Round about this time, I am kicking myself for depositing our writing income in long-term accounts. At the time, I thought it was the smart thing to do, to guard against spending. But now we could be filling out our applications, if only we had our "proof of funds". Except $6,000 of the necessary $10,000 is tied up in stupid long-term savings accounts (that earn next to nothing in interest anyway). Since there is still a good 8 or 9 month queue of applications waiting to be assessed, we are anxious to get ours in. Bah. An annoying delay.
The answer to this obstacle arrived in the mail, in the form of one of those ubiquitous credit-card offers. An account that we no longer use was offering a 0% interest cash advance. For a small fee, we could get the balance we needed into our "canada fund", thereby showing the correct proof of funds at the time of application. Then, while our applications are in the queue, we can pay off the cash advance before any interest kicks in. Voila!
The application itself was a huge challenge. I could well understand why people would choose to hire an attorney for this part. We decided not to pay someone $2,500 for someone to fill out forms for us, but let me tell you, it took both our brains and all our combined concentration to figure the whole thing out.
There were various delays: our passports had expired, we needed birth certificates, college transcripts, special immigration photos (not passport photos!), we had to be fingerprinted. We had to list every address we have ever lived (I don't know about you, but in my 20s, I lived in a lot of places!), and account for all of our time since our 18th birthdays. Every job we have held - if we weren't working, what we were doing - every club or association we have ever belonged to - everything. And the applications themselves cost more than $2,000!
Uncle David Part Deux. Allan finally contacted David. And yes, not only is he Allan's mother's brother, he is also a Canadian citizen. David sounds like a really interesting person. He has lived in Cuba and Spain, and is a poet and a translator. I look forward to knowing him. But hey, first things first: because Allan has an uncle who is Canadian, we each got 5 points on our applications!
More reasons to feel good about Canada. On all the applications - on all official Canadian documents - every space for "spouse", reads "spouse or common-law partner". Although Allan and I are not legally married, in Canada we are recognized as a legal family. I can't tell you how good that makes me feel.