How I moved to Canada – a Personal Story

Hi to all the readers.

My name is Luke.  Violet from ItsCanadaTime called me last week and asked me to write for this blog today to tell you about how I moved to Canada.  So today you can read my personal story.  I agreed because Violet promised not to edit any of the things I say.  She agreed to take the good with the bad.
I’m very excited! I hope you like it and that it helps you to follow your dreams.


Life before immigration

I will start at the beginning.  I come from Capetown in South Africa.  I have a lovely wife and a daughter who is now almost 4 years old.  When we lived in South Africa we also had a dog called Foofers.
My wife and I worked very hard back in South Africa.  I have a first degree in international relations, and my wife did not go to school because her parents couldn’t help her with the money to go study.  My wife worked in childcare through a good friend who helped her get the job without a degree.
I had trouble getting a suitable job for my level, and ended up working 2 jobs. I worked as an office assistant during the day, and I worked night shifts in a security company.  And still it was hard because our daughter needed glasses and life isn’t cheap.
Things weren’t easy at all.



When my wife’s boss discovered she didn’t have a degree, she was fired, and we felt completely lost.  We decided we had to do something.  I told my friend that we wanted to go.  He told me he also wants to leave but he’s very worried about moving to a new country.  He had already checked around and he found this company that helps people get to Canada.  He wasn’t sure about it because he saw people said some things about it that weren’t nice, but most people said they help a lot and there were some great reviews.  We read all the posts in this blog from the start of the year to now.  It showed me there is so much to know, and the process of Canada immigration is so complicated.  It also made me imagine my life in Canada – making enough money to have a nice life.  To travel.  To save for my daughter’s college.
I’m going to say now that truthfully, the price for the service was really scary.  We work so hard for this money.
But I decided to talk to them anyway.  No harm in just getting information.


Wife loves to go biking on the weekend



Starting my immigration process

3 hours after I put my number in the contact form on their site, I got a call from a man called Sam Willis.  He was very… intense.  It felt like too much at the time, but now I know he was taking his job very seriously and he cared very much.  He was nice and he gave me all the answers, and he was so professional.  Everything happened very quickly, and by the end of the call we were registered.  I remember when I hung up the phone, Hannah (my wife) was standing next to me and she asked what happened.  I said I don’t know! We laugh about it now.
Everything started to move very fast after that.  We met more of the ItsCanadaTime agents as we moved along the immigration process.

We started getting emails explaining what we need to do.  We got a call from our agent to tell us how to use their online immigration system.  It was very easy.  And then they asked me about my education, and Hannah’s education.  They asked about our jobs, our finances… everything.  Then they sent me a list of documents I will need to be eligible for Canada immigration.  They recommended that both my wife and I take the IELTS because it helps the chances if both of us can get more than 7 on our test.  If you don’t know, the IELTS is the test that you have to take to check you English level.  We learned about it from Violet’s article about IELTS in this blog.  We found it very informative.  I know they also accept a French test, but I don’t know much about it, so I can’t help with that.

Sam told me they will be sending my application for Express Entry in all the possible programs because I didn’t care where we live in Canada, as long as we manage to move there (although I highly recommend moving here to British Columbia.  My daughter is really thriving here and loving the mountain view everywhere and all the nature and the clean air… it’s really more than I ever hoped).

There was a lot of work to do

We had to get passports.  Then we uploaded our first stage documents – bank statements, passport photos, and the ownership deed of our little apartment.  We got a call from our new consultant named Cara.  We were on the second stage.  Cara was very friendly.  She asked us for more documents to increase our score and put us ahead of other immigration candidates.  This is where we had a bit of a crisis.  Hannah had gotten a job again and she wanted to try staying in South Africa.

I talked with Cara about this and she helped me not give up.  She reminded me of how much I wanted to leave and how much we dream of Canada for my daughter.  It’s really thanks to Cara that we’re here in Canada now.  We would have missed out on so much if we had given up.

Love the mountain view everywhere

move to canada


The hardest part

Then we started the part that was the hardest for us: getting all the documents.  My wife was working again so neither of us had the time to go stand in lines and go to our old schools to get transcripts and everything.  It took a lot of effort, but after a month we had it all.  I have to say that we had our ups and downs during this month because it was so hard, but once we got through it, we felt relief.  Cara was there for us the whole time, even when we wrote angry messages to their facebook chat, they were always nice and tried to help.

Oh, and it’s great that this company accepts all the documents online because we had a very small home in South Africa and things always got lost in all our paperwork.  We would upload every document as soon as we got it, and then we didn’t have to keep track of it.

Smooth sailing?

The IELTS test was really easy.  We weren’t worried because we both speak fluent English. I got an 8 on my exam, and Hannah got 7.5.  After we sent Cara the result of our IELTS, she warned us that the next stage is the hardest.  This really worried us because we went through so much already.  She asked us to get all the education documents verified by WES.  From what I understand, WES is an organization that notarizes all  your education documents and makes them compatible to Canadian education standards.  Cara thought this would be hard for us because most people have a problem at this stage, but we already had everything ready – all the documents were already in our hands, so it was simple.

We uploaded everything to the itscanadatime online immigration system and Cara said that’s it! We were done! She explained that the company’s RCIC has reviewed the documents and everything is in order!!! Cara said she was going to submit our application that same day! We couldn’t believe it!
But then she also explained that now we have to wait for the government to make its decision, and that can take some time.  She promised to contact us as soon as she has any news.  This was a little concerning, but we decided to give it a month.  A month went by and we didn’t hear anything.  I left a message for Cara to call me.  She called and explained it can take a few months.  She begged me not to lose faith in my dream.  Meanwhile things were getting worse at home.  The restaurant closed and Hannah had to find another job.  I explained all this to Cara, and she was always understanding, but we were very angry (sorry, Cara.  We love you).


When this guy came to our car he had no idea my daughter would want to kidnap it…

move to canada


The dream comes true!

Eventually it happened.  8 months after we finished  the application, we got a call from Cara telling us that we got an invitation!
What does that mean? She told us the province of British Columbia has nominated us and gave us 600 more points, which means we can get in!!!

We had to submit the application again very quickly – that’s why they call it express entry.  Then a month later – we got our permanent residence! Oh my god, we celebrated so hard that day! We booked our flight, packed our bags, and… we were off to Vancouver!

Some of you may be wondering about Foofers.  He was very happy to move back in with my mother.  He was always her dog and she only gave him to us because when my daughter was just a baby, she would cry a lot if we visited grandma’s house but we wouldn’t take the dog home with us.  But my mother was very happy to have him back, and when I showed my daughter  the types of animals that live in British Columbia she agreed to leave Foofers in return for a pet moose.  Little did she know I only agreed to get the toy kind of moose…    


Life in Canada

It took us about a week to find an apartment.  We had a lot of help from all the Canadians who met us when we got there.  They were so welcoming and nice.  We love our new home.  It’s so much bigger!  Here, Hannah works as an intern caregiver for a children’s day care, and I work for a small publishing company.  Our daughter plays soccer in school and she LOVES IT.  She really had fun seeing her first snow.
We have time to be with our daughter!  We never thought life could be this good.  I wish I could tell you just how great it is.  We’re going to have a second child and we can afford it!

In the end, I can say it wasn’t easy at all, but totally worth it.  We’re very happy we had Cara to help us and not let us give up.

Thank you Cara, thank you Sam, we’re so happy.

I hope this helped you decide to go for your dreams and never give up.


If you want to talk to the wonderful people from ItsCanadaTime, just click the smiling face

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