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Showing posts with label Approved. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Approved. Show all posts

29 May 2015

How Do You Feel After Having the VISA

Spring Time: Photo taken when I was on my way home after sending SAM to school (
Federal Skilled Worker Program process is difficult, it burns out your time, money and effort.  Then all of these will turn out to be rewarding once you receive the much awaited VISA.

For the first few days of having the VISA in your hands, you feel like your in the state of nirvana.  When the excitement subsides, it will get you to a point of asking yourself, like what my readers emailed me.
Dear Ben, 
Glad to hear you are doing well :) I just received my visa, I want to write to you and ask if you think we should be leaving. You see, we are terribly afraid now, how did you do it?

You see, we are quite comfortable here, do you think we should be living. Appreciate it if you could give me your most honest opinions on whether we should stay or leave. We are Singaporeans without relatives there, are we really better off here? If i move, what should I expect? Can you share more about your wife's experience? Now, i am really scared @#$!%!
Ms. P. (let me know if you want to state your full name here)

Dear Ben
How are you? I hope you are doing great. Thanks for all the info in your web. It was informative and useful.

Btw, I just received my Passport request email from Singapore Visa Office today, I feel bless for that.

I'm planning to arrive at Toronto at around October 2015 from Jakarta.

How is life out there Ben? At the land of your dream.

Now that I got the passport request, how come I have such fears in my heart. Do you have that kind of feeling as well?

Can you share, how did you handle it?
Mr. D. (let me know if you want to state your full name here)
The fear of going out of your comfort zone now kicks in.  Going to a place and not knowing how your life will be, needs a lot of courage and a tough character.  This will be a life-changing journey, for better or for worse.

Here were my replies...
Hi Mr. D., 
First of all, I'm glad to hear such a good news.  This is a life-changer for you. 
You're not alone who feels anxious after receiving the Visa.  I too had felt it after I got the Visa in my hand.  It gave me mixed emotions, leaving my relatives behind and bringing my family to Canada. 
Having my whole family with me to Canada made me worry more. I'm afraid if I don't get a job or my wife does, what will be the arrangement.  Another thing, my Proof of Fund was just enough for us to survive in months. 
Lucky enough, God helped and blessed us a lot.  Got a fine job here with good benefits.
Setting up your mind is what you'll need here.  If you've read my post about my life here in Canada, it emphasized my feelings and what I did. This is to give you and idea on how's life once you get here.  You have to accept the fact that you will start from scratch "0".  
Coming from a tropical country, seeing the zero degrees from National Geographics on your TV screen is peanuts. But, wait until you get here and experience the -22degC temperatures.  You will tell yourself, "What the H.... am I doing here in Canada?".  
You feel like you're tortured when the cold weather touches your skin and penetrates into your bones.
But, you see, with perseverance, discipline, and a proper mindset, we survived the harsh weather and learned that Canada is not bad at all.   
You feel the joy once the spring comes, seeing the real beauty of Canada.
Hi Ms. P, 
We really don't know how our lives will be once we got here.  As long as you're prepared and accepted the fact that you will start at level 1 or even "0", you'll be fine. Don't be discouraged for there will be blessings to come sooner than you think.
I also felt the same way as soon as I received my Visa. I then realized and asked myself, "This is it? Then what?".   
I prepared my mind before coming here... even the thought of having a janitorial job in a stablishment.  As soon as we arrived here, I opened all my options, saying yes to all the offers of my friends and the friends of my friend.   
Now, here I am, working with the same NOC, the same work I had in Singapore with higher salary and benefits. 
When people get out of their comfort zone, there's always the feeling of fear.  It's normal, you're not the only one having this kind of feeling.  But, once you get here and will get to know the place and environment, you'll begin to like it.  For me, this is the best place that I've ever been to.  
If you need help when you're here in Toronto, just give me a shout.  I'm willing to help and guide you to the best that I can.
This opportunity comes once in your lifetime, grab it! 
Don't be discouraged when you hear bad things about Canada.  We have different preferences, goals, and mindsets.  It's up to you to see and experience it yourself.

Our only common denominator is to have better lives for ourselves and our family.

Do you want more photos of Canada like the one on top?  Please tick the LIKE button below.

16 April 2015

MM2C NEWS: MM2C Subscriber Got A Very Good News!

Helping someone achieve his dream is the best feeling money can't buy.  Few days ago, one MM2C subscriber emailed me to share his good news.

Before I start sharing,  I want to let you know that few months ago, when I was in Singapore, I met him and made a post about it.

Meeting with an FSW Applicant and MM2C Subscriber

What is the Good News?
He sent me an email...
"Hi Ben,
Just want to share with you, I got my PPR.
I have sent my passport using VFS to Visa office and now I am waiting for the passport to return to me with the visa on it hopefully. 
Now, I am worried about finding accommodation in Canada. One of my facebook friends who is living in Vancouver told me that he has room to rent in his house. But I am not sure Vancouver is the right place for new immigrant who is looking for job.
If you have time, please share what is the best option of accommodation for single new immigrant like me. 
How is your life in Canada so far? "
If you are still not familiar with the FSW abbreviations, like PPR, it's a PassPort Request.  When you get this request, that means you had passed the Medical Exam and Police Clearances.  

Then, Canada will give you the most important sticker in the world, the VISA!  Here's my experience with it...

 My Answer to His E-mail
"Hi Friend,
WOW! Congratulations!
I'm so happy to know that you have your Passport request and soon to receive your Visa.
My suggestion for you, since you have a friend in Vancouver, that you stay there first and try to find a job.  Your friend can help you settle there in every step of the way.  
The good thing also is that you can have a room to rent with him.
Compared to living in Toronto, it's difficult for you to settle here if you don't have someone to stay with.  
Although there are lots of apartments and basement houses here that you can rent, but you will be with a complete stranger.  It will cost you around C$500-$1000/per month to have a 1-bedroom flat here. It might cost you around C$300-500 for a bedroom or in a basement.  This is only my estimate. 
I am not familiar with the employment in Vancouver. But in Toronto, there are lots of survival jobs here especially when you land during school time.  You can work in factories while applying for the perfect job. 
For now, I'm working in my field, not an assembler anymore. My job is the same in Singapore, my NOC, which is Instrument Technician and mechanic.  My salary is higher than in Singapore.   
If you have read my wife's post in my blog, she is now a full-time housewife.  We can still have our savings with this setup with the help of the Free education for my kids and allowance from the government.  For now, we are good and happy! 
It's up to you to decide and let me know where you want to land."
Federal Skilled Worker application was the most difficult program that I've been through.  A lot of time and money I'd sacrificed.  All I can say for now is that...


Please tick LIKE below if you agree!

28 August 2014

VISA-Stamped Passport : New Update from the CVAC Singapore

Got an email from the Canada Visa Application Service (CVAC) in Singapore informing me that our processed passports were dispatched from the Canada Visa Office and is ready for collection.
I paused for a while, still holding my mouse, bowed down, closed my eyes facing the floor and said "Thank's God!", with a sign of relief.
At my previous post about sending my passport to CVAC, I had explained there on how to go to their office.  You can follow that post here.

What I Felt at the CVAC Office?

With no time to waste, I went out of our office and headed to CVAC.  I had to hurry because the collection schedule of the passports was from 2:00pm to 4:00pm only.

My heart was beating fast, feet felt numb and had butterflies in my stomach.  This is weird, even if we were already informed from the previous month that our visas are approved, the excitement was still intense. 

Knowing that our passports will be on my hands and touching it in a little while, had me realized that time really flies fast, and now, this is the real thing!

At the 11th floor, one lady applicant was in front of me, holding her folder.  I can also sense how she feels right at the moment.  She's so excited to go inside the CVAC main door, and so was I.

When it was my turn, the guard gave me a queuing number and I'm the second person to collect.  My hands trembled from the excitement.  I can't explain why I am feeling this way, it could be because of the FSW Applicant Syndrome.

How Our Immigrant Visas Look Like?

The attendant pressed the button for the next queue number, and it was my turn.

I handed her my Identification Card (IC) and the CVAC receipt for verification purposes.  She went inside the small room and came back bringing 4 big brown envelopes.

Each envelope has a sticker on it, labelled with our names and particulars. She instructed me to inspect the details of each passports before leaving the room.

I sat down, hands still shaking.  As I ripped off the sealed envelope, I saw my passport initially opened at the center page, with the most valuable sticker in the World, my FSW Immigrant Visa!!!

The most valuable sticker in the World, my FSW Immigrant Visa!!!
The feeling of fulfillment is within me at that moment, I was at cloud nine.  I can still recall the years of anxieties that I have been through, it was refreshed at an instant by this one thin piece of sticker.

What are the Other  Enclosed Documents?

Aside from the passport,  it enclosed 2 sheets of paper and a brochure.

  • The paper is the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR), one copy has the photo of the applicant. 
  • The brochure is for the Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP).

You can see my Timeline for the bird's-eye view of my FSW Canada journey.  Press LIKE if you have also felt the excitement.

If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below or email me at

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25 August 2014

Photo Requirement: Make a Good Quality Photo But Cheaper

When I started my Federal Skilled Worker Program application in Canada, I encountered this small problem.  It's about the photo that I need to provide.

It was stated at the FSW form IMM7000 - Appendix A that the photo should follow a certain standard size.  There is a minimum and maximum size of the face and it should look like this...

3 Ways to Have Your Photo Taken
  1. Have your photos taken professionally.
  2. Photo booth it!
  3. Do it yourself.

Have Your Photos Taken Professionally

Have your photo taken by a professional photographer, the one with pricey cameras and photo editing softwares in a studio, who charges you around SGD10.00 or more.  This is for applicants who has no more time to look for photo booths and can spare extra costs.

The good thing for this approach is that you can have a nice image with a quality photo paper.  Studios have the proper lighting and you have the option to choose which suit you would want to have.  They can even edit a picture of a suit and insert it at your photo to make you look professional.

It is more convenient since you only have to show the Appendix A form and they'll know what to do next, it's because they are professionals.

Photo Booth It!
If you want a brand new set of photos but with lesser quality than the professional ones, you can have it at a photo booth located inside the Singapore malls and other public places.

I saw one near the Choa Chu Kang MRT Station and bus is specifically located at the corner of Block 304 , just beside the OCBC Bank.

Another location is at the Jurong Point Mall at Boonlay MRT station.  You can see it at the bus interchange waiting area of Bus # 193, 181.

If you don't have an idea on how it looks like and though it's a common machine, it should look like this.

Photo Booths in Singapore
Take note, you need 6 photos for the FSW application and this booth will only provide you 4 pieces for a price of SGD7.00.

Do It Yourself 

Because of this Settlement Fund issues, I am now tight with my budget.  Even a few cents makes a big impact on my view of my money.  Saving for the Proof of Fund is serious and you will know it once you have been approved.

Inside my wallet, I had a passport size few-week-old photos, but left 2 pieces of it because I already used some for other important matters.

The problem is that I need to provide 6 pieces for the FSW Canada full application and that also includes all my dependents.  I don't want to waste these 2 photos.

I thought of a way on how to save it.
  • I scanned one of the photos and edited it in a free photo editing software, then pasted it in the Microsoft Word.  Arranged it to fit at the photo paper.
  • Printed it in a photo paper that I bought from the Popular office supplies. 
  • Cut it using scissors and it's good!
What if I don't have any existing photos?
Well, your problem is not a problem.  It is a matter of a simple tactic. If you have an iPhone or a DSLR, then use it.  If you don't have, ask a friend that has one. Take a photo of you with a proper suit, position and a good lighting.


Have a white background to ease up the editing.  Edit it using the free photo editing software.  I recommend to use the Paint.Net, which I'm using it for 5 years now, by the way.  If you want to learn more, ask me then.  If you don't know how, I can also do the editing for you.

Then print the photos as what I did with mine.

Photos are required during these stages in FSW.
  • When you submit your full application package.
  • Medical Exam
  • Visa Stamping
You will appreciate this technique when you have a family of 4.  Press the Like button below if you agree.

If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below or email me at

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12 July 2014

VISA APPROVED for Federal Skilled Worker Canada: My Experience

Let me record this date so I can’t forget it for the rest of my life.  

On 10 July, 2014, at exactly 12 months since the submission of my Full Application to Canada and a day before my son’s birthday, is the one of the most celebrated day of my life! 

For my son TOM,
This is the best birthday gift that I will give you and your Kuya that will change your future.

Someday, when you start to read and digest sentences, you’ll be able to understand why your Dad had to be working in Singapore, away from all of you. 
Read this story and the rest of the blog because all of these are for you and your Kuya. 
- Dad
How I Got the Good News?
The smell of durian was all over inside the MRT, it was from the plastic bag carried by one of the tourist.  He doesn’t know that bringing durian inside the MRT is prohibited and he could be penalized for doing that.

This reminded me of Geylang, where you can eat durians 3 for $10. 

My luggage weighed 10.35kg and I’m sure that they won’t bother to fine me for this extra 0.35kg.  To make sure, I carried my laptop bag at my back and placed some things at my jacket.

At the check-in counter, I placed my handcarried luggage at the weighing scale.  As usual, without check-in baggage.  Then, the booking lady handed me my boarding pass with an isle seat, which I’ve requested beforehand.

The immigration was full of passengers queuing at each counter.  It was not a problem for me since I can pass through using the automatic immigration clearance machine for Long Term Pass holders.

Inside the Terminal 2, I bought the Bee Cheng Hiang "bak kwa"" for my sons.  They love it a lot.

At the second floor of the Terminal 2, I found a Subway outlet and bought a vegetable patty sandwich.  It caused me SGD6.90.  Ate it while on my way to the gate.

I sat down and set my phone to tethering mode /hot spot so I can access the internet with my laptop.  

Feeling full and comfortable, I opened my laptop to see the latest news at my FB account and posted at my website a new post.  

Then, I wondered if what was in my Yahoo mail account.  Logged in with my user name and my password and pressed Enter.

The browser displayed the latest emails in Bold letters and one of them was the news that came from the sender MANILImMIGRATION@....

At this moment, I knew that there will be tears or a smile once I opened this email.  Took a deep breath with a closed eyes, then I clicked on to the message.

My eyes don’t know where to start reading as I’m looking for the word Approved or Regret.

Then, I read the words:

“Dear Applicant,

Please find the attached letter for your application for permanent residence.”...

My heart starts to pound to the heart rate that I usually don’t feel.  Another breath of air to my lungs with a slight contraction from my stomach.

I scrolled down and opened the attachment with my name labelled on it, hovered and clicked the mouse to open the document.

Then a letter appeared from a shocked and focused eyes with the following words.


This refers to your application for permanent residence in Canada. We are now ready to issue your immigration visa(s).

Your visa(s) will be valid for your initial entry to Canada until (mm/dd/yy).

In order to complete the process, you must submit all of the following:”…..

The moment I read the words READY TO ISSUE YOUR IMMIGRATION VISA, I stopped reading the letter and looked up to the ceiling, felt the air-conditioned room inside the boarding gate.  

The sound of the television, screening the football game of Argentina vs Netherlands, was passing through both of my eardrums.

Stilled looking up the ceiling, I closed my eyes and whispered slowly “Thank you Lord”, while hands uncontrollably trembling.  

One of the best feeling that happened to me since my wife told me her sweet YES.
If you are touched by this post, please tick the LIKE button below.  Your questions are welcomed at the comment below or at the ASK ME section of this blog.

Any personal message to me, you can send me an email at
Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada