expr:class='"loading" + data:blog.mobileClass'>

Friday, 15 March 2013

The Canadian Visa, the story so far!

I've heard a lot about getting into Canada, I spent a good portion of Autumn 2012 reading and researching the hell out of everything IEC related so that when the time came and this years quota opened I'd have an easy, no stress process, I was going to sit back, relax and wait for a visa to drop into my inbox. No such luck!

This year they decided to shake up the system, and long story short, it's been a stressful and confusing time
all round, and for many has placed them in an uncertain position. For the first time, the IEC have decided to do away with paper based applications and do everything online. So far, so simple. I spent the whole of  December checking the website daily...and then well into January. Then joy of joys, on the 17th they announced that the applications would most definitely, absolutely 100% open before February. Great!

January 29th rolls around and the Irish applications opened. I think the IEC seriously underestimated how many people would be waiting to apply (considering they were already a month late opening you'd think they'd realise people would be clamoring to get them!) All 6000+ visas went in an unprecedented 3 days. The February deadline came and went for the UK visas with no information, other than the fact that our visas would now be released in 3 batches to spread the work, and then for a frustrating 2 weeks we had nothing..

14th February - Valentines Day (thanks for that one IEC) the first 1000 visas are released at 5pm. I quite literally ran home. Created our accounts, uploaded everything they needed and dashed through the questions, then pressed send. Then I did my boyfriend Ian's. They were both completed and sent by 6:30, (which was good timing, as all of them had gone by 8) sat back and waited for the confirmation emails. Mine came through 10 minutes later, and it was perfect, happy days! An hour and a half later Ian's came through. I checked the message.

I mistakenly listed my boyfriends country of residence as Afghanistan.
Oh hell.

I cried, then calmed down and messaged the IEC, then cried again. Then I had to tell Ian I'd stuffed up his application (lots more tears on my part, not the best valentine's night I must say) but he was very gallant about it. We decided to continue with our applications as normal, and to keep messaging the IEC to rectify it. So we paid the high commission (they made that rather complicated as well!) had our payment verified, and then got our conditional letters of acceptance. Ian's still had Afghanistan on it. *sigh*  We had no idea if we should continue with Stage 2, or if the CIC would not accept the letter with an incorrect address, or if we should start again in the next round...so we messaged the IEC again, and again we waited. After 2 weeks of impatience, worrying and continuous checking of his Kompass account, he got a replacement conditional letter, with the United Kingdom as his country. Happy tears!

From then on it's been smoother. We completed Stage 2 and sent that off at the beginning of March. (We sat and did that together, and double checked everything!) And now, we wait... we're on day 12. Fingers crossed for everyone that they start trickling through.

I must say, despite the stress of rushing and making such an stupid mistake, I'm very glad we got in on Round 1. The dates for Rounds 2 + 3 were announced ahead of them opening, which meant everyone knew when to be online, the system crashed a heck of a lot as people tried to get on, making it difficult to know what was happening. Round 3's quota (with +2000 places) was filled in 20 minutes, and a lot of people from Round 3 are still unsure as to whether they have got onto the program, or even the waiting list. I really do feel for them, those few uncertain weeks where I was unsure if I'd ruined all our plans was hell. Good luck to everyone still waiting.


  1. Hey Rachel! I found your blog from the Facebook IEC page. This post brings back memories, me and my boyfriend made a stupid mistake when applying too (put 2012 instead of 2013 on his app...) so I know exactly how this felt!

    We're going to Toronto together in May so I'm looking forward to reading your blog to see how another couple get on on Canada :)

    Good luck!

    1. I think the worst thing was that it wasn't my application, I wouldn't have minded so much if it were my own. Now it's all sorted it's just embarrassing, I've had lots of jokes about my Afghan boyfriend :)

      I'd like to visit Toronto while we're out there too, perhaps we'll cross paths! Good luck to you and your boyfriend too!

  2. Hello Rachel. Have you received your LOI yet? I waiting for mine and hopefully to be based in Vancouver.


  3. No LOI yet for myself or my other half! We submitted 3rd March so we just hit 6 weeks since submission, its so nerve wracking all this waiting. Vancouver for us too if all goes well, will have to organise a big IEC get together when we all get over there!