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Showing posts with label To Canada. Show all posts
Showing posts with label To Canada. Show all posts

27 October 2016

How US Election And Duterte Effect Affected My Blog?

For the past few months, I was checking the statistics of my website visitors.  I was surprised to know that the number of readers in a specific country has tripled.  There were normal spikes that occurred some time in a month, but this time is different.  It's consistent and now reached the peak.

I tried to investigate where it's coming from and what posts are they reading.  It turned out to be in the United States of America. One of the top post that is often visited is the Credential Assessment for Canadian FSW at WES, which is one of the first stages of the Canadian immigration application process.

What is the Reason of the Sudden Burst of Readership?
Wondering about the sudden peak of readership, I tried to check the other stats and relate it with the current events. I believe that the cause of it is due to the upcoming elections in USA and/or the Duterte Effect.

I know for the fact that some Philippine internet servers are located in the U.S.A, so Google (Blogger.com) will record it as if it's from there.   That means when a visitor visits my website from the Philippines and his/her server is in the U.S.A. It will be recorded as a U.S.A visitor.

I noticed it when I had a small blog, my first actually, and asked my niece to view it, then it recorded as U.S.A.  I'm not the expert in the internet protocols and this is just my observation.

What is a Duterte Effect?
Since the pronouncement of the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on the war against illegal drugs, most people were in panic mode, especially those who are in the dangerous drugs supply business.  They were trying to eliminate by killing each other to break the networks.  Most Filipinos knew that these incidents were brought to the eyes and ears of both the local and international news media.


For less than 100 days of war, the reality starts to sink in that the government is almost winning.  But the killings are still rampant.   Some of Filipino citizens are scared to be in this state of government and so they started considering immigrating to other countries like Canada.

This, in my opinion, Duterte Effect is one reason that brought my readership to peak.

Election in the United States?
Is it Hillary or Trump? Who do you think will win on November 8, 2016?  That's the question many of Americans now are asking between themselves.  But I'm pretty much sure that there are few who are still undecided or maybe have no candidate to vote for.

These few people might be considering the option of relocating to other places, like their neighbour Canada.  In my opinion, it's the reason why many of my readers are coming from the United States.   I'm not sure on the specific demographic, but I think it is most likely those who have unstable status in the country and citizens who dislike the previous government services of Hillary and the electoral reforms of Trump.

This is my opinion, I may be wrong, but, in any ways, it will be beneficial to my website and hopefully the numbers will maintain for the next few months and years to come.

If I may ask you, what do you think are the reasons of the visitor spike?

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08 October 2015

MM2CXPerience: Is it Better to Bring Cash than Demand Draft?

I am happy to inform you that a friend of mine, an MM2C member, had successfully landed in Canada. 

It was April when I shared the good news that he got his PPR in my MM2C News: MM2C Subscriber Got a Very Good News.  He was able to land successfully in Canada and I got lucky to see his photos of Vancouver.

One of his experience that he wants MM2C to know was about the Bank Draft issue.  He brought his settlement funds in a form of a Bank Draft, but got a bad experience about it in TD bank, one of the biggest banks in Canada.

He emailed me what happened and wanted to share it to you as well.
"
Hi Ben,
I made a demand draft from DBS bank, brought to Canada, and deposited it to TD bank in Vancouver.
Today, after waiting for 30 days, the money came to my account.
However, the amount doesn't tally with the amount on the draft, a $100 difference.
Just now, I went to the bank and asked where the $100 had gone?
Only then they explained and gave me the breakdown as follows:
Foreign  Fee       $45Collection Fee     $30Couriers              $25
$100 for me is quite a lot.
Regards,
TTA
There are other options on how to bring the settlement funds to Canada, which I'd mentioned in my previous post Options on How to Bring Your Settlement to Canada.  However,  in my opinion, Cash is the perfect form of Settlement Fund to bring to Canada for the reason of liquidity and free from bank charges.

What do you think?

I hope you've learned something from this experience to help you settle smoothly in CANADA.

If you know or experience something that is worth sharing, please email it at benalagnam@yahoo.com.

#MM2CXperience in Facebook.

14 May 2015

Reasons Why I Left My Country and Live in Canada

In my heart, I am a proud Filipino.  Philippines is my mother country where I had planted my roots since I was young.   I was born with 100%-born Filipino parents and who are also happy to be one.

I grew up in Manila 80% of my lifetime and had visited provinces particularly from North to South of Philippines.  We made road trips from Ilocos to Manila, to Davao, Cagayan, and Zamboanga.

I've been in countries such as Japan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi), and China.  I've seen the lifestyle of people in each country and the beautiful unique environment where they live in.

Why am I saying this and what's the relevance of these things on my post today?

Because of these travels, I had learned some of the people's lifestyles and the environment in these places.  Each had its own advantages and disadvantages.

We have our own priorities and perspective in life.  Our way of thinking and accepting the environment, people, politics and the likes are different from one another.

Despite everything, we all have a common goal and that is to be stable and make someone special in our life be contented.

For me, I need a stable source of income, a family that loves me unconditionally, and a supportive government.  These are my priorities.  It may be different from you or to other people.

We are here in Canada for more than 5 months now and I had achieved and experienced my goals.  I am not expecting that this will be forever but at least once in my life, I had experienced this type of feeling.

Reasons Why I Decided to Immigrate to Canada
Again, this is my own preference.  Some may want a nice customized car, 5-bedroom house, lots of jewelry, a collection of shoes and many other WANTS that we can think of.

Well, I am not that type. For me to be happy, I only need a loving family, a stable job to sustain our basic needs, and a safe environment well monitored and supported by the government.

1. Obvious Corruption in Private Sectors 
I've been handling a Sales team back in the Philippines.  In this type of field, we have to be in contact with corrupt people.  They usually ask 10% or more than we profit for every project.  I don't like this kind of business wherein the customer and supplier relationship is only about bad money.  Most of my clients want to be part of this system, which I politely declined.

If you've been working as a supplier, you know what I mean.

2. Lack of Implementation of the Government's Law
Let's face it, there are lots of rules in our country, but the problem is how it's being implemented. From the simple "No littering" sign to the voting procedures (e.g. No flying voters, No buying of votes, etc.)

I started listening to news and commentaries from the AM radio and grew fond of it since I was 12 years old. Back then, it's unusual for someone my age to listen to AM radio. Other children my age would normally listen to music on FM.

Ever since then, topic of news anchors and commentators about corruptions  hasn't changed for decades. Different laws had been approved but because of corrupt and lack of discipline from the officials themselves, it's just there as a law with poor implementation. 


At least PNOY (President Noynoy) is cleaning a bit of it as of the time being. But 6 years of being a president is not enough to clean a country that's been corrupted thrice his presidential term. It's like cleaning a house for 30 mins after having a week long celebration of your child's party... or cleaning a whole arena after having a huge concert...I think you all get my point. 

3. Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW)
It was 1967 when my Aunt left the Philippines and even asked my mother to go with her in Canada to work as an OFW. But my mother declined, she cannot bear leaving her loving husband and children behind.

After 4 decades, history repeats itself... but this time, I need to sacrifice my own emotions for the sake of the future of my kids. Our joint finances (me and my wife's salary) couldn't match the growing expenses we had back then. So off to Singapore where I worked for 5 years.

When I was there, I recalled what happened to my mother and I asked myself, "Do we really need to do this in every generation? I don't want to have my son working, as an OFW like me, in the future leaving his family behind in the Philippines.

It's very difficult being an OFW. It pains me a lot every time I step at the entrance of the airport, say goodbyes to my wife and sons, after a few days visit in Philippines.

4. To be with my Family 
It's a good thing that nowadays we have means to communicate with our loved ones through Skype and Facebook. In this way, I could talk to them and see my sons grow up. But it's not much of a fulfillment as a father. Why settle for a virtual image, if you can hold them very close to you every time you came from work?

Fathers and Fathers-To-Be, should I explain more? You know what I mean.

Why not Live in Singapore?
It's easier said than done.  I attempted to apply for a Permanent Residence in Singapore and was declined without giving me reasons.  They said that I can apply again if I want to. But, how can I improve my application if I don't know where my mistakes are?

Let's say that I've been approved, will I be a citizen for the next five years or so?  I have lots of Filipino friends who stayed PR's for more than 5 years and still have that status until now.  What happens if they don't renew the PR status?

I understand that this is how the government balances the number of PR and citizens.  But, waiting to be included in the bell curve was something that I can't do.

I love Singapore, it's cleanliness and discipline is way better than in my country. It's a Fine City as what some call it. They even have printed shirts that indicate the penalties if you did the following:

Spitting in public places
Bringing Durian inside the MRT
Chewing gums
Littering
Urinating in lifts
etc...

They made it from 3rd world to first, the perfect place to live in Southeast Asia.

Well, it's been a blessing in disguise when they haven't approved my PR, it's because Canada wanted me here.

Now, I'm in Toronto, Did I Get What I Wanted?
I'm writing this today, May 11, 2015, so I have the record of what I'm thinking right now.

We've been here for more than 5 months now and we had survived the harsh Winter.  I looked at our window, looking at the beautiful and colorful blossoms at far, still asking this questions.

"Am I really in Canada?" 

To tell you the truth, I can't believe that I'm already here in Canada.  Sometimes, when I go to my sister and/or at gatherings where all came from my homeland, I thought that I'm still in the Philippines.

But, when I'm driving alone, I just smile as wide as I could, cause nobody looks at me while driving, and I say to myself...

"I AM IN CANADA!!!" :D

When I'm with my wife, and kids in the backseat.  I hold my wife's hand and glance at her, saying...

"We're really here!!!"

These are the feelings that no Proof of Fund can pay.  One of the priceless moment that I felt in my life.

Here are the things I got as an FSW Immigrant in Canada:
  • Free Education for my Kids
  • Free Hospitalization
  • Free Vaccination for my Kids
  • Free transportation for my Kids (12 years old and under - free fare
  • Safer Place to raise my family
  • More Disciplined Drivers
  • We are here as an ideal family, because Canada is a Family-Oriented country.
  • Prices of commodities are way lower than in Philipines in terms of salary to prices-of-goods ratio.
  • My salary now (new job) is higher than in Singapore and with the same benefits.
  • Most of my friends says that there are three most protected individuals here in Canada.  They are women, animals, and children.  Their rights are well respected here as compared to some other countries.
  • Nobody asks about my status here.  Well, in Singapore, while working with clients, they'll always ask me if I'm a PR or a Work Pass holder and I never knew why they ask me that.
    To get the idea about Toronto, Canada from My personal view, let me give you the recipe...

    1. Get the beauty and cleanliness of Singapore.  Include the Expressways in Singapore and mix a bit of the bumpy roads of Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia.  

    2. Sautee the nice Spring weather in China, Baguio in Philippines, and Japan.  Gather the food in Singapore and take out a small portion of Halal and Chinese food but add the great service from the Philippines.   

    3. Get the transportation system in Singapore.

    4. Bring in the internet connection speed of Singapore but higher the price by 50%.  Include the banking system in Singapore but reduce the convenience (transacting) by grade level 2.

    5. Include the safety of Singapore but garnish with a very small amount of killings by guns from the Philippines.

    6. Gather and sprinkle the beautiful faces of women and men from Dubai or Abu Dhabi with a slice of pretty ladies and gentlemen from Southeast Asia.

    7. Top it all up with a huge serving of freebies from the Toronto Public Health and Toronto Public Education. Even the Toronto Public Library have free movies, arts and crafts, and other fun filled activities for both young and young at heart. :) 

    Is this Helpful? Please tick the LIKE 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...

    IT IS WORTH IT!!!

    Please tick LIKE below if you agree!

    07 April 2015

    First Flight Experience at NAIA 2 Airport as FSW Immigrant in Canada

    "This is it! "I whispered to my wife while we were at the car on our way to the airport.  We asked the help of our relatives for our baggages and to send us to NAIA 2.  The sun was shining, warming up the air, indeed, it was a good day for us.

    We had prepared our things few weeks back making it sure not to miss some of our important items. At the airport, we've doubled checked each box and bag.

    Honestly, I thought that preparing things to bring to Canada is simple, but I was wrong.  I'll tell you why as I go on with my flight story.

    Packing Our Things for Canada
    Before our Visa approval, I thought that gathering our things for Canada was a piece of cake.  I prepared a list in excel and planned each item carefully as not to miss any of our belongings.  I listed down and categorized it according to types and persons.  Each item has a tick box so I can check if it's ready and packed.

    After consuming four rolls of black duct tapes, compacted 3 luggage, and 5 balikbayan boxes with the dimensions of 20 x 20 x 20 inches, we weighed them in using our personal weighing scale before heading to the airport, making sure that it will not exceed the weight limit.

    Philippine Airlines allows 2 pieces (7 kilos total) of hand-carried baggage and 2 pieces (23 kg each) of check-in baggage.  We brought a total of 8 pieces of hand-carried bags for me, my wife and my sons' personal and important items.  This, of course, includes the bag for our documents.
    First Time Immigrant (Federal Skilled Worker): Our check-in baggage to Canada

    Here's how it looks...


    Money, Documents and How I Secured It?
    The second most important thing in our trip aside from my family is the money. I divided it into two and gave the other half to my wife.

    I put mine in a sling bag and I placed it under my shirt, specifically on my chest while my wife placed it at the very bottom of her bag. Though it looks like I have a big lump on my chest, but it doesn't matter, I just covered it up with a jacket.

    It was very stressful carrying a huge amount of money. The fear of losing it made me paranoid, checking it and my wife's every now and then.

    The next thing that I'd secured were our documents.   They were all placed in my hand-carried luggage. You can lose all the clothing but not this important luggage. I made sure that they were all accessible at any time once the authority asks for it.

    Tip for all Visa holders, before you go to Canada, you scan all your documents and place it in a USB thumb-drive or best is in Google Drive and iCloud.  This way, you can access it anytime and anywhere you want.   It's your backup for any kind of emergencies.

    Even if it's not the original copies anymore, at least, there were some kind of identification that you can show in case you lose them.  You don't want to be stranded in a different country without an identity, do you?

    Our Experience at NAIA Terminal as a Federal Skilled Worker in Canada
    We reached the airport 5 hours before our flight.  This is better than being there at the latest hour.

    It's our lucky day as there were fewer passengers departing at that time.  Our flight was scheduled in the afternoon, an ideal hour of travel.

    It's a mixed feeling at the airport because, for the next few hours, we were leaving our relatives in Philippines and be reunited with my sister in Canada.

    We used 3 airport pushcarts and each of us has our own hand-carried luggage.  We weighed our things at the scales located at the entrance door of the airport to make sure that we will not go over the limit.

    We got through the initial X-ray inspection smoothly without any questions from the authority.

    There were two areas for passengers at the airport, on the left side is for foreigners and the opposite is for Filipino nationals.  We then approached the Travel Tax payment counter and showed our Pre-paid Travel Tax receipt.

    After that, we headed to the check-in counter.  We were then confident that all our luggage are below the specified weight limit.  Got our boarding tickets for around 15 minutes.

    As our luggage went through the conveyor machine, we checked our watch and noticed that we still have enough time to eat lunch with our relatives, who were still waiting outside the airport.

    So, we presented our boarding pass at the airport Exit Gate and the guard got one of our pass in exchange for a number.

    Our relatives were eagerly waiting for us.  I can see them wiping their teary eyes as we go near them. Then, we went looking for a fastfood within the vicinity of the airport. Good thing we found seats in the crowded place of Jollibee. The joy and laughter we've shared at that moment were truly treasured.

    After eating, we exchange goodbyes again for the last time and gathered our carry-on baggage and proceeded to the main gate for the second time.

    Experience at the Immigration and Boarding Gate
    My 9-year old son was silent on our way to the airport until our lunch-time and started crying when I informed him that we're going in for the flight.  He began hugging his Yaya (Nanny for 9 years) goodbye and clinged on her until I convinced him that we'll gonna be late if he doesn't let go.

    On the other hand, my 3-year old was calm.  He was clueless that at the next few hours, he is going to a new country that will change his life.

    After bidding farewell to our relatives, we went in, paid our terminal fees, and have our documents cleared at the immigration.  By the way, this it the same immigration counter that I have been rejected and eventually cleared when I went to Singapore to find a job.

    After being cleared by the immigration officer, we headed to the final x-ray wherein I assigned my eldest son as the second look-out for our carry-on bags and my wife, on the other hand, took care of our youngest.

    As we're waiting in line at the boarding gate, we were surprised to see that one of the officers who checks the traveler's documents was our high school friend, who was surprised as well to see us bound for Canada.  We've chatted for a while and then took our seats near the boarding gate.

    Federal Skilled Worker Canada: While we are at the boarding gate in NAIA Terminal 
    The excitement level was getting higher and higher as the time passed by. I still can't believe that we're here waiting to board the plane. It's as if I just filled up the IMM008 application form yesterday.

    Time flies so fast, in the next few minutes, we will be starting our journey to another land, CANADA.

    Do you like this post, or is it helpful? Please tick the LIKE button if you do.

    28 July 2014

    Reasons To Evaluate Our Credentials for Federal Skilled Worker Program in Canada 2014

    In this video, it explains the importance of having our credentials assessed in a Canadian accredited institution like World Education Services (WES).

     WES evaluation is important if you will migrate to Canada, for the following reasons.

    • Employment
    • Higher or Continuing Education
    • Licensure in regulated profession
    • Apprenticeship
    • Immigration

    Watch the video for the complete details.
        

    Log In to your WES Account

    18 July 2014

    Which Province In Canada To Live and Settle?

    There were questions in my email inbox that I need to address.  Many were asking about it and this is the perfect time to answer those queries.

    I took one question from my Me Moving To Canada (MM2C) email subscriber.

    "...as to which province you choose and the pros and cons, we will definitely appreciate to receive your inputs." - Faith

    First of all,  I will be concentrating on the pros here, which I have some data to provide, because the disadvantages are relative depending on one's perspective.  

    In considering the perfect place to settle down, we need to see the following criteria:
    • Adaptability
    • Employment opportunities
    • Education of our children or future clans
    • Health 
    These criteria depend on our priorities in life so we need to weigh each factor.  We can have many on the list, but we need to take down the important ones.  Let's discuss it one by one.

    Adaptability
    At our first application, Canada gives points for our spouse's IELTS, having relatives in Canada, and work experience in Canada.  Let us focus more on relatives in Canada since for me, it is more important.

    If we have a relative in Canada, we have a 99% chance to survive in that country.  Once we arrive at the airport, we can consider ourselves blind from the country's culture and environment because we were only relying on Google and advice from acquaintances.

    This is where relatives plays an important role for our success in Canada.  They are our eyes, a reliable one, that had seen the beauty and the ugly side of Canada.  

    Our relatives can orient us even before we arrive there, advice us what to bring or not, where to find a job and etc...

    I have relatives in Canada, specifically in Toronto, such as my sister, cousins, aunt and uncle.  I thank God that I have them as my guide and support.  That is why I chose Toronto, Ontario as the place of destination.

    This is the reason why Canada gives points for the Eligibility Factor - Adaptability.  

    Employment Opportunity
    Job opportunities are everywhere, it depends on your current status and your preferences.  This is one of the difficult topic to discuss because everyone has his own idealism.

    Once we land in Canada, keep our Ego to the lowest level because we are only noobs (newbies or newcomer). 

    Yes, I'm an Engineer in Philippines and also an Engineer working in Singapore, but I will always  remind myself to wake up, this is Canada.  It's a different country with a new set of rules.

    As advised by my relatives, there are a lot of jobs waiting for me, BUT I should not choose first.  The industries there needs a Canadian Experience.  

    How to get it? Apply as a newbie employee, such as survival jobs, and eventually look for a job that really fits you.

    Maintain your cash flow first to sustain your monthly expenses while waiting for the right job.  If your lucky to get the perfect job once you arrive, please buy me a coffee. :D

    To make sure of our employment, lets look at the statistics.

    The data table for this graph is located below

    Based on the data above, unemployment decreased from 2012 to 2014.  This is a good indication that me and my wife can land a job, 90% chance, in Ontario.

    If you want to find the employment statistics at your place of destination, please choose from this link:



    Education of Our Children or Future Clan
    As we all know, Canada has one of the world's best education system.  

    At a 2013 poll survey done by the New Jersey Minority Educational Development (NJMED), Canada ranked the 7th in the world.

    There is no doubt that the future of our children will be brighter when they are studying in any province of Canada compared to other countries ranked 8th and above.

    Looking at the provincial view inside Canada, which is the best place to have your children educated?

    Let's take a look at the ratio of educators to students in each province compared in an 8-year gap (2000/2001 and 2008/2009).  This indicates how our children will be given the most attention in school.

    Chart 4: Student-educator ratio, by province and territory, 2000/2001 and 2008/2009

    Given with this data, Ontario is still considerable.

    From the rankings, one of the Top 20 of World University Rankings 2013-2014 is in Ontario, the University of Toronto.

    Health of Our Family
    Health is one of the most important status in our family.  That is why we need to see which province is the best health care in terms of value-for-money.
    Relative health-care value-for-money, according to the Fraser Institute (zero to 10, 10 being the best)
    Quebec — 10
    Ontario — 7.43
    New Brunswick — 5.87
    Nova Scotia — 4.73
    B.C. — 4.12
    Manitoba — 3.66
    Alberta — 3.35
    Saskatchewan — 1.17
    P.E.I. — 0.48
    Newfoundland and Labrador — 0
    Source: National Post
    Ontario is ranked the second for the best value-for-money in terms of healthcare in Canada.

    The above reasons are just supplemental data for me to decide on Toronto as my place of destination.  

    The most important factor for me is staying near with my relatives and family, given that being inside Canada itself is already the best place to live in, always at one of the Top of the World's Best.

    *If you like this post or appreciate the author, please tick the LIKE button below.
    ___________________________________
    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.

    16 July 2014

    Passport Submission at Canada Visa Application Center (CVAC) Experience

    Now is the start of my preparation for my Moving to Canada or shall I say Migrate to Canada.

    After receiving the Visa Approval letter from the Canadian Embassy in Manila, I was instructed to submit the required documents to the High Commission of Canada in Singapore.  

    It's a bit confusing at my part because the Canadian Embassy in Manila has been processing my documents and medicals, but as for the submission of passports, they handed it over to the High Commission of Canada in Singapore.

    Anyway, it's their rules and I should just follow it.  I was instructed to prepare the following documents.
    • Original Passports for me and all my accompanying dependents
    • Appendix A - a tabular form that was included in the letter, which I need to indicate all our passport details and other information.
    • Photos (2) pieces passport size - this is specified in the Appendix B, which is also included in the letter.
    • Although the letter itself was not included in the list, better bring it along.  They need it.
    I was given 30 days to submit the requirements or else my application will be refused.

    Where I Submitted the Required Documents?
    It was a perfect timing when I went to Philippines for a vacation because I was given an opportunity to get the passports of my dependents and our photos.

    The letter states that I need to submit all the required documents at the Canada Visa Application Center (CVAC). So, I researched the center's location in Singapore. I got these information:


    Canada Visa Application Center

    20 Cecil St.
    #11-02 to 05 Equity Plaza
    Singapore 049705



    My Experience at the Canada Visa Application Center
    Lucky enough that I was given a free time and a chance to go to the Canada Visa Application Center (CVAC).

    The night before that, I prepared all the required documents to avoid panic on the next day of submission.

    As instructed on the letter, I did the following:
    • Organized the passports according to age (principal appicant to my youngest son).  Removed the plastic covers, left it bare.
    • Placed 2 photos inside a small envelope for each of the dependents and labeled with the details below.  I have a total of 4 envelopes.
    Application Number
    Name of the Photo Owner
    • Filled up the appendix A and placed the following information at the top left most part of the document.
    Name of Applicant
    Application Number
    Return Address
    Contact Number/s
    • Inserted all the documents inside a big envelope for easy handling to CVAC. 
    The next day, I prepared the things as early as I can.  Took the MRT GREEN line and alighted at Raffles Place MRT Station.

    I followed the way to EXIT E, which is going to the Equity Plaza building.  This is how it looks like standing outside the exit.

    Way to Equity Plaza Building
    I crossed the D'almeida St. heading to the brown building.  The Equity Plaza is at the next building.

    Walked the isle heading to Equity Plaza
    I walked pass through the isle going to the Equity Plaza building and saw this entrance.

    Entrance of Equity Plaza
     At the right side of the building, there's a small entrance leading to the lobby.

    Equity Plaza Building (Canada Visa Application Center) Lobby

    At the lobby, the guard asked for my Identification Card (IC) for their recording.  Then he pressed the button to open the gate.

    I proceeded to the 11th floor and found few people at the entrance.  The guard at the entrance instructed me to turn off the cellphone and checked my body with a metal detector.  Then he gave me a queuing number.

    I went into a small room, labeled VFS Canada Visa Application Center.  There are only two counters because of the room size.

    The lady called my number and asked me about my purpose.  After telling her the reason, she instructed me to produce all the documents and asked me to wait for a while.

    After 5 minutes, she stamped stickers on each passports and the letter.  Then she asked me to pay for the 4 passports and also offered me if I prefer to collect personally or use the service of a courier.

    They also have an SMS service where they will inform the customer about the status of the passport though text message.

    For me, I'd rather collect it personally to avoid conflict of time at my house and at least the passports are secured at their premises.

    I did not avail of the SMS service since I can check the status online.

    Each passport costs SGD32.85.  So I paid a total of S$131.40 for the four of us.  The lady informed me that the process takes 3-5 days if no problem arises.  The whole process took around 30 minutes to finish.

    This is it, I need to prepare for our airline tickets.  Follow me by checking my blog from time to time.  I will post the status of each procedures until I reach Canada.

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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.

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

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    Ben Alagnam - MeMovingToCanada