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IEC but getting married to a Canadian

IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Old Jan 19th 2012, 2:26 pm
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Default IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Hi,

I participated in the working holiday program through BUNAC in 2010 which I believe is basically the IEC program. I believe I'm elligible to participate a second time but my situation is somewhat complicated.

I've been with my girlfriend, now fiance, since 2007. She is a canadian citizen and currently lives in Canada. I went on the program in 2010 and we lived together in Ottawa. My visa expired in August 2011 and I had to return home. We got engaged in December 2010 and we are getting married in Canada in August 2012.

However I'm wondering if it's possible for me to still qualify for the IEC program and go to Canada before I get married and then stay on afterwards. Currently the plan is to get married but then I return home to the UK afterwards and we begin the permanent residence application. We'd prefer to live together if possible and the IEC program offers that chance. If it isn't possible then I'd just return home to the UK after our wedding and apply that way.

I've tried calling the Canadian embassy in London for advice on whether this is possible but it appears to be totally impossible to actually speak to a human being. Indeed it appears the call handling system is broken when one of the options is "Press 2 for information in English". After pressing 2 it says "2 is not a valid option" and repeats the same thing over again.

I tried emailing via the website at the address [email protected] about 10 days ago but have not heard anything back beyond an automated "we have received your message" response. I appreciate they are busy but it's not unreasonable to expect a reply after close to 2 weeks.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the situation or how I could actually get an answer from someone in the Embassy? They appear to be totally isolated from the world in there!

Thanks
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Old Jan 19th 2012, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

It's no problem, you can just go over on IEC, marry and then file for spousal sponsorship.

Good luck and congrats on the wedding!
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Old Jan 19th 2012, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by orly
Hi,

I participated in the working holiday program through BUNAC in 2010 which I believe is basically the IEC program. I believe I'm elligible to participate a second time but my situation is somewhat complicated.

I've been with my girlfriend, now fiance, since 2007. She is a canadian citizen and currently lives in Canada. I went on the program in 2010 and we lived together in Ottawa. My visa expired in August 2011 and I had to return home. We got engaged in December 2010 and we are getting married in Canada in August 2012.

However I'm wondering if it's possible for me to still qualify for the IEC program and go to Canada before I get married and then stay on afterwards. Currently the plan is to get married but then I return home to the UK afterwards and we begin the permanent residence application. We'd prefer to live together if possible and the IEC program offers that chance. If it isn't possible then I'd just return home to the UK after our wedding and apply that way.

I've tried calling the Canadian embassy in London for advice on whether this is possible but it appears to be totally impossible to actually speak to a human being. Indeed it appears the call handling system is broken when one of the options is "Press 2 for information in English". After pressing 2 it says "2 is not a valid option" and repeats the same thing over again.

I tried emailing via the website at the address [email protected] about 10 days ago but have not heard anything back beyond an automated "we have received your message" response. I appreciate they are busy but it's not unreasonable to expect a reply after close to 2 weeks.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the situation or how I could actually get an answer from someone in the Embassy? They appear to be totally isolated from the world in there!

Thanks
Do the IEC again, and once your married apply for this
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigra...-apply-how.asp (use the Outland option as its twice as quick)

if your IEC expires before you get PR through above said application, you can either return home until its complete or change your status to a visitor so you can stay in Canada. Being married makes it a little easier for you. Expect the application to take anywhere from 3-8 months based on current average processing times.
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Old Jan 20th 2012, 10:56 am
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
It's no problem, you can just go over on IEC, marry and then file for spousal sponsorship.

Good luck and congrats on the wedding!
Thanks for the thoughts.

I just don't to appear "suspect". Our marriage is legit but the "spirit" of the IEC visa is for people to work in Canada for a year and then get out. Obviously there is a bit of a conflict of interest there.

Of course, even if we were married and my visa expired before the paperwork for permanent residence was complete I'd leave Canada anyway. I'm not going to be breaking any rules!

How certain are you that it is fine? Have you seen it done before?

Sorry for the 20 questions
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Old Jan 20th 2012, 10:57 am
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by chrisbrockhurst
Do the IEC again, and once your married apply for this
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigra...-apply-how.asp (use the Outland option as its twice as quick)

if your IEC expires before you get PR through above said application, you can either return home until its complete or change your status to a visitor so you can stay in Canada. Being married makes it a little easier for you. Expect the application to take anywhere from 3-8 months based on current average processing times.
Outland option? Can you explain?

I know it generally looks faster to get it processed in London rather than in Canada. Is that what you mean?
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Old Jan 20th 2012, 12:17 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by orly
How certain are you that it is fine? Have you seen it done before?
Yep, many others on the forum have done it, and also lots have gone over on a visitor visa and then married and applied for PR - a quick search should reveal some relevant threads.

And yes, 'outland' refers to an application via London - have a look at the spousal sponsorship article in the Wiki for more info.

Good luck.
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Old Jan 20th 2012, 5:18 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

I came out here on a visitor visa. We didn't get married (couldn't as OH was waiting for a divorce to come through), but lived together for a year as common-law (as the requirements state) and then submitted our application. If I could have, then I would have done the IEC thing, but I was 33 when I came over so too old to do it that way. It would have been great to have had that, because I could have worked, but it was not to be. I do know a couple of people who were eligible age-wise to do that and did, and have since applied as common-law. It is perfectly acceptable to get married whillst on your IEC if you wish to, thus negating the need to have lived together for one year.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by victorfoxtrot
I came out here on a visitor visa. We didn't get married (couldn't as OH was waiting for a divorce to come through), but lived together for a year as common-law (as the requirements state) and then submitted our application. If I could have, then I would have done the IEC thing, but I was 33 when I came over so too old to do it that way. It would have been great to have had that, because I could have worked, but it was not to be. I do know a couple of people who were eligible age-wise to do that and did, and have since applied as common-law. It is perfectly acceptable to get married whillst on your IEC if you wish to, thus negating the need to have lived together for one year.
Well we attempted to do that. We had lived together for a year but the visa expired and I had to return home. When we tried to apply we were told because we were no longer living together we couldn't use the common-law route. But we were first told you have to live together for a year before you can apply. Was a bit of a catch 22 situation.

So then our advice was to get married, which was fine, as that was our eventual plan any way.

If I was to go on the IEC visa, am I still able to apply for PR using London for example? As it appears to be far faster. Or would I be required to use Canadian offices?
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by orly
Well we attempted to do that. We had lived together for a year but the visa expired and I had to return home. When we tried to apply we were told because we were no longer living together we couldn't use the common-law route. But we were first told you have to live together for a year before you can apply. Was a bit of a catch 22 situation.
Out of interest, why didn't you just stay as a visitor until your PR came through?

Originally Posted by orly
If I was to go on the IEC visa, am I still able to apply for PR using London for example? As it appears to be far faster. Or would I be required to use Canadian offices?
Yes, and it's recommended to do an 'outland' application - as you say it's much, much faster than inland processing. There is a Wiki article about the two options, which give you the pros and cons of each (for example, one con of outland is that you'd have to fly to London for any interview, etc).

HTH.

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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:19 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Out of interest, why didn't you just stay as a visitor until your PR came through?



Yes, and it's recommended to do an 'outland' application - as you say it's much, much faster than inland processing. There is a Wiki article about the two options, which give you the pros and cons of each (for example, one con of outland is that you'd have to fly to London for any interview, etc).

HTH.

Our initial advice was to live together and then apply after completing the year. It was only after I'd returned to the UK that the "you have to still be living together" caveat was applied. Cheers lawyer...

We'd have been in for a longish wait if i'd left and returned as a visitor. I'd also have been unable to work which wasn't really feasible.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by orly
Our initial advice was to live together and then apply after completing the year. It was only after I'd returned to the UK that the "you have to still be living together" caveat was applied. Cheers lawyer...
A lawyer told you to do that?!? Oh good grief. Even the CIC website states very clearly that any breaks in living together must be for a specific reason i.e. business abroad or family reasons.

Originally Posted by orly
We'd have been in for a longish wait if i'd left and returned as a visitor.
The wait wouldn't have been any longer. As soon as you'd lived together for your full year you could have applied, and just flagpoled to get six months as a visitor and stayed in Canada whilst your PR was processed. Although the not working is understandable however! But would have saved the cost of a flight back to the UK though.

Anyway, best of luck with it, and with the wedding.

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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:29 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
A lawyer told you to do that?!? Oh good grief. Even the CIC website states very clearly that any breaks in living together must be for a specific reason i.e. business abroad or family reasons.



The wait wouldn't have been any longer. As soon as you'd lived together for your full year you could have applied, and just flagpoled to get six months as a visitor and stayed in Canada whilst your PR was processed. Although the not working is understandable however! But would have saved the cost of a flight back to the UK though.

Anyway, best of luck with it, and with the wedding.

A requirement of getting the work visa in the first place was to have a return flight to the UK booked and paid for as a form of proof you'd be leaving once your year was finished. The visas aren't released to people until scanned proof of the flights has been supplied. Wasn't an easy task to find flights over a year in advance as I'm sure you'll imagine. But that was one of the hoops I had to jump through. As a result there would not have been any money saving in that particular regard.

My girlfriend is eager for me to go on the work visa again and do the application while I'm there but I'm wary of it. As with everything there are advantages and disadvantages.

The CIC website is less than specific unfortunately and you often get slightly different information or advice depending on which page you happen to be looking at.

From the looks of it the applications seem to be getting processed rather quickly through London at the moment.

Last edited by orly; Jan 26th 2012 at 3:34 pm.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by orly
A requirement of getting the work visa in the first place was to have a return flight to the UK booked and paid for as a form of proof you'd be leaving once your year was finished. The visas aren't released to people until scanned proof of the flights has been supplied. Wasn't an easy task to find flights over a year in advance as I'm sure you'll imagine. But that was one of the hoops I had to jump through. As a result there would not have been any money saving in that particular regard.
Yes, that's true. Thankfully that requirement has now changed and you now need either a return flight, or money to pay for one. Guess others also had problems getting a return flight that far in advance.

Originally Posted by orly
My girlfriend is eager for me to go on the work visa again and do the application while I'm there but I'm wary of it. As with everything there are advantages and disadvantages.
Do you mean the PR application after you've married? That certainly seems your quickest/easier route to PR, unless you would rather just live together and then apply after the year (although that would again involve you not being able to work until you get PR).

Originally Posted by orly
From the looks of it the applications seem to be getting processed rather quickly through London at the moment.
It's actually lengthened recently, seems to be around 5-6 months for most cases, but it was 2-3 months this time last year!

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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:38 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by christmasoompa
Yes, that's true. Thankfully that requirement has now changed and you now need either a return flight, or money to pay for one. Guess others also had problems getting a return flight that far in advance.



Do you mean the PR application after you've married? That certainly seems your quickest/easier route to PR, unless you would rather just live together and then apply after the year (although that would again involve you not being able to work until you get PR).



It's actually lengthened recently, seems to be around 5-6 months for most cases, but it was 2-3 months this time last year!

Actually have a canadian relative who married a British man this summer so they're going through the process currently. She applied in Canada sometime in November and got her initial acceptance in the last week. 5-6 months in London isn't bad going. I'll be keeping track of their progress and how it goes. I believe the website says London is usually done in 7 months. If I recall it was higher than that previously.

My parents did skilled worker beginning in 2008 and it was measured in years.
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Old Jan 26th 2012, 3:44 pm
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Default Re: IEC but getting married to a Canadian

Originally Posted by orly
Actually have a canadian relative who married a British man this summer so they're going through the process currently. She applied in Canada sometime in November and got her initial acceptance in the last week. 5-6 months in London isn't bad going. I'll be keeping track of their progress and how it goes.
Trackitt is another good resource to see how others timeline are going, as well as this forum and your relative's case.

Originally Posted by orly
I believe the website says London is usually done in 7 months. If I recall it was higher than that previously.
Ignore the times given on the website - they're historical so often bear very little resemblance to actual current processing times, and of course they're an average, so those with complicated applications will bring that time up. When it was 2-3 months I think it said 10 months or something similar!

Originally Posted by orly
My parents did skilled worker beginning in 2008 and it was measured in years.
Yep, indeed it was. Sadly, some of those that applied back in 2007 (or even before) are still awaiting PR.

Best of luck with your application.

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