It’s been longer then I had liked between my posts but I have relocated back to Canada, Niagara Falls to be exact. Very close to where I was born and my journey that has taken me around the world on a number of occasions. This post is titled “Coming to Canada” for a reason. My lovely wife Michelle Alcaraz Dunlop has decided she would join me here in Canada from the Philippines. A decision I am very honoured she has made.
Steps to take for Coming to Canada
I returned here on the 13th of May, and in hand I had a huge number of documents I need to make the application to Citizenship and Immigration Canada for my wife to obtain her Permanent Residences so she can stay with me here in Canada. This is not an easy task by no means, and I know that anyone that is following this process knows this to be to the truth. I also totally understand that it is no easy task for CIC as the number of applicants must be huge. While serving with the Canadian Navy, I went on a couple of migrant ops with the CIC and RCMP ERT teams, and intercepted boats coming from China while I was on the West Coast so I have a very small understanding of what they are up against.
With that all being said, Coming to Canada is a long drawn out process, and there is so many conflicting pieces of advice out there for average person to follow. I have spoke with a couple of so called Immigration Specialists, and two that come to mind were as crooked as can be, and they are licensed by the government to be our sources of information in order to navigate these forms, applications and various other things that we must figure out. Originally Michelle and I decided to go it on our own, we found the various forms downloaded them and began completing them on our own. We also confirmed which documents for support we needed and started to obtain the originals. This is no easy task as well! Michelle happened to be an OFW (Overseas Filipino Worker) and she was in Brunei for 5 years so trying to get a security/background check from there so far not been an easy task. We finally heard back that they will not do that until we receive the request from Canada, and then it could take up to three months to obtain. Otherwise, I think we have all the other forms recorded even the medical clearance which we traveled to Cebu to obtain.
How long will it take…
So now it’s the waiting game, it’s been almost one month since the application went in, and we were told that it will be around 3 – 4 months to hear if I can sponsor my wife, and once that decision is made, Michelle’s file will be sent off to Manila where we can expect about 17 months for confirmation. It’s going to be a long road, I am saddened to discover that it is very unlikely to impossible for me to have her visit me here in Canada, while we wait. Since the visitors visa (Tourist Visa) is something temporary, and we are asking for something permanent, and also, what is the incentive for Michelle to leave since her husband is here. I get it…don’t like it, but I get it. So having returned here, I have spent almost 2 months nailing down a job so I can support my wife and myself, giving me two households to support, plus in order to spend anytime together, the plane tickets to get back and forth during the down times from my job so we can have some resemblance of a normal life. Thankfully my new employer says that business is slow in January, so I can go then to see her in the Philippines which is about 7 months apart from the last time I saw her. Michelle is easily the strongest woman I know, she is standing tall, we try to lessen the distance by skype calls, and text messages via viber. Our data plans on our phones are taking a beating but it’s all worth the wait. I just wish there was some way we could fall asleep together in the same bed, and wake the next morning knowing we just need to open our eyes to see one another, and not hope that the internet is working, and we can reach one another for a video call.
Michelle and I will try to keep an accurate timeline for any other people thinking of going down this road. I can put my hand over my heart and recommend our Immigration service if you are looking for one. I have not always been happy with the answers I am given from them, but at least they have been honest and that is all I can ask for. I would love to hear from any other couples that are applying for permanent residence, I would be more than happy to post your stories here on our blog.
You can lets us know your stories about Coming to Canada, by submitting your story below.