I would like to
document every step of my immigration to Canada. I am American (Dayment),
married to a Canadian (Sean), and we have always lived in the US,
as Sean had permanent residence in the US since before we met. We
have been together sixteen years, ten of those married, as we begin
our process to apply for Sponsorship to Canada.
Tons of information comes from the Canadian
Immigration Club. If you are immigrating to Canada, I highly recommend
you join their
I plan to keep this page updated throughout our application process,
until I am a Permanent Resident of Canada.
What happens after the passport request
Next step - mail passport via FedEx with return FedEx envelope so
it should only take a couple weeks to get it back, instead of three-four
Once I get my passport back it will have some sort of page attached,
and I take my passport to the border to land.
When I land, that means I LAND. Like I'm MOVING THERE. But I'm not,
so I need to bring that Goods
to Follow list, which is that list telling them every single thing
I'm bringing up/importing at a later date. So I told
Sean to go ahead and write down everything that's in the garage and
outside this weekend - that's his assignment while I'm partying in
Van. Turns out he needs a day just to figure out which computer parts
don't work and dispose of them - this is going to be a slow process
- I can already tell). Man, this list is gonna SUCK - it's a list
of EVERYTHING WE OWN - with its VALUE calculated. By the time I get
my passport back I hope to have the Goods to Follow List done (we
also have to write the serial numbers of all electronics AND I have
to get all this paperwork from Honda USA to import my car). I also
need to bring VERY SPECIFIC pictures of my face for them to put on
my Green Card.
After I do this I can leave Canada (drive back to Seattle), but they
will only send that finished green card to a Canadian Address (we'll
use our cousin's address). Thankfully we live close to the border
so it's easier to go up there to land and leave again to pack!
That green card can also take some weeks to arrive. In that time we
should be seriously hitting the books trying to get jobs and a place
to live for three cats and a giant fish tank.
OH MY GOD THE FISH TANK.
WITH THE FISH.
IN THE TANK.
So by the time we could seriously move, you know, into a house that's
waiting for us up there (and by house I mean apartment since Van prices
are higher than here if you can believe that) it may be August. Sean
beginning of August. I say end of August - which is - MY BIRTHDAY!
A great time for another August
With a Twist! We're leaving!
My point is - Estella?
Can you visit in August sometime? I promise I'll try to have an official
party date for you as soon as I possibly can. Because you and my boss
really want to know. But my boss for other reasons. ("Congratulations!
So when are you leaving?" Yeah. There's that stress, too.)
Oh, and more fun! I take the green card, once it shows up at the Canadian
address, to the place (Canadian
Immigration e-mail list? Help me out here?) to get my SIN card
(Canada's Social Security) and get a SIN number that I can use to
legally get a job. There are usually some delays there and you can't
collect a paycheck until you have it. It just means that my first
paycheck could be a whopper with many weeks' pay on it.
After three months I am covered by Canada's health care. (Edited here,
because I rambled on about a baby and fertility etc.)
I gazelled out to Sean's car at 6:30 pm last night - stuck the letter
against his driver's side window, and my eyes welled up as I watched
his face reading the letter from the Canadian Consulate. Then he got
out of the car and we hugged in the front yard, crying. It was a movie
F--K ISN'T THIS THE SCARIEST S--T?
P.S. You're all invited to the Going Away Party, whether it's at our
house or Neumo's niteclub, BTW.
After months of absolutely no information... The passport request arrived in yesterday's mail.
Here is when the chaos begins.
all of the paperwork today. Need to make two additional copies
of Schedule 1 - Background/Declaration (they ask for three copies
for each applicant). Need to photocopy Sean's Green Card for
the US (just to be sure). Then I will copy the whole set of
everything we sent them, then get the international money order
from the post office (or I may pay online and print the receipt),
then it's off the the post office to mail it all. Should be
done and in the
it goes. It sold for $2000. Remember when I had my suspicions
about that guy who won the bid on Ebay? I was right. He flaked.
So we offered it to another guy who had bid on it (but lost)
and told him it was still for sale, and he sent a cashier's
check and a towing truck a few days later to pick it up. He's
a mechanic. Thankfully.
Oddly (karmically?) my FBI report showed up in the mail the
same day as the cashier's check for the VW. That was the last
item we needed for the immigration application, besides the
money. Which is why we sold the VW. So you see? It was a great
We don't have a printer, so we had to go to my work to print
the left are my essays. They answer those questions like "What
have you been doing since you were eighteen? Do not leave any
gaps" and "Explain how your relationship developed"
and my favorite "When and where did you meet your sponsor's
family and friends? Give the dates." Also, and I ask you,
do ANY of you know exactly every address you've lived at since
you were eighteen? That took a lot of sleuthing. Then once I
finally had all the addresses, I realized that they also wanted
the phone numbers for every address. WHY? Will they check our
phone bills?!? Do you remember every phone number you've ever
had? I'm good with phone numbers but some of those places I
don't WANT to remember that well!
One more step to complete - Sean's intent to move back to Canada
- in proof.
He is sending a
resume and cover letter to Kinko's Vancouver and whatever response
we get from Kinko's Vancouver is going in the application. And I hope
that's enough, because the other options that Canada will accept are
a down payment on a home, a signed rental lease, or acceptance into
a university. Kinko's it is.
THIS SUCKER'S ALMOST IN THE MAIL, PEOPLE. Are you as freaked out as
Immigration Medical Exam
Of all the medical
practitioners in Seattle, Canadian Immigration allows me to choose
from two. This is the one I chose. I signed away $380 at this place.
It's a shame I couldn't take pictures of the inside, because trust
me, they are just as telling. I gave her my life's medical history,
and whatever runs in the family (bad eyes, that's about it). Blood
drawn, hearing tested, pushing on me, etc. After all this, I was sent
to the International District (formerly known as Chinatown before
it was deemed un-PC) to get the chest x-rays done. The x-rays will
be sent to the Dr., which will then be sent to Canadian Immigration.
I got an official looking receipt with my picture on it (I had to
bring 4 pictures of myself) and there's a big red maple leaf stamped
Next steps: filling out all of the final forms, and mailing it in
with the $$$$$$$$. We still have not been paid for the car,
even though the auction ended July 19. Yes we are nervous.
passport in the mail today!
for medical scheduled for Thursday, August 12
immigration photos, since I found out that they can't be on
glossy paper, and I can't show my teeth.
and state background requests were mailed July 21 (took longer
than I thought to fill out paperwork and mail).
spoke to the guy who bought his car on Ebay, who verified that
he's getting the car shipped, and Sean ordered a copy of his
title from Washington DMV (should take 4 weeks).
Mutual Fund check and cashed out majority of PayPal donations
($220) for Immigration bank account (which I will use to pay
for medical, which is $380).
unsuccessfully to sell shoes on Ebay, barely broke even with
listing costs and shipping costs.
resume, got advice from about 15 friends. Need a second draft.
the last of my fingerprinting done ($10 and $4 for parking).
the Canadian Consulate to try to get Sean a new SIN card (pretty
much like the social security card in the US but it stands for
Social Insurance Number - you need it to get medical and have
a job up there). Sean hasn't had a SIN card in years (I don't
even know where it went), and we have to get his birth certificate
from Ontario to replace it. This, for some reason, is a very
off my background request letters to three states and the FBI
to mail (with my fingerprints)
Orders to send with the background request letters.
Today at lunch
I'm going to mail those letters. As far as I know, those are all of
my plans for the day - I'm still waiting for the Mutual Fund $300
check to show up in the mail, then I'll make my medical appointment.
work at 12:30 to take care of many things. First stop was my
passport photos at Fred Meyer (normally $7.99 for two, but they
trained a new girl how to do it, so I got four pictures for
the same price)
new bank account
passport in Shoreline, which is mailed, and should arrive in
6 weeks ($85)
by my landlords house to make a couple phone calls, ate some
sets of fingerprints ($10) (their limit without an appointment),
made appointment for Wednesday morning at 8:30 for the other
four sets. Ran into Sally
while I was there - that was funny!
for parking while getting fingerprints
$200 of PayPal donations into new bank account (should take
investment company in Indiana to cash out $300 (should take
Social Security, who told me to call the IRS*, who told me to
call DMV, to find my old addresses. DMV told me the Washington
address I needed.
on the phone with the IRS, I found out that our tax refund for
2003 was declined, as there was an error on our Turbo Tax filing,
which I will never, ever use again. Now we have to re-file.
And Turbo Tax cost us something like $40.
my Uncle Wes' Real Estate company in Indiana, who told me the
name of our apartments in Elkhart. I called them and found out
our apartment number. I now know every address I've lived at
since I was 18!
Sean's VW Corrado Ebay auction on a Corrado Club website (pending
approval by webmaster)
photos as required to prove our relationship (dating pictures,
Christmas pictures with our families, wedding pictures showing
members of both of our families and friends). Sean will print
them tomorrow (we don't have a printer, so it's a good thing
he works at Kinko's!)
date and birth place information for my Mother, Father, and
up the phone number for my investment company in Indiana so
I can sell $300 of my $500 Mutual Fund (to pay for medical).
items for Sean to photocopy at work: both of our birth certificates,
my business license (they don't ask for it but I'm sending it
anyway), request letter for my background release (times seven),
Sean's most current paycheck stub, our 2003 W-2's, our marriage
this web page.
the following week (or, notes to myself):
Social Security Administration office is, miraculously, just
blocks from my house. They aren't open until 9 a.m., though,
so I will call first on Monday to see if they can give
me my old addresses, and if so, I will leave work early to get
* I will
be leaving work early anyway, as I'm going to get my fingerprints
done at the police (probably north Seattle). They charge $5
for the first set, then $2.50 for each additional set. I'm getting
I am calling
the investment company first thing tomorrow morning to cash
out $300 of that mutual fund. I should get that check by Friday,
I am opening
a checking account on my lunch break. I was going to try to
get a savings account, but my Dad said with this small of an
amount, (plus I'll be spending all of it,) I might as well just
get another checking account. I want whatever account that has
free money orders, since that's what I'll be using about twenty
times in the next year.
have the new account, I'm transferring $200 from PayPal into
out all background release request letters, including FBI background
that picture of myself and making 20 copies. Also go to Fred
Meyer to get 4 passport photos (they are a bit different)
an appointment for medical exam/x-rays (once I know that check
is on its way)
an Ebay account to start selling our stuff online.
money orders for FBI and each state (I lived in five states
in the past ten years)
his boss to type a letter stating how long he's been employed,
his salary, and his hours. Hopefully we can have that by Friday.
Get a passport
The first few things I need to do:
every address I've lived at since I was eighteen. I'm missing
two - I hope to go to my local Social Security Administration
office to obtain that information. I'm not sure if they can
give it to me, but I would think they could by using my social
writing essays for some of the longer questions (i.e. Everything
I've been doing since I was 18, how my & Sean's relationship
developed, when and where we met each other's family members,
the two doctors allowed by Canada to perform my medical. The
guy at HealthSouth is $420, the woman in South Seattle is $380.
She wins. They tell me I have to go to two different offices
(one for the exam, another for the x-ray), but I just pay that
one price. They also informed me that I can get an appointment
within a few days of calling.
of the applications for Sponsorship to Canada (from abroad) from
website. I spent a few days reading every single word, and highlighting
important information. I also began a list of all the items and information
that we will need to compile.
I then made a chart with the order in which we will begin the process.
I also posted a donation button for PayPal on my
personal website. I will use those donations for the pre-application
spending (see above).