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Married a Canadian - my experience (so far) - Advice Gratefully Received!

Married a Canadian - my experience (so far) - Advice Gratefully Received!

Old Oct 15th 2002, 3:42 pm
  #1  
Got My PR Card!
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Location: Ontario
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Default Married a Canadian - my experience (so far) - Advice Gratefully Received!

I am a British Citizen and former civil sevant currently living in Canada under a visitors visa with my Canadian born wife. We were married in November 2001 and I sent my application for Perm Residence from within canada (family class) in February. Prior to this I had been adivised by the call centre to have my medical, police certificates and fingerprints ready for despatch with my applcation. I did this happily with one slight drawback, the police in the UK had changed the way they issue certificates, owing to the New Data Protection Act. The first certificate was lost in the post so I sent my application with everything else (inc all fees) and a covering note saying it would follow soon.

My application arrived at CIC in February 02 and was returned to me in March 02 with one box unsigned. Bugger............
I returned the forms in april along with my police certificate which had now arrived from the UK and I waited.

Then I waited......................................and I waited some more. After ninety days of waiting I called the call centre and asked where my letter was saying yes or no. They told me that because there were some "issues" (I had a police caution six years ago (this is NOT a criminal record) and I did include it in my application; even though it wasn't mentioned in my police certificate) my application had been reffered to to SDS in July who evere they were. I never did find out but apenerntly it is either a security depatment, then i was told it was a supervisor at CIC and then I was told everybodys application went there regardless of wether they had "issues" or not.

So again I waited and waited always calling those ever so well informed fellows at the call centre who fascinated me with their tales of the myth an folklore surrounding my application. I tried relentlessly to speak to someone more senior or someone who was at least an immigration officer. Alas, no joy. All they gave me was a fax number so I decied to write a polite letter to the hard working chaps at CIC asking what stage my application was at and why had no one written to me.

On September 12 I received a letter exempting me from subsection 11(1) of the Immigration & Refugee protection act. (translated don't need a Perm Residence Status visia prior to coming to canada). A good step and now I can apply for a working visa but am a little unsure if I can have OHIP or even a drivers licence. BTW when did all the banks in canada affilate themselves with Nazi Germany (no offence to our german bretheren) i cannot open a bank account here at all until I have a Perm Res Card.

What really angers me is the behaviour of the call centre during my many discussions with them I was given misleading and confilcting information on more than one occasion. has anyone else been driven to despair by these cretins?

I am sure they are all wonderful people and are very hard working but I don't think it unreasonable to expect that the are all educated in the timeline and logistics of a application and if they don't know then they should refer you to an immigartion officer directly.

So here i am with my exemption and very little else. I want to go cback to the UK in December to see my family but am worried that those charming immigration officers will send me back home when I return to canada. Should I get a multiple entry visa in the meantime? (more money............sigh)


sorry for any mis-spellings but it's late and I'm tired.

Last edited by blaggers; Oct 15th 2002 at 3:48 pm.
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Old Oct 15th 2002, 10:56 pm
  #2  
The Wizzard
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Married a Canadian - my experience (so far) - Advice Gratefully Received!

Ah immigration such a wonderfuly smooth process that goes exactly as you
expect?
Quite.
I understand you frustration with the call centre people, many inland
applicants also voice this opinion, however its worth bearing in mind they
are only supposed to be there to advise people on how to apply rather than
give status updates, no other visa post or country has a call centre and the
one in Canada isnt just a dedicated on for vegerville, i dont think they are
even in the same province.
So they really dont have much detailed information on processing times and
such which is why they mostly talk bollocks. They cant refer to to an
immigration officer cos you arent allowed to speak to them you can only fax
or mail queries to the actual visa posts otherwise they would spend all day
on the phone and wed be waiting even longer.
Im not sure your problem with the police thing really caused you mcuh delay,
your application was started processing in March and i know loads of people
who applied in march and april etc still also waiting for their AIP. It
appears you recieved yours just recently which is the main part done as you
can now get that work permit etc.
Im not sure whcih bank you tried but you dont even have to be resident in
Canada to open a bank account. Various banks will have their own policies,
some require a SIN and youcan get a temporary one, easier once you have your
work permit. Some just require ID. You shouldbe able to find one that will
open you an account, or simply get a joint one with your spouse. I havea
joint one with my wife who is in Canada and im still in the UK.
It is an annoying process but at least yours is pretty much done now, just
paper work for them to do and im sure you will get the final PR status soon
enough and then youc an forget about and ignore immigration.

Drew
 
Old Oct 16th 2002, 4:05 am
  #3  
Bodza Bodza
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Married a Canadian - my experience (so far) - Advice Gratefully Received!

blaggers wrote:
    > I returned the forms in april along with my police certificate which had
    > now arrived from the UK and I waited.
    > Then I waited......................................and I waited some
    > more.

It will take up to a year. Get used to waiting. On the bright side,
when you get a letter of "agreement in principle" you can apply for an
work permit which will let you work at whatever you like except for
the medical professions.

    > I tried relentlessly to
    > speak to someone more senior or someone who was at least an immigration
    > officer. Alas, no joy.

Ha! I have one for you: The embassy in Mexico city called my
mother-in-law who we were sponsoring to tell her to tell my wife to
call them. We were in the UK at the time. We tried to call the embassy
and the voice mail said they would only return calls to Canada or
Mexico, not to any third country. I hit zero to talk to the
receptionist and she said that I would have to write a letter.
In the end we gave up.

    > On September 12 I received a letter exempting me from subsection 11(1)
    > of the Immigration & Refugee protection act. (translated don't need
    > a Perm Residence Status visia prior to coming to canada). A good step
    > and now I can apply for a working visa but am a little unsure if I can
    > have OHIP or even a drivers licence.

I think there's a waiting period for OHIP. Go to the local OHIP office
and ask them. They probably get asked this very question all the time.
As for drivers license I seem to remember my wife applied for a
learner drivers license (G1?) with her foreign passport and a copy of
her visitors visa. It makes sense, otherwise how could students get
driving licenses?

    >BTW when did all the banks in
    >canada affilate themselves with Nazi Germany (no offence to our german
    >bretheren) i cannot open a bank account here at all until I have a
    >Perm Res Card.

You probably got someone who was having a bad day. I remember I went
to open an RRSP (tax shelter savings account for Canadian residents so
they can reduce their taxes) and the stupid cow said "Are you a
Canadian resident?" on hearing my accent, to which I replied "That's a
stupid question. There is no benefit to anyone who is not a resident
to open an RRSP." She didn't seem to be able to grasp the point
though.

    > What really angers me is the behaviour of the call centre during my many
    > discussions with them I was given misleading and confilcting information
    > on more than one occasion. has anyone else been driven to despair by
    > these cretins?

Oh, yes. And there are the arrogant ones too. I have had one hang up
on me because she didn't believe I had the authority to check my
wife's application even though I had all the answers to the security
questions. So I called right back and got another friendlier person.
Having said that, they are no worse than British Immigration who I
currently have the misfortune to be dealing with.

    > I am sure they are all wonderful people and are very hard working

Don't delude yourself. They are incumbent bureacrats.

    > but I don't think it unreasonable to expect that the are all educated in the
    > timeline and logistics of a application and if they don't know then they
    > should refer you to an immigartion officer directly.

Yeah, well, good luck.

    > So here i am with my exemption and very little else. I want to go cback
    > to the UK in December to see my family but am worried that those
    > charming immigration officers will send me back home when I return to
    > canada.

If you already have the working visa by december you should be OK.

    >Should I get a multiple entry visa in the meantime? (more
    >money............sigh)

Yes. Your working visa *will* be multiple entry.
 
Old Oct 16th 2002, 7:10 am
  #4  
Jim Humphries
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Posts: n/a
Default Re: Married a Canadian - my experience (so far) - Advice Gratefully Received!

I would have expected a former civil wervant to be more understanding! What
is hidden from you is the fact that it would have been much faster for you
to return to the UK and have your wife sponsor an overseas application.
These take about 6 months but do require you to wait overseas that time. I
fear that the new Inland Spouse regulations are likely to be just as slow as
your case so there has been no improvement.
Jim Humphries, former visa officer
"blaggers" wrote in message
news:445007.1034739758@britishexpats-
.com
...
    > I am a British Citizen and former civil sevant currently living in
    > Canada under a visitors visa with my Canadian born wife. We were
    > married in November 2001 and I sent my application for Perm Residence
    > from within canada (family class) in February. Prior to this I had been
    > adivised by the call centre to have my medical, police certificates and
    > fingerprints ready for despatch with my applcation. I did this happily
    > with one slight drawback, the police in the UK had changed the way they
    > issue certificates, owing to the New Data Protection Act. The first
    > certificate was lost in the post so I sent my application with
    > everything else (inc all fees) and a covering note saying it would
    > follow soon.
    > My application arrived at CIC in February 02 and was returned to me in
    > March 02 with one box unsigned. Bugger............
    > I returned the forms in april along with my police certificate which had
    > now arrived from the UK and I waited.
    > Then I waited......................................and I waited some
    > more. After ninety days of waiting I called the call centre and asked
    > where my letter was saying yes or no. They told me that because there
    > were some "issues" (I had a police caution six years ago (this is NOT a
    > criminal record) and I did include it in my application; even though it
    > wasn't mentioned in my police certificate) my application had been
    > reffered to to SDS in July who evere they were. I never did find out
    > but apenerntly it is either a security depatment, then i was told it was
    > a supervisor at CIC and then I was told everybodys application went
    > there regardless of wether they had "issues" or not.
    > So again I waited and waited always calling those ever so well informed
    > fellows at the call centre who fascinated me with their tales of the
    > myth an folklore surrounding my application. I tried relentlessly to
    > speak to someone more senior or someone who was at least an immigration
    > officer. Alas, no joy. All they gave me was a fax number so I decied to
    > write a polite letter to the hard working chaps at CIC asking what stage
    > my application was at and why had no one written to me.
    > On September 12 I received a letter exempting me from subsection 11(1)
    > of the Immigration & Refugee protection act. (translated don't need
    > a Perm Residence Status visia prior to coming to canada). A good step
    > and now I can apply for a working visa but am a little unsure if I can
    > have OHIP or even a drivers licence. BTW when did all the banks in
    > canada affilate themselves with Nazi Germany (no offence to our german
    > bretheren) i cannot open a bank account here at all until I have a
    > Perm Res Card.
    > What really angers me is the behaviour of the call centre during my many
    > discussions with them I was given misleading and confilcting information
    > on more than one occasion. has anyone else been driven to despair by
    > these cretins?
    > I am sure they are all wonderful people and are very hard working but I
    > don't think it unreasonable to expect that the are all educated in the
    > timeline and logistics of a application and if they don't know then they
    > should refer you to an immigartion officer directly.
    > So here i am with my exemption and very little else. I want to go cback
    > to the UK in December to see my family but am worried that those
    > charming immigration officers will send me back home when I return to
    > canada. Should I get a multiple entry visa in the meantime? (more
    > money............sigh)
    >
    > sorry for any mis-spellings but it's late and I'm tired.
    > --
    > Posted via http://britishexpats.com
 
Old Oct 18th 2002, 7:36 am
  #5  
Immigrationwiz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Married a Canadian - my experience (so far) - Advice Gratefully Received!

what are you talking about?
I opened an account as a visitor.Some people manage to complicate things.
"The Wizzard" wrote in message
news:Hybr9.23438$jR.16-
[email protected]
...
    > Ah immigration such a wonderfuly smooth process that goes exactly as you
    > expect?
    > Quite.
    > I understand you frustration with the call centre people, many inland
    > applicants also voice this opinion, however its worth bearing in mind they
    > are only supposed to be there to advise people on how to apply rather than
    > give status updates, no other visa post or country has a call centre and
the
    > one in Canada isnt just a dedicated on for vegerville, i dont think they
are
    > even in the same province.
    > So they really dont have much detailed information on processing times and
    > such which is why they mostly talk bollocks. They cant refer to to an
    > immigration officer cos you arent allowed to speak to them you can only
fax
    > or mail queries to the actual visa posts otherwise they would spend all
day
    > on the phone and wed be waiting even longer.
    > Im not sure your problem with the police thing really caused you mcuh
delay,
    > your application was started processing in March and i know loads of
people
    > who applied in march and april etc still also waiting for their AIP. It
    > appears you recieved yours just recently which is the main part done as
you
    > can now get that work permit etc.
    > Im not sure whcih bank you tried but you dont even have to be resident in
    > Canada to open a bank account. Various banks will have their own policies,
    > some require a SIN and youcan get a temporary one, easier once you have
your
    > work permit. Some just require ID. You shouldbe able to find one that will
    > open you an account, or simply get a joint one with your spouse. I havea
    > joint one with my wife who is in Canada and im still in the UK.
    > It is an annoying process but at least yours is pretty much done now, just
    > paper work for them to do and im sure you will get the final PR status
soon
    > enough and then youc an forget about and ignore immigration.
    > Drew
 
Old Oct 18th 2002, 2:11 pm
  #6  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Oct 2002
Location: CA
Posts: 44
dougall is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Married a Canadian - my experience (so far) - Advice Gratefully Received!

well blagger

as a canadian citizen, i can appreciate your frustrations. i have dealt with many levels of provincial and federal govt employees for many different reasons, and as i have written elsewhere, sometimes two people in the same dept do not seem to have been trained with the same manual.

oftentimes it is a case of, if you don't know the answers, how do you know what questions to ask? in my experiences, very few people, in govt or banking or other instititions are not very forthcoming with extra information.

but hey, i have also dealt with many sincere intelligent empathetic people on the phone. the amount of your frustration is directly proportionate to the urgency of the information you need from that person on the other end of the line.

anyway, i appreciate you sharing your story, it all goes towards my being more informed about my own immigration questions with my boyfriend. knowledge IS power... cheers and good luck...
dougall is offline  

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