My drive to Carway to get TWP!

Old Apr 1st 2008, 11:55 am
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Talking My drive to Carway to get TWP!

Hi All,

I went to the border at Carway today as planned, and have got my TWP for two years... I found I benefited greatly from others’ documented experiences of similar, so here is my account of today:

I left Calgary 5.55 am headed south to Carway. This is a 240km journey! The immigration office there opens at 7am, and closes at 6.30 pm this time of year. I was on my way to Carway to apply at POE for my TWP in the role of a Software Developer. I had no LMO with me, as I did not need one: this is what I took with me:

PASSPORT!
At least $150 CAD cash
Flight Itinerary
Proof of Funds

Job Offer and covering Letter
My Covering Letter
Printouts of all edu and degree Certificates
Printouts of Employer references
Copy of tech specialist latest Resume
Printouts of supporting info on the HRSDC IT Worker exemption
Printout of extract showing I CAN apply at POE.
2 Photos, one with name on back

I got there after much fog and ice at 8.20am – not a bad time really!

I went straight to the US customs desk as guided by all the arrows, handed them my UK Passport. They of course asked the purpose of my crossing, to which I responded that I only wanted to do an ‘around the flagpole’ for the Work Permit/Immigration purposes. The officer asked me politely to park my car up round the side and come into the office. They offered me a seat at a table, and asked me to wait about 5 minutes. The officer then cam over to the table with a filled out form that required me to sign and consent that I was only crossing to do an ‘around the flagpole’, and thus they waived the $6 US for the visa. I signed the form, and he gave me a copy to hand to Canadian border customers round the other side, and he explained that they would then ask my to go upstairs to the Canadian immigration office.

I got back in my car, drove out the lot and turned left back to Canada and pulled up at the customs window. I handed them my passport and the US form. They took it in, asked me to park up and come in and go upstairs to immigration. So far so good!

There were just two others in the waiting room… small but comfortable. No one at the desk, but a sign said to sit and wait, and not leave without permission! I sat and waited for 15 minutes… when an officer returned to the desk and summoned the two ladies and basically handed them work permits, and explained the conditions to them. They left, and he then made me wait another 5 minutes, then summoned me over.
I explained I was there for a work permit. He immediately asked for my LMO, I had to explain the work I planned on doing carried a national confirmation letter in place of LMO, and handed him a bundle of paper, on top my covering letter that explained it all clearly and concisely.
He took a quick look, asked me about my current stay in Canada and previous visits, and then out of the blue said : “So when did you last appear in court?” – what a question! I had to actually answer yes (I thought his eyes were going to pop out!), as I was in court once 19 years ago with a bunch of young people for a minor offence I did not commit. I explained thus as calmly as I could, and that all charges against me were dropped, and that I was not convicted; and that I also carry no convictions of any sort… not even driving related. He sternly said to sit down, and he would go away and look at it all.

I sat down and waited another 15 minutes or so… he came back to the desk and summoned me up. He paused, and said “A work permit is 150 dollars, take this and go downstairs to pay, and come back up and I’ll do it for you”. I said thank you, and went downstairs swiftly to pay (cash), came back up, and had again to sit down for about 10-15 minutes. He then summoned me up again and took note of the payment, and handed me a 2 year TWP for my employment in Calgary! He explained it was valid for 2 years, at which time I would have to leave Canada. I said I understood, and took all my paperwork etc, said thank you and walked out!

All in all, it was nerve-wracking, he was very formal and unfriendly, but then I would expect that is how they are trained to be at these border posts…

I've also already got my SIN Number as well from the Service Canada office in Calgary

I’ve been in Calgary for 3 weeks. That is how long it took me to secure work and get my TWP as a software developer… I would never have believed it possible!

Simon
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