close to running out so, we asked the fabulous lady at the New comers service to check everything and sent in our PR application.
Then we had to apply for new permits in the mean time, hubby's boss had to do the online compliance form (and YES they did phone the company to ask why they want to keep hubby on and not employ a Canadian!!)

We are now sitting on implied status, watching the IRCC processing times, the stress and near total breakdown has somewhat affected ALL of us...but we want to build our life here and we are fighting for it!
***also due to our expired permits we no longer have Alberta Health coverage as they date it to match the permit!***

Have to say, a bit of the above is a rant....
The IRCC call centre and the online site did NOT have the information (or if it did they hid it well)

****If you are IN Canada and need help look for your local New comers Settlement Service.


All this on top of me catching Glandular Fever...I have never been so ill in all my days!
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Old Jul 27th 2017, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: ICAS & more!

Sorry to hear this has taken so long and been such a saga but I'm pleased you seem to have got there in the end. I don't often recommend immi lawyers/consultants, but perhaps if a family isn't very au fair with immigration a one time consultation to check everything is a good idea - that would have saved you a lot of money/time/stress.

You're probably right that the CIC 'misinformation line' didnt have the info, because frankly they're useless. A bunch of call centre workers with no immigration knowledge reading off scrips. Don't ever bother phoning them if you want advice or visa info!

But the CIC website does have everything you've mentioned, and of course (I would say this) BE did too, as most immi changes are announced on here. There are several of us that keep an eye on the news release section of the CIC website and try to update people with any changes.

For the ECA, each agency always publishes their estimated processing time on their websites, so for the sake of anybody reading who is about to apply, do make sure you check them all! Icas is currently saying around 20 weeks (Immigration to Canada | ICAS), but WES is only a week. They also clearly state that transcripts must be sent directly by the uni/college, so I'd just urge anybody reading to read the requirements carefully.

Good luck with the rest of it, I hope it goes more smoothly for you!
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