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Showing posts with label Documents. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Documents. Show all posts

01 January 2017

Express Entry Guide 2017 for FSW Canada: Video

Found this video very useful for someone who wants to immigrate to Canada as an Experienced Professional and Skilled Worker.

But, before you start creating an Express Entry profile, make sure that all your documents are ready because it needs most of your information.  Have a list of documents that you need and most importantly, prepare the proof of fund.

Have a quick look on how the Express Entry works.


You can also read more about Express Entry in www.cic.gc.ca.  Here's the link:


If you need the sample documents and some guides to fill up the documents that lack spacing, visit the Resources page of my blog.

MM2C RESOURCES 

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18 December 2015

Canada Child Benefits (CCTB, UCCB): Our Application Experience as FSW

If you had just landed in Canada, you must be aware that there are benefits for your children under the age of 18.

During our first week in Toronto, we immediately sent the child benefits application.  It was helpful for us, especially when we don't have jobs yet to make our cash flow positive. There were many benefits that our child had received, given that our income was at the minimum.

In order for you to receive the corresponding benefit, you need to send an application to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

Who should apply?
The one who's primarily in charge of upbringing and care of the child.  For us, even though we were not yet working during the application, we agreed that my wife will be the applicant. That is usually the case for new immigrant couples.

For the New Immigrants, let me show you the step by step procedure on how to apply for the child benefits.

STEP 1 (Gather the Documents)
Gather all documents to establish your relationship with your child.

1.  Marriage certificate (copy)
2.  Birth certificate (copy)
3.  Copies of the COPR (copy)

This will not be difficult for newcomers as we had all the documents with us upon landing.

Prepare your bank account details.  If CRA fails to send payment to your bank, the benefit will be paid to you by cheque.

STEP 2 (Print the Forms)
Print the necessary documents at the Canada Revenue Agency website as follows:

1. Canada Child Benefits Application RC66
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc66/README.html

2. Status in Canada / Statement of Income RC66SCH
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pbg/tf/rc66sch/README.html

Fill out the necessary details legibly.

STEP 3 (Sending the Application)
1. Place the documents and forms inside an envelope.
2. Mail the completed forms with the supporting documents to the province where you reside.

Click the province below for the mailing address.
Source: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/bnfts/ddrss-eng.html
Where to Mail the forms?
Go to the nearest Canada Post branch.  Before you click the link below, you must know your Zip Code (ex: J2M H2T)

The mail will be delivered to the CRA within 3 days.

STEP 3 (Wait for the Payment)
Once your application is complete and no additional documents needed from the CRA, you will now receive the Child Benefits through your bank account or by cheque.

CRA uses your application to determine if you are eligible for other child benefits.  So, you will receive payments from different branches of the government.

Note:
Don't forget to contact CRA if your status and personal information had changed.

If you have questions regarding my experience in this application, contact me at benalagnam@yahoo.com.  I'll can help you as fast as I can.

Please tick the LIKE button below if this is helpful and Share to new immigrants as well.

30 November 2015

Applying for a US Visa in Toronto Canada Experience

Is it easy to get a US Visa when you're in Canada?

Most Filipinos dreamed of going to the United States of America.  Some wanted to take a tour and others to migrate.  On the other hand, what it takes to get a Visa from the Philippines?  Is it the same as while in Canada?

I have friends and relatives who attempted to apply for the Visa in the Philippines but were denied.  Some got through and stayed there for good.

My goal was only to be here in Canada and maybe I can visit the US in the near future.  It's not my dream to live in the US.  If given an opportunity, maybe a 5-day tour is enough for me.

One day, I was called by the company's CEO and was tasked to do one important thing.  They need me to get a Visa for a business trip to the United States of America!  I was a little shocked and excited at the same time.  It's an opportunity of a lifetime.

A lot of blessings were given to me since I get here.  This time, I was caught unprepared.  ...Then, I suddenly remembered the difficulty of having the Canada FSW Visa, the documents that I need to prepare.  But now, it would be easy for me because all my documents were ready.

The only issue of me having the US Visa is that I have to arrange it myself.  But, the company will shoulder all the expenses.

So, I searched online for the procedure and gathered the required documents.

For your information, I will explain the step by step process of getting a US Visa here in Toronto.  This is a B1/B2, for tourism and business, type of VISA,  it's also termed as business and business for pleasure.

STEP 1 (Preparation)
I prepared the documents needed for the VISA.
1. Passport
  • Current Passport valid for travel to the United States. The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements.) 
  • .  Passport containing the most recently issued U.S. Visa (if applicable). 
2. 2x2 photo ( hardcopy and softcopy)
Went to a photographer and informed him that I need photos for US VISA purpose and paid C$19 for 4 copies.
The photographer sent me a JPEG copy for online submission.

3. Father, Mother, and Relatives in US Details
My parents were no longer living so I have to rely on the previous copies of my previous CIC application regarding their details.  I have to know my father's and mother's birthday.  This will be used for online application later on.

If you have relatives in US, know their details like name, birthday and address.

4. Education Details
I need to know the school details like the name and address, degree and date of graduation.

5. Previous Employment Details
I need to provide the duties of current and past employment.  Resume comes in handy.

6. National ID number
I used the Philippines Tax Identification Number for this.

7. Proof of Legal Status in Canada.
I have my passport with me, with a Canadian Visa stamp in it, and brought a photocopy and original copy of my COPR and Permanent Residence card just in case they ask.

I did not include my wife and kids in my application.  For your information, if you want to include them in your application, here are the requirements:
The following documents may be useful to support your visa application:
Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the United States.Evidence that you have significant ties to the country to which you intend to return at the end of your stay in the United States (This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to a country other than the United States.)
So, I requested a letter with the intention of my stay, funds, and significant ties in Canada from my employer just in case the US Consulate asks.

8. Details of Destination
I printed the list of all the names and addresses of our US suppliers.  This will be asked at one portion of the application.

We set a certain date of my departure for the sake of the application.  It was a tentative date because we were not sure if they will approve my Visa or not.

STEP 2 (Online Application)
After Completing the required information from 1 to 8, I went online to make an online application at this link:
Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS160) https://ceac.state.gov/GenNIV/default.aspx
1. I chose Toronto, Canada for the location and there are three red tabs at the right of that website, I clicked the "START AN APPLICATION" tab.

Don't worry if you don't finish the application, you can save and retrieve it anytime, just remember the Application Number.

If you have other questions regarding DS-160, go to the link below:
Frequently asked questions for DS-160

2. Upload the photo online
At the end of the online application, there's a step there on how to upload the photo.

3. Sign the Document Online
You have to finish the process by signing the document online.  It is just like agreeing to all the terms and conditions pertaining to your application.

4. I printed the completed DS-160 form.

STEP 3 (Online Appointment)
Schedule an appointment by creating an account with the website.
Schedule an appointment https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ca/niv/information/niv
I created an account with the website and selected the available time of appointment.  Luckily, I got an appointment 4 days after my online application.

Then I paid USD160.00. A receipt was emailed to me for my future reference.

I printed the Confirmation and instructions page.
 Note: Bring the Confirmation and Instructions page at the Interview printed from the website 
STEP 4 (Interview)
The very first thing to consider during the interview is not to bring prohibited items.  There are many in the list. To avoid such concerns, what I did was to wear and bring the basic things like:

Clothing and Personal Belongings:
Jeans (no belt)
Shoes and pair of socks (no metallic object)
Car key
Shirt
Jacket
Wallet

Documents: 
Passport
Letter from my employer
Payment Receipt (emailed)
Proof of Legal Status in Canada (PR Card, COPR)
Confirmation and Instructions
DS160

Contact information and how to visit on appointment day.
http://toronto.usconsulate.gov/contact.html

The documents were placed in a clear folder so I can retrieve it easily.  There was a line (queue) outside of the embassy, but I arrived on time for my appointment anyway, so no worries.

The person in charge checked the documents and led me to the entrance door, where the x-ray machine was located.  Then another person reviewed my documents then instructed me to proceed to the room.

There's another queue that leads to the 3rd document checkpoint where I presented my passport.  Then I queued to another line, which leads to the Visa Officer (Interviewer).

It took me about 20 minutes with all the documents checking from the main entrance of the embassy to the Officer counter.

While on the queue, I can hear the voice of the Officer asking an applicant because the counter have speakers in it.  Some were approved and others denied, I can see tears or smiles on their faces.

Even though my application was not a do or die thing, but I felt nervous.  When it was my turn, I felt the rapid heartbeat, but my facial expression remained calm.

The officer asked me about my job and places to visit in US, took my passport and gave me a piece of paper and told me..."Your Visa is Approved!"...it took 5 minutes for the decision.

Two weeks after, I received an email. It was an instruction on how to pick up my passport with the Visa.  It was at a designated forwarder.

So I went to the forwarder's office, showed my PR Card and opened up my passport.  Another sticker was printed on it, with a Visa validity of 10 years!

Watch the Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9dmkE2UWAk&feature=youtu.be

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30 November 2014

Immunization Record Requirement for Federal Skilled Worker in Canada

In Philippines, we do have immunization for our kids and even for adults.  Some may avail it for free, but others prefer to have it from their private doctors.

If you had been religiously following the vaccines for your child, that is a great move.  But having your child immunized is not good enough if you don't have the immunization record.

Immunization Record is the way to trace and monitor your child's vaccine schedule and to know what's next.  This is helpful for pediatricians for them to assess the status of your child's health.

What is the Importance of Immunization Records in Immigrating to Canada?
If you are planning to apply for the FSW Canada or waiting for your Positive Eligibility Response (PER) from the Centralized Intake Office (CANADA) and has children below 16 years of age, please read this post further.

Children are supposed to be immunized from deadly viruses and should be taken serious consideration from the parents.  Some countries don't have a proper concerns about this vaccinations and is taken for granted, passing the great responsibilities to parents.

As a parent, we are responsible for the health of our children and should bring them to their pediatricians to have their periodic check-ups and immunization.  Usually, when we bring them to the doctor, all the medicines and vaccines given  to your child is recorded, it's either in index cards or computer database. It doesn't matter where they record the data as long as it is held and can be retrieved anytime.

These records can be requested at any time.  It comes with a doctor's professional fee or may be FREE.  For me, I paid PHP600.00 for the immunization record.  I will place the link of the Immunization Record form below for your reference.

Now, why do we need to secure an immunization record from the pediatrician?

Canada takes a lot of effort to protect our children and adults from dangerous and deadly viruses.  That is why they urge parents to have their children vaccinated periodically.

For new immigrants specially the Federal Skilled Workers or Provincial Nominees, we are required to submit the Immunization Record of our children who are 16 years of age and below.

This is not required during our landing in Canada and Custom's inspection, but during the enrollment in schools.

How does the Immunization Record Form look like?
Usually, during the approval and stamping of passports for the Immigrant Visa, Canada provides an Immunization Record form that is readily available for the doctor's signature.

Unfortunately, when our visa-stamped passports arrived, there is no Immunization Record attached with it.  Is it luck or just fate? Oh well...

So, what did I do?

I informed my sister about it and searched online for the form.  But, it's nowhere to be found.

Luckily, she had the previous record of her son and so I asked her to show it through Skype.  It looks like this.

Immunization Record Form for FSW Canada Immigrants
It was written in the form that it can be photocopied, so I made my own form with all the similar details in it.

I had uploaded the form to my Google Drive and if you want to have a copy of it, you can click the photo below and request for a copy.  This is what my form look like, have a quick look at it.

Immunization Record (blank)
Once you had requested the link, print it and have your pediatrician fill up the form and make sure to let her sign.

Here is the link of the Immunization Record form at my Google drive.

"For children attending school in Ontario, a written immunization record or proof of immunization is required, by law, for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella unless there is a valid written exemption."- OntarioImmigration.ca

What we did with the Immunization Record?
When we were still in the Philippines, we went to our son's pediatrician and ask her to sign the Immunization record.  She scanned though our child's baby book and records and wrote all the immunization dates in the form.  She then signed the space provided and asked us to pay PHP600.00.
Tip: Bring along your children's baby books.  This is very important as some of the pediatrician don't have a proper filing of their client's records.  It is also possible that you have two pediatricians attending your child's care.
After a few days of arrival in Canada, we visited the school and inquired about the enrollment.  The registrar gave us some forms and one of the requirement is the Immunization Record. After completing the forms and requirements, our son immediately was admitted to the school for FREE.

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14 September 2014

How to Get a Singapore Driving Certificate or Extract of Driving License Records

If you have a Driving License in Singapore and planning to immigrate to Canada on a Federal Skilled Worker Program , this post is right for you.

Since my first year, I've been driving in Singapore with a valid Singapore Driving License.  This license was converted from my Philippine to a Singapore license, which is also known as the Driving License Conversion.  I had explain this in details at one of my post here.

My brother in law in Toronto advised me to get a certificate from the Philippine Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Singapore Traffic Police to prove that I can drive a vehicle in Toronto, Canada.

In doing so, I can challenge the G2 test driving immediately so I can drive alone in Canada.  For this test, I won't be able to explain it further.  I'll update you on this as soon as I arrive in Toronto.

My Driving Experience

Driving both in Philippines and Singapore is confusing.  You know why?

In Singapore, the lane is at the left side, where you will be holding the steering wheel at the right side of the car and the gear is at the middle, it's a right-hand drive.

In Philippines it's the opposite, a left-hand drive, but the gear is still at the middle with the same gear orientation as with the right-hand drive.

Watch my YouTube Channel to have a better view on driving in Singapore.



Working and driving in Singapore everyday will get me used to driving in left lanes.  The problem is when I go back on vacation to Philippines, the lanes are at the opposite.

The first time I went home from Singapore to Philippines was so scary.  I had to close my eyes before driving and imagine my previous Philippine driving skills on changing lanes specially at the intersections.

That was a dilemma for quite sometime, but now, I had adjusted my brain by installing a switch at the back of my head, one for Philippines and the other is for the Singapore driving mode..:D

In Canada, I have to drive at the right lanes, just like in Philippines.  There will be little adjustment necessary. But I need to know the new set of road signs.

In this post, I will tell you my experience in getting a copy of the Driving Certificate in Singapore Traffic Police.  I'll just make a separate post for the Philippines LTO.

My Experience in Getting a Driving Certificate in Singapore

Since I got my license at the Bukit Batok Driving Center, few years ago,  I assumed that I can get a copy of the driving certificate there.

I went in the main entrance door and headed to the information center.  The lady at the desk was friendly enough to accommodate my queries but instructed me to take the stairs up to the second floor.

At the second floor,  the queue were not fully occupied, got the number and took a seat.  For about a few minutes, the queue screen displayed my number so I went to the counter to inquire.  I was then advised to visit the Singapore Traffic Police at Ubi Avenue because they are not allowed to issue the certificate.

She gave me a piece of paper, written with the address and contact number of the center.  Here it is...

Traffic Police HQ
#10 Ubi Avenue 3
Singapore 408865
General Inquiries: 6547 0000 Ext. 0

The next day, I went at the above address and parked at block 180.  Private vehicles, unless authorized, can not park inside the Traffic Police Headquarters.

It was not my first time visiting this place as I usually eat at their Cafeteria.  The food, for me, is one of the best in Singapore in a food-court category, the first stall in particular.  The taste of their food is superb, just like eating in a restaurant but the price is the same as the Hawker centers.

Anyway, enough for the food, as you enter the main building, you have to get a queuing number at the reception.  Then proceed to the counters at the right.  There are plenty of chairs there waiting for you.

I was assigned at the counter #2.  The counter desk officer was very accommodating and knowledgeable.  That moment, I found out that the document is not termed as Driving Certificate but it's an "Extract of Driving License Records". 

He gave me a form, filled it up with my particulars and submitted it to him again.  He instructed me to wait for the cashier for the payment process.

Around 5 minutes, a lady was calling my name, the cashier.  She informed me to pay SGD10.00 for the certificate.  Then, she immediately printed out the License Records in a 1 whole sheet of A4-sized paper and handed me a small envelope printed with the Singapore Traffic Police logo.

This is another additional expense for my immigration journey.  Read my FSW expenses here.

How to Go To Singapore Traffic Police Headquarter?

If you are not driving to the Traffic Police Headquarter, you can opt to take the bus.  Here are the list of bus services for you to choose.  Don't worry if you get lost, just look at the building with Singapore Traffic Police Sign.

Bus Services No. 
   8, 22, 24, 70, 76, 84, 152, 158, 864, 641   

Whether you're driving or commuting, you can refer to this map for your convenience.



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18 August 2014

Spouse IELTS and CLB in FSW Canada 2014: How to Compute?

To increase the points for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program in Canada, it's either you have an arranged employment in Canada or have your spouse take the IELTS test.

Applying for a job in Canada when you are outside of the country is difficult to attain, unless your skills or talent is unique and in-demand.

I suggest to have your spouse take the IELTS General Training test.  The band score that he/she can get will have a CLB equivalence, which corresponds to points in the FSW Adaptability factor.

It is stated at the Adaptability factor that you can receive 5 points if you have an evidence of the language skills of your spouse.  The only way to provide such evidence is by producing the IELTS test results.

How to Compute for the Spouse Language Skills Points?
After obtaining the IELTS test results, which is in reading, listening, writing and speaking.  Each type will have its corresponding band scores.

These band scores also have a corresponding FSW points and you need to compute it to know whether you have an additional 5 points.

The requirement states that your spouse should get a Canadian Language Benchmarks (CLB) level of 4 and above in English or in French.

Since the IELTS are measured by band scores, we will use that to get its equivalent CLB level.

Here are the corresponding IELTS band scores in a CLB level 4.
CLB 4 = IELTS (Reading - 3.5 Writing - 4.0 Listening - 4.0 Speaking - 4.0)
If your spouse can get these scores, you can add 5 points to your FSW Adaptability factor to achieve the minimum total of 67, and submit the IELTS test results together with your full application.

Based on my experience, I decided not to let my wife take the IELTS  for the following reasons:
  • My FSW points are more than 67 even without my wife's IELTS.
  • The fee for taking the test is around US$300,  I'll just add it to my Settlement Fund.
  • It will take time, a month, for me to provide the result and the clock is ticking. 
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15 August 2014

Self-Addressed Mailing Labels for FSW Canada Application

Since the start of my blogging about the FSW Canada, I've been bombarded with questions about this topic.

I remembered my first day of preparing my application, specially on filling up the forms, made it sure that the details and spellings are correct.   One requirement, although it's a simple instruction, consumed my day on thinking how to create it.

You might come across this problem and hoping that what I'm sharing right now can ease your pain in dealing with this minute dilemma.

The problem is about the self-addressed mailing labels.  How do we create it and why do we need to submit this, what's the use?

In an unlucky event, there might be a problem with your document due to incomplete filing, Canada will return your application.  This is not the worst thing that will happen, but it wastes the time you spent on the whole process.

If this happens, Canada will use the mailing labels to return the application at your doorstep.  As stated at the IMM5612-Document Checklist Item #21, there are two copies needed:
  • one in English or French and
  • the other in the official language of your country
This way, they are confident that it will be received successfully by the applicant.

How Does the Two Mailing Label Look Like?
I printed my 2 self-addressed mailing labels in an A4 size paper, landscape setup.  Since the official language in Philippines is English, so I provided two identical documents.

What if English is not your official language?  Let's say that your country is China, the mailing labels should look like this...

First copy:
A4 Size Paper
Language: English

Here is the sample document in Chinese format.

Second Copy:
A4 Size Paper
Language: Chinese

Use the official language used in your country of residence.  This way, the postmaster can deliver your returned application correctly. Hoping it will not happen.

Insert these two documents together with your full FSW Canada application.

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12 August 2014

Meeting with an FSW Applicant and MM2C Subscriber

Few weeks ago, I had a good experience, which motivated me in sharing more on the details of my Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Canada journey.

One of my email Subscibers asked me a favor, which he thought I will decline.  Here's what he wrote.
"Hi Ben,
I have been asking you so many questions and you have been so helpful all the times.
I am not sure you will be able to help me this time. Can we meet one day to check my application package? I don't mind if you say "No" because you have been guiding me all the way until I am ready to submit the application of Canada.
If you can, I can come to your convenient location such as restaurant/Cafe. " T.A.
Reading his email has made me realize that throughout my blogging, on FSW Canada, I had helped and touched a person's life.

I am very glad and honored that someone trusts me and believing my advises even though we are fiber-optically apart.

Where Did We Meet?
Finally, after exchanging few emails, we came up with time and place to meet. We planned meeting at a convenient place where there should be a wide table to lay down the documents.  The wider the table, the better.

My job in Singapore and overseas is communicating with customers through online and offline, so it's not a problem for me to interact with strangers.

We met at a hawker station and have a little conversation before we begun to check his Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Canada application.

During the review, we came across few things that were needed to be revised and learned some lessons as well.  So here are some list of the issues.

The 4 Important Tips
1. The order of the work experience or any dates should be arranged from present (top) to past (bottom).
2. Bringing the complete supporting documents and forms helps a lot in filing.
3. Have 3 hours alloted for the document review.
4. Fill up the forms using a pencil first, so it's easy to edit it during the review and it would be faster to fill it in the PDF forms later.

Due to time constraints, we were forced to transfer to a new venue, from the Hawker station to the 24-hour McDonald outlet.  Although it's a good venue but it has a small table to lay down the documents.

We've done the review for about 3 hours, including few discussions on other issues.

What Happened After the Meet-Up?
Few days had past since our last meet-up, he gladly emailed me that his application was already submitted to Nova Scotia, Canada.  I was so happy to hear that.

The best words that he said was thanking me and he should have a difficulty in filing the application without my help.

For me, the statement was pretty strong.  It made me realize that I have a purpose to blog more and meet people that needs help.

Now, I am hoping for the success of T.A's application and hope that he will update me soon.  If he does, I will definitely post it here.

My Idea for MM2C
There's nothing more exciting than meeting my blog readers in person. This way, we can do these activities:
  • See each other, eat snacks and chat all we want
  • Share knowledge about the FSW Canada application
  • Ask questions to other MM2C Subscribers about FSW matters.
If you are interested on this idea, please email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com.

Important Update on my Blog
You can now input and update your application's timeline at my Google drive here.

How to Add Your Timeline?
To access my Google Drive, just click the link below.

Adding your timeline in my Google Drive can get you these benefits:
  • You can view and update your timeline online at any time.
  • You can compare your timeline with mine and other applicants
  • You can track your progress online
  • View other timelines and give a comment.
Click the link below to view and add your timeline.
 CHECK MY TIMELINE AT GOOGLE DRIVE AND INSERT YOURS TOO!

Sample Snapshot:



Check out the New Menu bar below for faster navigation.
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02 July 2014

Singapore Police and NBI Clearance Not Included in the Full Application

What if your full application for the Federal Skilled Worker in Canada are ready but you don't have the Singapore Police and the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) clearances yet?

At the Checklist IMM5612 item # 18 of FSW Canada, it clearly states that it is recommended to send the police clearance or certificates together with the full application, but if the applicant cannot obtain all the necessary documents, the full application can still be sent to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) without them.  The said document can be sent once requested.

The police certificates are generally considered valid for 1 year only from the date of issuance. If expired, you need to produce a new copy.

The problem is that we don't know when Canada will send us the letter to update our documents or request us to send our medical exam.  

What I Did with my Singapore and Philippines Police Clearance?
During my 2007 application, it took me 5 years to receive a letter from Canada, not a positive one, but it's a letter to return my application. 

My application was not rejected or denied.  The reason was that the Canadian government had decided to return all applications that was received before 2008.  They also returned the processing fees, which confirmed that all my hardships and 5 years of waiting were just a piece of paper thrown in a bin. 

Because of the situation, I always assume that Canada will reply to my future applications one year or more later.

Assuming that Canada will reply to me at a later date,  I made sure that my police certificates were up to date as soon as I send it to them.

I did not send the NBI of my wife and my Singapore Police clearance together with my full application.  Instead, I wrote a letter to the CIO that my Singapore and Philippines' police clearance will be submitted once I received the request letter from them.

If you want a copy of my request letter to CIO, you can email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com or simply click this link to request.  The recommended email address is Gmail, because Yahoo email will sometimes bounce back.

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If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below or email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com.

Important: Please read the DISCLAIMER Page

For questions not related to this post, leave a comment at the ASK ME.

If you want to know more about my life in Singapore, visit my blog at BenAlagnam.com

How much you need to prepare for the applications, visit EXPENSES.

Check on what are the documents you need to prepare and more info on RESOURCES.

26 June 2014

Accredited Assessors for Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) FSW Canada 2014

One of the requirements for the Federal Skilled Worker Program to immigrate to Canada is the Educational Credential Assessment or is shortly known as the ECA.

You need to send your credential to one of the accredited assessors in order for your foreign credentials assessed for the equivalent number of years of studies in Canada.

You can choose your preferred assessor according to your budget and convenience.

They may differ in the fees of their services but at the end of the day, you will get the equivalency report.  You can click each link below to know more about them and their in-house procedures .

List of Accredited Assessors for Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) 2014

Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies


International Credential Assessment Service of Canada



World Education Services


Medical Council of Canada (for professional body)



Pharmacy Examining Board of Canada (professional body)

My Experience in Getting my Credential Assessment at WES
For my ECA, I took the services of World Education Services.  First of all, I found their service fees the cheapest.

I am not in a hurry at that time so mailing documents to WES, for me, is not an issue for a regular or an express.

For my first impression of WES, their website is user friendly and easy to understand.

By the way, I made a blog post on this at this link Credential Assessment for Canadian FSW at WES.  In that post, you can read the detailed story of how I got my WES and how much are my expenses for the whole process.

What To Expect After You Get the Result of Your ECA?
After the assessment of your credentials, the assessor will send you an original copy of the assessment result.  This original copy should be included in your full application for FSW CANADA.

The equivalent number of years of studies written in the report will be your bases for the points in your education eligibility factor.


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If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below or email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com.

For questions not related to this post, leave a comment at the ASK ME.

If you want to know more about my life in Singapore, visit my blog at BenAlagnam.com

How much you need to prepare for the applications, visit EXPENSES.

Check on what are the documents you need to prepare and more info on RESOURCES.

21 June 2014

Certificate of Employment or Letter of Reference for FSW Canada Concerns

One of the requirements for FSW Canada application is to provide a Certificate of Employment or also called as Letter of Reference from your employer.

You need to provide all COEs from your employers for the last 10 years or from your 18th birthday (whichever is applicable).

What are the Problems When Getting a Certificate Of Employment?
1. The previous company was closed - The company had been closed and no longer in operation.  There is no way you can get a COE.
Suggestion: You can provide an affidavit from a lawyer stating that your previous company has already been closed and there is no way for you to contact the administration or Human Resources personnel handling the manpower records.  The letter should be notarized.

2. The Human Resource personnel will not provide customized format for COEs - Every company has its own rules regarding the format of the certificate.  Some HR personnel are too busy to attend to your request.  They don't want to create a new format just for you.
Suggestion: Create your own format in a Microsoft Word or any word processor with all the truthful details that is required by the CIC.  Then hand it over to the HR personnel inside the thumb drive or any other devices. Ask her if she can provide the COE with your format.  Don't forget to smile.  That is why you need to be friendly with the HR's.
3. The Human Resource personnel do not issue COE's - I am not sure of the legalities for companies that do not issue COE's.  If they really can not provide in spite of your persistence, then this is what I suggest.
Suggestion: Before you joined the company, you signed a contract to them, right?  Every month, you have your payslip with you.  And in Singapore, you have the In Principle Approval before you join the company.
These will be your proof that you are working with this company and you can insert a written letter addressed to Canada that your company does not provide COE's to their employers. 
4. The employer will only provide a standard format - These are usually multinational companies that has a large number of employees.  They can only give you a standard format.

Suggestion: You can combine the standard format COE and Suggestion #3.  Send this together with your application.
Details: 
Document 1. Create a COE like format but without the letterhead and with the complete details of your Job Description.  Let your supervisor or manager or the person higher than you, sign the document. The important thing is to show your Job Description there.

Document 2. Get a standard COE from your employer/HR.

Document 3. Make a letter explaining the reason why you can not provide a COE with the complete details as required by Canada.

Attach documents 1, 2 &3 together and include in your full application. 

My Experience in Securing the COE's
Based on my experience, I have done item #2 and 4.  I have worked for three companies and I have difficulties approaching them one by one.   You need to be persistent with a down-to-earth attitude.  Make a request with a kind approach and this will soften the HR personnel's heart.

This is true specially with my first employer.  It is a multinational company with over 1,000 employees.  I went straight to the HR Manager.

"Hi Ma'am, how are you?"I approached her with a smile.

"Fine, and you?" she replied.

"I have a very important request to ask you.", speaking closely next to her.  My eyes looks so sad like the Puss in Boots in Shrek.

I explained to her that I am planning to immigrate to Canada because the situation in the Philippines is not good (on 2002).  This is my opportunity to be in a better place with a greener pasture.  Then added that it would be for my future family.

"In order for me to apply, I need to request from you for a COE, but Canada has a required format so I typed it first in the MSWord, is it alright if you transfer it with the company letterhead?", showing him the disk (sorry this is still the year 2002).

After a week, she handed me the COE with her signature and I asked for her business card, which I attached with the letter.

The lesson here is that you need to be soft when talking with the HR.  Explain to them clearly what is your situation now and why are you migrating.  They will understand because they are only Humans.

Do you want a sample of the COE?
If you want to have a sample of the COE, Register to MM2C Community to download the document. Click the photo below.


SAMPLE Certificate of Employment - This is only a sample, do not copy and paste it as is.  This is only for your reference.  You change the format as necessary, the most important thing is that the details of the COE's are present .

The details like salary, company, and work descriptions inside the COE letter are all fictitious.

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If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below or email me at benalagnam@yahoo.com.

For questions not related to this post, leave a comment at the ASK ME.

If you want to know more about my life in Singapore, visit my blog at BenAlagnam.com

How much you need to prepare for the applications, visit EXPENSES.

Check on what are the documents you need to prepare and more info on RESOURCES.

10 June 2014

Why You Need To Check Your Spam Folder Regularly?

When you submitted you application, you probably have experienced the FSWA syndrome.  It stands for Federal Skilled Worker Applicant syndrome.

This is probably not an abnormal feeling because almost everyone of us who applied for the FSW Canada felt the same way as you.

At this stage, you feel uneasy and it keeps you thinking about the future outcome of your application and whether you missed something or not.

The checking of emails, forums and blogs almost everyday is now your routine.  I tell you now that this is normal.  This will fade away in due time.

What Happens After Sending Your Application?
Once you have sent your application to Nova Scotia, Canada, this is the period where you are now a certified FSW applicant and a life changer to your family and your life.

What happens next is the waiting period.  Once your application arrives in Nova Scotia, it will be reviewed by the officers there.  They will check each of the documents that you've sent for any missing parts or incorrect documentation and this will be the basis on your eligibility.

This is the crucial part wherein the decision of pursuing your application or not is in their hands, the better you arrange your documents, the faster they can sort and process your application.  

The officers are also humans so they have their own ups and downs.  Don't make their sorting and inspection difficult for them.

Canada Emails Are Spams?
As soon as they finalize their decision on your application, they are going to send you a request notice for a medical exam or some documents to update.  This will be sent physically through letters to your home mailing address and virtually to your email inbox.

Ideally speaking, the email of CIC should go to the email Inbox.  But, based on my experience, some goes to the SPAM folder.  

Yes, it's only in the spam and you can retrieve it anytime...right? 50% WRONG!

If you have a Yahoo email, you can set the spam folder to clean itself at a set time.  I did this with mine.  Luckily, I realized that this feature is not a good idea at all and so I changed it immediately.

I received an email from the Canadian Embassy, Manila and I found it's in my Spam folder.  Lucky that I had not deleted it together with those spam emails.

Lessons learned: 
  • Do not set your spam to auto delete 
  • Always Check each spam for any important emails from Canada
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If you have any questions regarding this post, you can leave a comment below.

For questions not related to this post, leave a comment at the ASK ME.

If you want to know more about my life in Singapore, visit my blog at BenAlagnam.com

How much you need to prepare for the applications, visit EXPENSES.

Check on what are the documents you need to prepare and more info on RESOURCES.


24 May 2014

Getting NBI Clearance for FSW Applicants In Philippines

One requirement of the Federal Skilled Worker Immigration program is to check whether an applicant and his dependent, 22 years old and above, has a criminal record in any country where he stayed for more than 6 months.

In order for a Canadian Immigration Officer to assess a Filipino, either a citizen or a resident in any other country, that he don't have a criminal record is to request for a clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

If an applicant is residing in the Philippines, this will be easier.  

How to Get a Clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) when in Philippines?
Any Filipino citizen can request a copy of their clearance from the National Bureau of Investigation.  There is a new procedure wherein the applicant can now register an appointment with the NBI so that he can easily or should I say make the job easier for the Bureau to issue the copy.

An applicant for the NBI clearance should visit the NBI site, make an appointment and will go to the nearest NBI issuance station in their area.  Below are the links:

1. NBI Appointment website - This is where an applicant can register for an appointment.  Take note that the applicant should fill in all the necessary information and review it thoroughly to avoid spelling mistakes.

2. NBI Regional Offices - This is the site where you can see the list of NBI field offices per region.

3. List of NBI Clearance Issuance Station -  You can visit this site to know the nearest NBI clearance issuance station in your area.  The stations are listed at the website's NBI Clearance Advisory, which is found at the website's left sidebar.

4. NBI Clearance Procedure - Check out this section on the requirements and the process on how to get the NBI clearance.

My Experience Getting an NBI Clearance at the Duty Free Philippines Fiestamall, Manila
The Duty Free Philippines is not only the place for balikbayans who want to buy imported goods.  This is also a place where you can get an NBI clearance.  Where is it?


Duty Free is just beside the NAIA 1 and is along the Ninoy Aquino Avenue.

The NBI Clearance Office opens at 8:30am.  I went there at 4:30am because the guard told me that there will be lots of applicants coming in.  That is why I thought that I should be earlier than them.

To my surprise at 4:30am, as soon as I hit the gates, the guard informed me that they will only open the main gate at 7:00am.  Lucky that there is a Jollibee near the place, which is at the Unioil Gas station. So I went there to take my breakfast and kill the time.

At exactly 7:00am, I went back to the main gate and saw it was already opened.  So I hand-signalled the guard and I went in and walked heading to the left side, facing the Duty Free Entrance.  The office is near the Exit of the Duty Free building.

As soon as I arrived at the main entrance of the NBI office, there were more than 50 people waiting for the door to open.  WOW!  I thought that I was too early.

The man in uniform instructed us to write our names in the paper, which he placed on the table.  Everyone rushed to the table and I was so lucky that I'm near to that paper, so I was the number one.

Tip: The paper is only for those people that do not have an online appointment.

At 8:30am, the guard went out of the door entrance and called all the OEC applicants to submit their application forms.  He then called the NBI clearance online applicants and that includes me. 

He asked us to submit our online application forms and he went inside the office, closing the door tightly.

After a few minutes he went out and called all the OEC applicants and followed by us.  We were called 5 persons at a time.

I went inside the office and was asked to sit down and wait for my name to be called.  For around 5 minutes, the cashier shouted my name and asked me for the P115.00 payment. and she said that I will wait for my turn for my fingerprinting.

At the fingerprinting section, the lady asked me to place each fingers at the fingerprinting device (No Ink) and she asked me to review all my details at the monitor.  She submitted the information and the monitor displayed "WITH HIT"!

What is A WITH HIT or NO HIT?
If an applicant has a HIT, this only means that there is something to verify at the main office and the clearance will not be issued on the spot.  This will take 3 days to get the clearance.

A HIT means that you or someone has a record filed at the NBI and you need to clear this with the Quality Control first before they will issue the clearance.  At most cases, there are persons that has identical names and whose name has cases filed against the person and this will be considered as a HIT.

The officer wrote a date at the back of my receipt and instructed me to come back to their office after 3 days.

For persons that has NO HIT, their clearance will be printed and will be released after the fingerprinting process.

Thanks for reading my post, if you want to know more, please click the links below:

ARHIVE - The list of posts that can help you easily navigate with my site.            

ASK ME - You can ask me any questions related to the FSW Canadian Immigration here.

EXPENSES - How much you need in applying for FSW

And please SUBSCRIBE to my blog.

17 May 2014

My Medical Exam Procedure at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore

On my previous blog, I mentioned about how I prepared the documents for my medical exam.

To find out which hospital should I ask for an appointment,  I checked the list of hospitals and the  doctors in Singapore  from the list provided to me by the Canadian Immigration.  

See the list of Panel Physicians to find the doctor in your area.

 
After setting an appointment at the Raffles Hospital in Singapore,  which I found the telephone attendant more friendly than the other clinic, I searched its address online and found that it was just beside the Bugis MRT Station.


View Raffles Hospital in a larger map

What are the First Steps of My Medical Examination?
It was Saturday and lucky enough it's not raining. The appointment was around 9:00am and I entered the building entrance facing the Victoria St.  Good thing of having an appointment is that you don't have to queue.

The lady at the desk is attentive and I informed her that I'm having a medical examination for the Canadian Immigration requirement.  She handed me a form to fill up, around 5 pages.

I finished filling all the questions for around 20 minutes.  Then I stick the photos at the forms, using the glue that the lady had provided me.

I submitted back the form to the lady and she instructed me to wait for my number to be called. She handed me a bottle, where I need to place my urine sample.

The toilet was just at the corner and so I took samples of my urine.  I dropped the bottle at the Window 8 drop box as instructed.

I sat down the waiting area and waited for my number. 

Details of the Medical Examination
First, I was called to go inside the room, where the nurse took some blood samples.  This part is the worst for me because I hate needle poking.  I told her to signal me once she starts to poke the needle in to my skin.  It took around 10 minutes for the whole ordeal.

Second, I was then asked to wait outside for another instruction.  My number was displayed on the screen prompting me to go inside another room.  This time, the nurse took my height, weight and asked me to read the letters at the wall. Easy!

Third, again the waiting never stops until my number appeared once more and so I got inside the other room.  This time, it's the doctor...she asked me questions that are also almost the same as the one in the form. 

Then, she asked me to take off everything except the underwear and asked me to lie down, she pressed few corners of my stomach while asking questions like, do I have tattoos or operations.

She took my blood pressure and thank God it's normal.

I was then asked to wait for another step, which is the x-ray.  This is the fastest procedure, when I went in, I was then instructed to take off my upper clothing and asked to press my chest against the x-ray plate, took a deep breath and it's done!

After the Medical Exam Process, What's Next?
The next 3 minutes was waiting for the x-ray film that I never had a chance to see.  The nurse instructed me to pay at the counter, where I saw my x-ray film beside the cashier, and to pay the medical examination fee

The nurse informed me that they will directly send the results at the Canadian Embassy, Manila.  She wrote the phone number at my receipt to dial in case I need to inquire about the document tracking.

Tracking the Result Documents
Few weeks had passed, I called the Raffles Hospitalnumber to ask about the result of my medical.  They said that they cannot provide the information of the result but informed me that my documents have already been sent to the Canadian Embassy using their USAHA courier. 

So I called the USAHA courier for the update, the guy was friendly enough to provide me the DHL tracking number.

I found out at the DHL online tracking that the Raffles Hospital had sent the results 4 days after my exam procedure. 

Sending the documents from Singapore to the Canadian Embassy, Manila took 2 days.  The whole sending process was less than a week.

Hoping for a good result!

11 May 2014

How I Sent My FSW Application Documents to Nova Scotia, Canada

Sending the documents to Nova Scotia is not a rocket science.  I don't know the reason why it's so difficult for me to consolidate my full application before sending it to the Canadian Embassy in Nova Scotia.

It's so simple that packaging it was so hard to decide.

  • Do I need to staple each document?  
  • What is the size of the paper that I use?  
  • Do I need a paper clip?  

So simple, yet so many questions...

Can I Staple the Documents?
There are documents that has more than 1 page such as:

1. Certificate of Employment
2. Additional Information sheets  (specially if you have long list of family information)
3. The application forms 
....and others.

I stapled the documents that has 2 or more pages together.

What Paper and Envelope Should I Use?
The documents such as the additional information sheets should be printed by the applicant.  I printed it in an A4 size paper.  

There is no problem with this in Singapore since almost all of the offices uses A4.  If you can not get from your office, you can buy this paper at the Popular or any book store in Singapore.

I inserted my documents inside a white large envelope and made sure that the A4-sized documents fits into it.

How Did I Compile my Documents?
After the gathering the documents and ready for packing, these were the next steps that I did:

1. I photocopied each document for my personal filing. 
2. I printed the mailing address (From/To) in a piece of A4-sized paper, as stated in the instruction manual of Canada.  I stick  it using a glue at the back of the white envelope.
3.  I arranged the documents according to the order as written at the document checklist.  
4.  I placed the printed bar code pages on top of all the documents and the checklist.
5.  Inserted all the documents inside the white envelope WITHOUT paper clips.
6.  Sealed the white envelope with the use of the tongue (water is better). To be sure, add more glue.

Put a check mark at the Document Checklist (IMM5612) for those documents that you have included in your application, otherwise, put an X mark.  

I used a blue pen as it is mostly used by Singapore offices.  You can also use a black pen and there's no need to rely on computer technology this time.

As the document were sealed, I then took a deep breath, and whispered to myself...."GOOD LUCK!".

Here is the post about sending my document to Nova Scotia using the DHL.

16 April 2014

Medical Request from the Canadian Embassy, Manila

Just got an email from the Canadian Embassy, Manila  for our Medical Request for each of us, Me my wife and 2 kids.

The email had an attachment, an instruction letter together with the IMM 1017E form.  The details were already printed in the form and this will be presented to the hospital where we have our medical exam done.

The form states that I need to prepare the following:

1. 4 pcs of passport sized photo
2. The letter from Canada and the IMM 1017E form
3. Any previous medical results (if there is any medical history)
4. Payment for the medical (depends on the hospital billing)

So, I made a call to the hospital in Singapore and booked an appointment for my own examination only. 

My plan, for my children and my wife, is to have their medical exam in the Philippines.

Hoping for a good result...

Police Clearance and Right of Permanent Residence Fee

They say that things comes-in when least expected.

On April 14, 2014, as I opened my email while sitting at my office desk.  A message popped up and it came from the Manila Canadian Embassy.

It was the update that I've waited for so long.  The email has attachments and it states that I need to print those to facilitate my application.

In the email, there is a letter that requires me to submit, here are the lists:

1. Singapore Police Clearance
The form consists of a Singapore Police Certificate request, which is an appeal to apply for a Certificate of Clearance (COC) and a form to fill up some personal details.   This needs to be processed personally at the Singapore Police office.  I was given 60 days to submit this request.

2. Philippine National Bureau of Investigation Clearance
Even though I'm working in Singapore for more than few years now, I still need to provide the NBI Clearance for my Canadian Immigration application.  I have a slight problem on this because Canada asked me to submit it within 30 days but the earliest NBI fingerprinting schedule in Singapore is in the next 2 months.

I guess that I need to go back and process it in the Philippines. 

3.  Right of Permanent Residence Fee
This fee is separate from the application fee that I paid when I submitted my application to Nova Scotia. 

This requires me to pay to the Canadian Embassy C$490 per adult, who is 22 years of age and above. That means me and my wife will pay C$980.00 in total.

I'll give you the details soon...
Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada