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 mailing list.
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 weeks.

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.





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 says
beginning of August. I say end of August - which is - MY BIRTHDAY! A great time for another August Everything Party! 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 scene.

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.

Assembled 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

Paperwork required
mail by Friday at the latest!

Off 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 day.
We don't have a printer, so we had to go to my work to print the application.
To 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 I am?!??!

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 on it!
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.

Received passport in the mail today!
Appointment for medical scheduled for Thursday, August 12
Re-took immigration photos, since I found out that they can't be on glossy paper, and I can't show my teeth.
FBI and state background requests were mailed July 21 (took longer than I thought to fill out paperwork and mail).
Sean 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).
Received 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).
Tried unsuccessfully to sell shoes on Ebay, barely broke even with listing costs and shipping costs.
Started resume, got advice from about 15 friends. Need a second draft.

Got the last of my fingerprinting done ($10 and $4 for parking).
Contacted 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 difficult task.
Printed off my background request letters to three states and the FBI to mail (with my fingerprints)
Got Money 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.

Today I:
Left 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)
Opened new bank account
Got my passport in Shoreline, which is mailed, and should arrive in 6 weeks ($85)
Stopped by my landlords house to make a couple phone calls, ate some pineapple (free)
Got three 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!
Paid $4 for parking while getting fingerprints
Transferred $200 of PayPal donations into new bank account (should take 2-3 days)
Called investment company in Indiana to cash out $300 (should take 10 days)
Put Sean's VW Corrado on Ebay. ($43 listing fee)
Called 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.
*While 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.
Called 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!
Posted Sean's VW Corrado Ebay auction on a Corrado Club website (pending approval by webmaster)

July 11, 2004
This weekend I:

finished my essays
assembled 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!)
Got birth date and birth place information for my Mother, Father, and step-brother Todd.
Looked up the phone number for my investment company in Indiana so I can sell $300 of my $500 Mutual Fund (to pay for medical).
Assembled 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 license.
Started this web page.
Plans for the following week (or, notes to myself):
The 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 them.*
* 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 seven sets.
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 hope.
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.
Once I have the new account, I'm transferring $200 from PayPal into that account.
Filling out all background release request letters, including FBI background check request.
Taking that picture of myself and making 20 copies. Also go to Fred Meyer to get 4 passport photos (they are a bit different)
Making an appointment for medical exam/x-rays (once I know that check is on its way)
Opening an Ebay account to start selling our stuff online.
Buying money orders for FBI and each state (I lived in five states in the past ten years)
Sean needs 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

July 2004
The first few things I need to do:
Obtain a US passport
Take a picture of myself according to the photo rules (see Appendix C), and copy that photo about 20 times
Remember 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 security number.
Started 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, etc.)
Called 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.
Printed the following lists: how to obtain my state background releases, FBI background check, and Importing my Car into Canada. (All info from the Canadian Immigration Club website)

June 2004

Printed all of the applications for Sponsorship to Canada (from abroad) from Canada's Immigration 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).