free advice

Many people have been asking me for tips and pointers about emigrating. I can only speak to the parts of the process I've experienced so far - filing the application, and getting information about jobs and apartments in the Toronto area.

But since you asked, here goes.

1. Go to the CIC website and read EVERYTHING. Take your time. Study it. Find out what category (if any) you fall under and what is required to emigrate in that category.

2. Download the application and instructions for your category. Study them.

3. Study them some more.

4. If you decide to apply, fill out the form super-carefully, preferably with someone else double-checking your work. The slightest error will get the application kicked back to you, and you'll have to resubmit it, going back to the very end of the queue.

5. You might want to consider borrowing some money. You must show "proof of funds" when you submit your application. However, your application will take at least six months to be processed, probably closer to a year or more. If you don't have the required funds (about $10,000 for a single Skilled Worker class application), but can earn it or save it while you're waiting, you might want to do what we did: borrow the money, deposit it in your bank account so you have the required proof, then pay back the loan while your application is in the queue. We borrowed the money from ourselves by taking a cash advance from our friend Mr. Visa.

6. Be patient. This process takes a long time. But then, it's a huge change. It doesn't need to happen overnight.

7. If you have more specific questions about photos, fingerprints, language proficiency, the medical exam, the point system, or anything else on the application, I suggest first reading the instructions very thoroughly, then if you still have questions, emailing me.

8. I highly recommend visiting the Canadian city or province of your choice on a fact-finding mission. Talk to people in your field about job prospects; email them in advance to set up appointments if possible. Check out apartments through a local newspaper and through websites like these.

Good luck!


ErinOrtlund said...

I don't know that this option exists in every province, but several provinces have a provincial nominee program. For example, my husband has a work permit already, and we live and work in Saskatchewan. So we are applying through the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program--it is supposed to cut the wait time considerably. Saskatchewan will nominate us to the CIC and then all CIC does is security and medical check processing. This could be a good option for people who are set on a specific province. I don't believe it requires a person to stay in that province for a specific length of time but I'm not sure.

L-girl said...

This is still an option, yes, for anyone who wants to live not in Toronto and not in Vancouver. I believe you are required to live in the province a certain amount of time, as you will not be a federal Permanent Resident.

Thanks for your comment. You might want to put the comment on some of the more recent "advice" posts, so others would see it - only if you want to, of course.

ErinOrtlund said...

So the permanent residency we will gain is not full federal permanent residency? I will have to look into the various stipulations.

J. Amis said...


I've been reading your blog for some time now and have found it both interesting and helpful. My wife and I are planning to apply for Permanent Residency early this summer (as in your case, our left-leaning political tendencies have been a major, if not the only, factor in our decision).
I would like to contact you, but I didn't find your email anywhere -- so the only way I could think of was to post a comment. We have some issues with supporting documentation -- and I haven't been able to get a definitive answer (I'll just say here that, among other things, we have to coordinate police clearances from 3 difference countries: Japan [where I lived for 2 years], Ukraine [where my wife is from] and the U.S.). I can explain things in greater detail in an email. My email is joelamis@yahoo.com


L-girl said...

Hi J Amis, the email address is on the sidebar, top right: movetocanada at gmail dot com. People email me questions all the time!

I know several families who needed police clearance from multiple countries. It takes a while, but they all got it done.

Email me anytime. Good luck!

Wood said...


I've been trying to fill out the application for my partner and I for well over a year (I'm a U.S. citizen, he, Taiwanese). Neither of us falls into the 38 "premium" occupations for fast-track admission, and we don't have Canadian experience or any Canadian relatives.

Do you know of any gay resources that might help us find a way to get into Canada (most notably, a job offer)?

L-girl said...

I'm sorry, I don't have or know any job resources. Good luck to you both.

Rhiannon said...

In response to Wood

Hello...I was born and raised in Ontario and willing to research further at your request but for now...

Of Interest

Citizenship and Immigration Canada


"Canada has made it possible for *some* same-sex couples and individual lesbians and gay men to emigrate from the United States to Canada under Bill C-23 and the new Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (Bill C-27), passed in 2002."

Given your partner is Taiwanese you might qualify.

As for resources

Canadian Immigration for Same-sex Partners


A Canadian non-profit organization which works on LGBT immigration issues. Afaik this includes job resources.

In the US

Immigration Equality

You can e-mail Immigration Equality for a list of LGBT/HIV-friendly *Canadian* private immigration attorneys.

I hope this helps.


VocalEyes said...

Hi L-Girl,

Just found your blog and I can't help but say "WOW". Your journey to move to Canada is almost the same as mine, except that I came from California and I moved to Canada in 1996. Also lived in Mississauga but I wasn't born in US (alhough my grandfather is an American). I wish I also had all the dates jotted down during the entire process of moving to Canada but your advices we're almost exactly what I did. Then there is politics, I hated US politics and will never ever be a Republican the same way that I will never ever be a Conservative here in Canada. All I can say is that I never have any regrets in moving here (even during harsh winter nights)and I'm proud to be Canadian.

L-girl said...

Thanks VocalEyes!

If you dig a little deeper on my blog, you'll see I'll never be a Democrat or a Liberal either. :)

Thanks for stopping by. Glad to know you are as happy here as I am.

Clara said...

Hello L-girl,

I really like the advices and tips that you give on this blog. My husband and I decided to apply for the skilled worker visa. I recently read that one of the most important things is to fill out the applications properly, otherwise you can be at the end of the line in relation of waiting time. I have a couple of questions regarding this particular point: In the section 3 application when they ask for the funds we should only stated the cash that we have in the bank of can we include a house that we bought but we do pay mortgage?. Also, if I am the applicant, should my husband has his diplomas and certificates translate and notarized, since we are from Colombia and we studied there or just mine? We are in the dilemma of paying someone to help us filling out our application because we do not want to make any mistakes, but is quite some money and we prefer to spend it on the fees. What do you recommend.

Thanks in Advance.

L-girl said...

Clara, I'm afraid these are not questions I can answer. I filled out these forms in 2003, and they have changed quite a bit.

You are right, you MUST fill out the forms 100% properly. However, if you make a mistake, your application is sent back to you fairly quickly, and you can try again and resubmit it. (At least that was the case in 2003.) Read through our timeline very carefully, you will see that it happened to us.

Whether or not you want to pay someone to fill out forms for you is a personal choice. I don't think I can answer that for you. We did not - we did it ourselves. But I can't say what would work for you.

I don't know about house or mortgage, as we rented an apartment at the time.

I *think* only the primary applicant needs to show diplomas and such, but I am not 100% sure. Don't go by me - it was a long time ago and, as I said, the process has changed significantly.

Best of luck to you! Feel free to email me when you get to Canada.