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In Canada, there exist various post-secondary possibilities for students. Two of them are college and university. With these two opportunities, many frequently question what the difference between the two is. For starters, universities concentrate on theoretical and professional programs. They offer undergraduate and graduate degrees which can advance to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Meanwhile, colleges are focused on occupational training and trades. This indicates they offer hands-on training to qualify students for employment in their chosen field. Colleges offer certificate programs, diplomas, apprenticeships, and many of them have an option for Bachelor's degrees. Therefore universities are focused on theoretical programs and are degree institutions while colleges are focused on professional preparation and are diploma institutions.

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This happened to me like eight years or go, but it is still valid. After I successfully got my first work permit notification from my home country, the only thing I got from the Government of Canada was a notification letter with some directions.

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Québec is a province that has been always different in many ways. The renting process is not an exception. In this case, I rented a house directly from the owner. I was very lucky, he was a very thoughtful person and he delivered the house in mint condition. When the house had an issue that it would be considered "under warranty", he was there to fix it. I know, not every landlord was like him; there are several horror stories out there where landlords only answer with the painful legal path.

One funny thing about finding a house in Québec is the way they count the rooms. You will see things like 2 1/2 condo (it means a condo with a living room/kitchen, a room and a bathroom), or 6 1/2 house (could be one living room, one dining room, three rooms and two bathrooms). They count the number of rooms, regardless of the function they have.

It is a blog, where people can post their experience in a particular subject while doing its migration to Canada. There are many other websites that explain what to do, but information from first-hand of things is something that is priceless.

Everybody is invited to post their story. Please read the open invitation.

Let the Canadian Dream happen.

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As soon as I was under a roof, one of the most obvious things to do is getting a cellphone. A lot of people like to keep their home country number, but the truth is it is a new country. Local people, including the office, will need to call; friends and family can keep in contact thanks to social media.

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As soon as I landed in Canada and my family settled down., one of the very important things I had to do was to get a bank account, to be more specific a chequing account.  As an employee, I had to give a bank account to get my payments. My boss at that moment took me to TD bank, why? He claimed that that bank was the best (I had no arguments against that).

When I got the branch, it was pretty straight forward. I was asked for my work permit and in minutes I got my card and a bunch of papers including some directions on how to sign up to the web portal. I also got a chequebook under my boss's recommendation.

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Funny story I want to share. I hope this will help others.

The truth is Canada wasn't in my plans. Yes, I was looking for a job outside of my home country, to be more specific, I was looking forward to finding a job in France. The opportunity came without notice. I will explain it.

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Being in Canada with a work permit is hard for those who have an entrepreneur's mind like myself. The only way you can be in Canada with a work permit is as an employee. The obvious move is, as soon as the permanent residence is granted, start looking on how to establish my own business. In short, a business can be established as a sole proprietorship, partnership or incorporation (there is also non-profit, but that is not really a business). I will write here how I did for my proprietorship.

In Ontario, I was able to register myself using this link: https://www.ontario.ca/page/register-business-name-limited-partnership It cost 60 CAD and it takes around 15 minutes to register. Although the system is very fast, they have a hard rule, if you register your business out of the business hours, you will need to wait to get the confirmation. So, make yourself a favour and do it during working hours.

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One of the best things about this country is education. The public education, which is free, it holds, in my opinion, a high standard.

The first thing that as a parent I had to understand is how the system works and how it is organized. School starts with kindergarten 1, 2 and 3 (also known as senior kindergarten). After that, there is the elementary school that goes from grades 1 to 6. After that, it follows the middle school which includes grades 7 and 8. From grades 9 to 12, it is known as high school.

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The migration process is really complex, it is clear it is not always the same for everybody. There is always a catch and things someone would love to know to make this smoother.

If you have dealt successfully with your migration at some point,  and you would love to help others, then you are very welcome to contribute to the content of this blog.

Some outstanding points on the contribution are:

  • You will get credit for your article.
  • You will get links to your social (if you want).
  • We will make some redaction fixes, but you will still get the credit.

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For me, my dog is a member of the family. I couldn't leave him back in Mexico when I moved to Canada. I will try to write here about what I did to bring him with me.

Miguel was six when he moved with us to Canada. He is a white Griffon Vendeen with a very charismatic personality.

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An Immigration Consultant is a person who has become an expert on immigration subject. Their regulatory body is the ICCRC. It is a must to become a member and to be certified in order to provide this kind of service.

So, about the main topic: Do you need a Certified Immigration Consultant to come to Canada? This is a very tricky question, and there is not an absolute answer. I will explain my experience since I have run several processes with and without a Certified Immigration Consultant. After you read this, you can make a decision by yourself.

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I have more than ten years driving, and if you like myself, didn't get the Canadian way at first, let me tell you it is normal. Canadians drive in a different way than in Latino-Americans, they don't push themselves into the traffic. It is perfectly normal to see a car waiting for people crossing the street.

If you are coming to Canada, as a tourist you can drive with your still valid foreign driving license. However, you must follow the Canadian way. I will write here some details.

If your interest is more on how to get a Canadian license, you can read my article where I describe how to shortcut the process using your foreign valid driving license.

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After living for 5 years in Canada with three different employers and at least five work permit renewals, I finally got the permanent resident in Canada for me and my family. I will describe in this article how I did it and I will share a few tips.

Please remember I am going to write what to do, not how to do it. I will also describe my specific case, which will be useful for those who have a similar scenario. Please do not send me questions regarding how to do things or what if you have another profession different than mine, I will just ignore those comments.

I highly recommend the website of Katapulta Network, there you will find a lot of information regarding how to do some processes.

Hopefully this was my last visit for migration reasons. This was a very important and special trip to the border as I have already gotten my CoPR. I did this trip with all my family, as every family member is required to do the proper landing and sign the documents.

As always, I want to thanks my friend Jessica who drove us again.

Renewing the work permit should not be a problem anymore. And I think the CIC is understanding this. Last time I wrote how I went to the border to get a new work permit with a new employer. Now, I am going to talk about the renewal process.

This time I decided to do it online. I have found that you will not lose your status if your work permit expires and the new one is being already processed. And since my situation has not changed, being in an implied status does not hurt at all.

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After six years after I moved to Canada, I finally stop procrastinating and decided to get a car for my family. For general cars, Ontario has a three-level licence system, you need to get the last level before you are fully entitled to drive. G1 (starters) who you can't drive alone, G2 (intermediate) you can drive alone, and G (advanced).

Canadians usually don't have problems with this system when starting to drive. As a teenager, you can do your writing exam when you are 16 and you can drive your parents' car to get the experience needed for the G2. However, as an immigrant, you are not a teenager, you do not have a car and usually, you do not have a close friend who is willing to let you drive his car. It is kind of frustrating. That was my situation.

I will write about how I managed to get the G2 in 30 days.

As I have already written, you must become a temporal worker before applying for permanent residence (refugees are a different case, you must come from a country in war such as Siria). So, after being laid off, I found an employer willing to run the work permit for me. Please note that I will share what I did and my experience at that time. The first thing you should know is I am taking advantage of NAFTA. NAFTA allows US and Mexican citizens to come to Canada as a temporary foreign worker very easily. As for November 2016, because I am Mexican, this was the easiest and fastest way to stay longer in Canada but not the right path to become a permanent residence. In January 2017, if I am not wrong, the CIC change some pointing rules and NAFTA workers could get 50 or 200 extra points which may or may not help you with the pool invitation, but that is another story. Let us back to the main subject.

This time I did not hire a migration consultant. I felt confident enough to do it by myself.

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If you are from abroad as I was to Canada, you may hear about the myth that Canada pays you for having children. This is half true, because Canada does not pay for having children (it is a benefit), and it does not pay to everyone; only Canadians, permanent residents and temporal foreign works with 18 or more months living in the country can have this benefit, and of course, being a taxpayer.

I write here about how I did to apply for this benefit.

There are three ways to apply for a work permit in Canada:

  1. Applying online
  2. Sending a request by mail
  3. Visiting the border

I write here about the third option. I went in November 2015.

Visiting the border is the fastest way I could get my work permit, however, I should warn you should know that because that decision must be done at that very moment, there are many factors that could play positive or negative in your application. Some things I can think at this moment are: making phone calls (someone must answer), and even if the agent who is evaluating is having a good or bad day. The current agent has all the power to accept or reject your application.

Please note I am not an Immigrant Consultant, and the content of this article and any others in this blog is to share my experience.