my experience so far

Old Apr 3rd 2003, 9:56 am
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Default my experience so far

Hi,

I've been following this forum for quite a while and I just want to share a little bit of my experience so far while trying to immigrate to Canada as a skilled worker.

I came to the US 4 years ago to work (yeah, another H-1 programmer), just for the professional opportunity (standard of life kind of the same I had, OK I have a bigger car now).

I have some distant family in Canada and I've been thinking of immigrating even before I moved to the US. Two years ago I looked up the official Canadian web site and started gathering up my papers. This has been quite difficult, for example two of the companies I worked for dissapeared, so I got support documentation from goverment agencies to prove I was indeed working there.

I've been delayed for like a year for a damned police clearance paper from my home country that is very difficult to obtain, specially if you are abroad. Besides, when I got some of my papers ready, the law changed last year and I had to obtain again some papers (like the university transcripts).

OK, so far nothing unheard of. Some specifics now:
I wanted to have an educational certifiacate reviewed by one of the credential evaluation services. I wanted a Canadian organization, so first I went with ICAS (www.icascanada.ca) because it was the cheapest one, and it turned out to be a waste of time and money. They just certified my high school title but didn't bother to certify my professional school title. We exchanged a couple of emails and they said they couldn't contact the school (It was during academic vacation), so the paper (that never came) was actually useless.

Then I used Wes (www.wes.org), and it was OK. They did their job but I'm not thrilled since they were a little uncommital with my technical school certificate.

The FBI clearance went fine, I went to a correctional facility and from the FBI it took like 3 weeks.

There have been some posts about getting police report from every US state. Well, I haven't seen specifics about this in the official forms or guides, even if they have a section about the FBI fingerprints. The issue is that some states are not connected to the federal criminal database (remember the Maryland sniper? he had a record in some other state but it took them a month to figure it out). I searched in the internet but couldn't find like a list of these stupid states.

I also had a bunch of documents from my home country translated from Spanish to English. I looked for a certified translator in Canada, and I found www.marthagonya.com . I'm happy with her job, very neat, with two copies and in a good time and at a reasonable rate.

While I was researching the best way to send her the fees, I found www.c2it.com from Citibank, that lets you send money overseas for a flat US$10 with your credit card. I was a little pissed when I discovered that it's considered a cash advance, so you have to pay a hefty % in your card. It's obvious now, but they didn't mention it.

I also looked for a way to have a Canadian bank account from here, and the closest thing I found is as account (by Citi also) where you can have US and/or Canadian dollars.

So now I have finally all the paperwork done. Now I'll fill out the forms and try to figure what would be the best way to organize them for the immigration official. Then I'll be queued in Buffalo for a couple of years...

thanks
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