End of Movember

Movember is over but it is not too late to donate to this great cause. Click the link to donate.

Overall the month was a great success. Raising money for a great cause and having a month off drinking was definitely worth it. I ended the not drinking for one night, realised how amazing I’ve felt for the last month and am happily going back to not drinking. I highly recommend giving it a try.

It was also great to be supported by my co-workers with one other taking part with me.

Great Canadian Move

Don’t forget to donate here.

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Movember 2017

It’s that time again for clean saving and growing a Mo for Movember. For the first time in 2 years I am clean shaven and it feel really weird. I look much younger, which I am not a fan of but it’s for a good cause so I can’t complain too loudly.

For anyone thinking of doing it please do, it is a great cause that gets men talking about both mental and physical health. This year I have decided to incorporate a few additional things:

  1. Make it a dry November so I will not consume any alcohol for a month, which is a much needed break that my body needs.
  2. I will be dairy free as that can be inflammatory and will give my body a break.
  3. I have already joined a gym and signed up to 15 personal trainer sessions to keep myself accountable.

I am looking forward to feeling a lot healthier and less inflammed.

Great Canadian Move

Where did it all go?

Please donate here.

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Do’s and Don’ts of Applying For Canadian Express Entry Permanent Residency

As with anything there are do’s and don’ts of applying for Express Entry Permanent Residency. Hopefully some of these will stop you making mistakes that could delay or completely prevent your successful application.

Do’s

  1. Get your documents together early, especially any qualifications that need to be assessed and turned into Canadian equivalents. This take take a lot of time especially with the number of people being invited to apply for residency. Canada is going through a big immigration drive so a lot of people are after the same services at the same time.
  2. Research the minimum requirements for the Express Entry route you are thinking of applying for. If you do not qualify find out why and see if there is anything you can do to overcome the things that are lacking. Examples might be doing another course to get another qualification or using exprience from your home country on your application.
  3. Make sure to complete all forms fully, and that includes online forms. It is too easy to skip over details that seem irrelevant but down the road become important to the success of your application.
  4. Get someone to look over your application before you submit it. This is a lesson I learnt the hard way. I didn’t fill in my family information on my application because I misread what was meant but it thankfully only delayed my application by a few weeks but could have caused big headaches.
  5. If you’re application seems to be taking a seemingly longer than normal time to be processed you can submit a request for your case notes under the Freedom of Information Act. Submit an Access To Information and Privacy (ATIP) Online Request. This is really useful as it gives you some idea of where your application is in the process. It takes up to 30 days to get your notes but it can act as a good prompter for someone to look at your application and get it moving. Unfortunately, on the online immigration portal there isn’t a status bar to tell you how far along in the process you are.
  6. If you are missing information or documentation from your application you must submit a Letter Of Explanation with your application explaining why you do not have it and when you expect to have it. Without this immigration can simply cancel your application due to it being incomplete.
  7. Know the law. If you have a criminal conviction from outside Canada but intend to apply to live in Canada make sure you check if your past history prevents that from happening. Things like being caught Driving Under the Influence can be sufficient to exclude you from Canada altogether. That is not to say if you have made bad decisions in your past you won’t ever be able to live in Canada but know where you stand before you start to save wasting time and energy if you are on the exclusion list.

Don’ts

    1. Submit an application half-completed. Sounds obvious but the number of people you see on forums doing this in some vain hope is unbelievable.
    2. Falsify information. It can be very tempting to lie on your application but, as often happens with lies, you will eventually get caught out. If you intend on staying in Canada long term do not fall for the trap of trying fudge details and get caught later down the road, it could jepodise the next step in your immigration plans and lead to complete future exclusion from Canada, even as a visitor.
    3. Overstay your existing visa illegally. If you are waiting on an application to be processed and you are going to run out of time on your existing visa before a decision is made on your application, apply for a bridging visa, which bridges the gap between your visa expiring and a decision being made on your Permanent Residency application. Applications can be made online or by post. If your application for a bridging visa hasn’t been processed before your existing visa expires you will go to Implied Status provided you have proof of submitting your bridging visa application.
    4. Forget to notify immigration Canada if your circumstances change. If your medical situation, your marital status (if you’re applying under a spousal sponsorship Express Entry), your address, or employment status (if you are applying under a workplace sponsored application) change. It is so important to keep your records up to date to ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises later.

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Great Canadian Move Becomes Permanent

I did it…

Almost 2 years after moving to Vancouver, BC I have finally received my Permanent Residency Approval. Wasting no time at all I have been down to my closest border and flagpoled to activate my Permanent Residency.

It feels 100% surreal, amazing, and so relieving to finally have it. There have been many sleepless nights during the last 5 years, not to mention lots of changes in my life and I couldn’t be happier.

I can’t talk about this without expressing huge thanks to family, friends and everyone else who has wished me well on the journey. No doubt some of you have been sick of hearing my frustrations but it has been greatly appreciated that you have stood by me through thick and thin.

The next stages for me are to get back to being more attentive to the blog and really ramping up the help for other people. This is an amazing opportunity for so many people and it is important to help and support others going through it.

For now though please enjoy the video and I will be in touch soon.

Over and out for the first time as a Permanent Resident!!!

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10% Off with Booking.com – Where are you going next?

Hi All,

I hope you are all well. Just a quick post to offer you the opportunity to save 10% on your next Booking.com reservation.

How does it work?

  1. Click this link
  2. Make a reservation
  3. Check-out
  4. Receive a 10% discount

How did I get this link?

I recently booked a 3 room reservation at the Huntingdon Manor Hotel in Victoria, where I went with my family who were visiting me in Canada for my 30th birthday. After my booking was completed I completed a review and received this link to share with you all to enable you to save on your next reservation.

Here’s the review I wrote:

Great Canadian Move

Huntingdon Manor Hotel Review

And whilst I am at it, here are a few photos of the room I stayed in (Room 221):

How do I benefit?

When you book I also get a bonus for sharing the link. For every person that books I receive a C$25 rebate. That in my mind is the proper definition of a win-win situation, you save and I save.

Just a couple of things worth noting, most reservations on Booking.com  do not require you to pay up front, you can pay on arrival, which is exactly what I did and it was as smooth as you could ever wish it to be.

After you book your holiday

Happy booking. Drop a note to say where you’ve booked to visit next! I want to see how global we can get this.

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