As a teenager, my most prized possession was an old 21 inches Sony colored TV. It was 1998 and papa had just purchased a new TV replacing the old one after a decade of providing us good entertainment. While the new and shiny unit sat in our living room, papa agreed to transfer the old one to my room. Yay! Before that, my mom monopolizes the channel options to her Filipino Telenovelas. I don’t want to sound such a snob but after years of watching the same old tired dramatic plot line, I was ecstatic that I can finally watch anything other than Judy Ann Santos or Kristine Hermosa.
Then came my obsession on American series from F.R.I.E.N.D.S to the Adventures of Alex Mack, Charmed and CSI Las Vegas. I’ve never looked backed since and being exposed to the western culture and lifestyle (however superficial may it be) in the movies fueled my desire to live abroad. I was that wide eyed girl dreaming about living in neighborhood with manicured lawns, schools that have no uniforms, beautiful countryside and driving your own car at 17.
For a while back then, I did not know if I’ll ever make it out. The stench of the stagnated garbage and canals in the crowded area where we used to live was a painful reality that smacked me right in the face every time I drift into my ambitious happy place. Some neighbors married foreigners in quiet desperation to get out of the country and I also contemplated that option in my head but could never bring myself to marry out of convenience. I’d rather be poor and wildly happy in love than be in the west with an old fart. Or better yet, just remain single.
I eventually made it out and landed here in the Middle East about 7 years ago with nothing in my pocket except the big dream of immigration in the west hovering over my head. Thanks to generous relatives who kept me under their wing, I finally settled into a nice stable job since and have prospered in this country of black Gold. I got married to a foreigner eventually but not out of convenience. Our years together has been full of love and he also shares the dream of moving west someday.
Thus, our immigration journey to Canada began. We tried the US & UK but their current rules are not very welcoming.
The first thing that we needed to decide on was if we were going to appoint an agency or do it ourselves. I did my research online and was surprised to see so many helpful sites and forums. It gave me the confidence to pursue it on my own, saving money in the process.
The best two sites that can answer all your questions are:
http://www.cic.gc.ca – this is the official immigration site of Canada where all the forms and instructions can be found
http://www.canadavisa.com – where the you can find updates and forums of people who have decided to hold their immigration fate in their own hands. Find comfort in being surrounded by people in the same journey and there is no charge or limit to the questions you ask.
We went for our IELTS exam back in July and got the required points at first try. Whew! (Big load off the chest). My employer was kind enough to provide me with the very detailed experience letter they required. Our application was received in September and we have been impatiently awaiting the verdict since then.
It’s quite unnerving that in the next few weeks, we could be dealt with a really tough blow when the news hits. Either we will be celebrating madly and progress to the next steps or we’ll be swimming in our own pool of tears. Whatever happens. Life’s been good and if this does not work out, we shall move forward and find other paths towards that goal.