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Monday, 22 April 2013

Oh hai there visa!

So I may have just experienced the most life changing weekend of my life so far.
I'm moving to Canada in just over 3 weeks!

Here's how the last week panned out:

Recently people who had already booked flights had started to fly to Canada without their visas, intending to enter as visitors and then return to the border to activate the work permit once it was issued. However many were being told on arrival to immigration that their visa was on the system, and it was issued to them on the spot and off they went into Canada with a shiny new work permit. So it transpires peoples visas have been issued and just not sent to them!

Last Sunday (April 14th) we hit the CIC's self imposed 6 week deadline, at which point we said we'd go nuts in trying to contact them and find out just what the hell was going on. Luckily we had some time off work (for our 3 year anniversary!) so we spent a day doing research. A young woman mentioned on an online group that we're part of that they were beginning to respond to emails, so you can request information on your visa and they do get back to you. So we sent emails out to both the Canadian and London offices, and spent a few hours trying to call the CIC in Canada (lord knows how much that cost :S) but we made little progress.

So we sat back and waited. I enjoyed a few days to myself. I got my first tattoo (I'm so far loving it, and considering getting a small one for each country we visit, maybe this time next year I'll get a maple leaf!)

Then Friday morning I woke up and checked our emails:

Your application has been approved. Due to technical issues, your original letter of introduction was not sent out.
A new LOI was sent out today and should be available in your MyCIC account.

And there they were! It turns out we were both issued our LOI's (above listed as POE Introduction Letter) on 17th March. So the last month it's been approved, but they just hadn't informed us.

So Friday was spent dancing round the house in excitement (on my part anyway!) we contacted STA travel and booked an appointment with them, and spent the evening checking out flight prices. The following day we went to the STA office in Cambridge, and within an hour booked our flights for the 15th May. (Return flights with flexi tickets, which means we can change the return dates 3 times if we so wish!) Which gives us a little over 3 weeks before we go! I can't believe its happening so quickly.

Yesterday we booked up our insurance for the year. Today I handed in my resignation, and am sorting out my bank accounts. Things to do this week includes booking up accommodation for the first few weeks, writing a Canadian resume and planning leaving do's (one for family and one for friends.) After that it's researching areas we want to live in, jobs and notifying Student Loans and HMRC we're leaving the country. Then we should be good to go! Pretty simple really!


  1. Congrats Rachel!! Enjoy these last few weeks at home, they will fly by! Good luck with the preparation and we'll see you here soon! :)


  2. Thanks Natalie, I'm so excited and can't believe how quickly it's all kicked off! Will have to meet up for a drink!

  3. Hi Rachel!

    I came across your blog on student room, i think, and just wanted to say thanks for this post!

    We applied for our visas 6 weeks ago and were still waiting, seen you post about contacting cic, did so and within an hour got a email with our letter of induction! YAY.

    Thanks so much, good luck and look forward to reading about your adventures :)

    Natasha :)

  4. Hey Natasha, that's awesome news, I'm so glad I could be of help! Congrats on your LOI's, and good luck with the travel plans!