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Please Help With A Canadian Immigration Plan!

Please Help With A Canadian Immigration Plan!

Old Oct 1st 2013, 11:30 pm
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Default Please Help With A Canadian Immigration Plan!

I wanted to post on here to get some general advice/thoughts/recommendations about a possible move to Canada. I'll try and keep things as short as possible but bear with me as I realise the more information available, the better you can advise.

So we (that's myself, my wife and 8yr old son- all UK citizens) have just moved back to the UK after living for 3 years in Miami, Florida. I was working there for a US company. We moved there with no specific intention to stay or return, we were open-minded about where life would take us.

Life was pretty good - we were living on the beach, enjoying the sunshine, but of course it's never quite as simple as that. Although I was earning a good wage, the cost of living (rent, healthcare school-fees etc.) meant that it was very hard to make ends meet. We were hoping to be able to travel around a bit in the USA and be able to come back to the UK a few times, but funds and limited work holiday time prevented this. All in all we didn't see a long-term future for us there.

So after much agonising back and forth, we took the decision to move back to England earlier this year and we arrived back in June. We have our family here which was a big factor in our decision too. It was a tough decision to move back. I was initially hoping my US employer would allow me to work for them here in the UK but they didn't want that so we went our separate ways. In many ways it's good to be back in the UK (connecting again with family/friends, relatively low-cost of living, and of course the good old NHS!) There's a lot more factors that went into the decision (long-term career prospects, green card issues etc.) but I want to keep this short. I should add that we own our home in the UK and had it rented out whilst in America.

I've been busy setting up a business over the past few weeks which is based in the UK, and after considerable planning it's about to go live, so we're hoping things work out on that front. It's an online business and I can be geographically neutral - I don't really have to meet clients and I can do it all via phone/email. It's what I was doing out in America, only this time I'm doing it for myself and it's aimed at UK clients.

We loved the way of life in the USA, and to be honest (and of course not unexpectedly) the 'malaise' is setting in now as winter starts to draw in and it's getting cold, wet, windy and miserable, and we're constantly reminded of all the reasons why we moved away from the UK in the first place!

So to cut a long story short, we would like to move back to North America, but getting into the USA again without a position or a visa is obviously not that straight-forward. We have been to Canada a few times and are very attracted to life there- we see it as a more 'mature' version of America (!) - a similar lifestyle but with better gun laws and healthcare (those things in particular drove us crazy in the US)

Our loose 'plan' therefore is to:

a) concentrate for now on re-adjusting to life in the UK and to knuckle down and make the business successful here. We are acutely aware that we need to build up some capital before we can contemplate making another move across the pond, and my initial investigations into entry requirements confirm that we would need a certain amount of capital as part of the immigration application. Funds are extremely tight now, so a move is out of the question until this improves. Financial responsibility is crucial to this decision-making process, we're not about to do anything reckless and badly thought-through.

b) but whilst the UK has to be the focus for now, I don't want the grass to grow under our feet and I want to start thinking about a road-map to getting us out of here. I know I could look for a job in my field over there but I am very keen on operating my own business and having more security or at least a some sense of control over things. I don't like the idea of moving all the way out there to work for a firm I don't yet know and our whole lives are hinged on that position (what if things were to go wrong? I worked for someone I already knew in Miami and even that didn't work out exactly according to plan). So I am looking for some sort of plan of action to enable us to move in the not too distant future (1yr? 2yrs?? 3yrs???). I think the most sensible plan would be to start working for Canadian clients from here at some point, and then once I have a decent-enough Canadian client-base I can move over with this. But I'm sure there are many ways of looking at this.

I know there are numerous possible ways of 'skinning this cat' as it were, with different types of visas available (FSTP, FSWP etc.). I have a Bachelor's Degree and almost 20 years experience working in marketing/advertising.

So I'd love to hear any thoughts on how best to tackle this issue. In particular I'd be interested about:

- what type of visa I should be looking at?
- would I need a lawyer or is it something I can do myself? I had an immigration attorney to get me into the US, but isn't it 'easier' to move from the UK to Canada (I don't remember seeing the USA at the last Commonwealth Games!)
- would the process be different depending on which Canadian province we moved to or is that not an issue? Our early thinking is between Toronto, Ontario or Vancouver, British Columbia
- how important is speaking French to get into Canada if we don't plan on living in Quebec? I did an 'A' Level in it back in the day, my wife did an 'O' Level - we're both pretty rusty but could get it back to scratch if necessary
- would I need to have a Canadian business to deal with Canadian clients from the UK? I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be necessary - the US company I worked for had UK clients and billed them all in US$ via credit card. Can you actually start a business in Canada without a Canadian address/bank account?

Having moved once it's made us a lot less fearful of the process, despite the challenges involved in moving a family across the Atlantic. We know there are no guarantees in life and these things are never black and white, but overall we have a strong gut-feeling that we want to live in Canada and not the UK. We do appreciate that the streets aren't paved with gold there, and moving won't guarantee happiness or success, but hey- life's short!

Hope you haven't snoozed off reading this. I appreciate your patience and all thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated...
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 12:20 am
  #2  
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Default Re: Please Help With A Canadian Immigration Plan!

Originally Posted by cheniesboy
I wanted to post on here to get some general advice/thoughts/recommendations about a possible move to Canada. I'll try and keep things as short as possible but bear with me as I realise the more information available, the better you can advise.

So we (that's myself, my wife and 8yr old son- all UK citizens) have just moved back to the UK after living for 3 years in Miami, Florida. I was working there for a US company. We moved there with no specific intention to stay or return, we were open-minded about where life would take us.

Life was pretty good - we were living on the beach, enjoying the sunshine, but of course it's never quite as simple as that. Although I was earning a good wage, the cost of living (rent, healthcare school-fees etc.) meant that it was very hard to make ends meet. We were hoping to be able to travel around a bit in the USA and be able to come back to the UK a few times, but funds and limited work holiday time prevented this. All in all we didn't see a long-term future for us there.

So after much agonising back and forth, we took the decision to move back to England earlier this year and we arrived back in June. We have our family here which was a big factor in our decision too. It was a tough decision to move back. I was initially hoping my US employer would allow me to work for them here in the UK but they didn't want that so we went our separate ways. In many ways it's good to be back in the UK (connecting again with family/friends, relatively low-cost of living, and of course the good old NHS!) There's a lot more factors that went into the decision (long-term career prospects, green card issues etc.) but I want to keep this short. I should add that we own our home in the UK and had it rented out whilst in America.

I've been busy setting up a business over the past few weeks which is based in the UK, and after considerable planning it's about to go live, so we're hoping things work out on that front. It's an online business and I can be geographically neutral - I don't really have to meet clients and I can do it all via phone/email. It's what I was doing out in America, only this time I'm doing it for myself and it's aimed at UK clients.

We loved the way of life in the USA, and to be honest (and of course not unexpectedly) the 'malaise' is setting in now as winter starts to draw in and it's getting cold, wet, windy and miserable, and we're constantly reminded of all the reasons why we moved away from the UK in the first place!

So to cut a long story short, we would like to move back to North America, but getting into the USA again without a position or a visa is obviously not that straight-forward. We have been to Canada a few times and are very attracted to life there- we see it as a more 'mature' version of America (!) - a similar lifestyle but with better gun laws and healthcare (those things in particular drove us crazy in the US)

Our loose 'plan' therefore is to:

a) concentrate for now on re-adjusting to life in the UK and to knuckle down and make the business successful here. We are acutely aware that we need to build up some capital before we can contemplate making another move across the pond, and my initial investigations into entry requirements confirm that we would need a certain amount of capital as part of the immigration application. Funds are extremely tight now, so a move is out of the question until this improves. Financial responsibility is crucial to this decision-making process, we're not about to do anything reckless and badly thought-through.

b) but whilst the UK has to be the focus for now, I don't want the grass to grow under our feet and I want to start thinking about a road-map to getting us out of here. I know I could look for a job in my field over there but I am very keen on operating my own business and having more security or at least a some sense of control over things. I don't like the idea of moving all the way out there to work for a firm I don't yet know and our whole lives are hinged on that position (what if things were to go wrong? I worked for someone I already knew in Miami and even that didn't work out exactly according to plan). So I am looking for some sort of plan of action to enable us to move in the not too distant future (1yr? 2yrs?? 3yrs???). I think the most sensible plan would be to start working for Canadian clients from here at some point, and then once I have a decent-enough Canadian client-base I can move over with this. But I'm sure there are many ways of looking at this.

I know there are numerous possible ways of 'skinning this cat' as it were, with different types of visas available (FSTP, FSWP etc.). I have a Bachelor's Degree and almost 20 years experience working in marketing/advertising.

So I'd love to hear any thoughts on how best to tackle this issue. In particular I'd be interested about:

- what type of visa I should be looking at?
- would I need a lawyer or is it something I can do myself? I had an immigration attorney to get me into the US, but isn't it 'easier' to move from the UK to Canada (I don't remember seeing the USA at the last Commonwealth Games!)
- would the process be different depending on which Canadian province we moved to or is that not an issue? Our early thinking is between Toronto, Ontario or Vancouver, British Columbia
- how important is speaking French to get into Canada if we don't plan on living in Quebec? I did an 'A' Level in it back in the day, my wife did an 'O' Level - we're both pretty rusty but could get it back to scratch if necessary
- would I need to have a Canadian business to deal with Canadian clients from the UK? I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be necessary - the US company I worked for had UK clients and billed them all in US$ via credit card. Can you actually start a business in Canada without a Canadian address/bank account?

Having moved once it's made us a lot less fearful of the process, despite the challenges involved in moving a family across the Atlantic. We know there are no guarantees in life and these things are never black and white, but overall we have a strong gut-feeling that we want to live in Canada and not the UK. We do appreciate that the streets aren't paved with gold there, and moving won't guarantee happiness or success, but hey- life's short!

Hope you haven't snoozed off reading this. I appreciate your patience and all thoughts/comments would be greatly appreciated...
Hi and welcome to BE.
I'm glad that you kept this "as brief as possible" !
Start by reading the Wiki section on the blue bar above. It will answer most of your questions. When you have done that come back with some specific questions and the kind folks here will be able to assist you.
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 12:32 am
  #3  
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Default Re: Please Help With A Canadian Immigration Plan!

Ah, the wiki. Good starting point - I appreciate the advice (and the welcome)!
Thanks...
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Old Oct 2nd 2013, 3:31 am
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Default Re: Please Help With A Canadian Immigration Plan!

Greetings and welcome to BE

I'm not sure if the 'start up' visa is included in the wiki, but I would suggest having a look at the requirements as it 'could' be a suitable route for you.
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigra...t-up/index.asp

Some of the Provincial nominee programs could also work, you can read more here: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigra.../apply-who.asp

There are more than 50 routes to PR, so have a good look over the wiki and the CIC website, then come back with any questions you have.



Last edited by Siouxie; Oct 2nd 2013 at 3:33 am.
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