Winter 2003. I found a website of a Canadian immigration law firm that offered a free assessment. They claim to have a 100% success rate - meaning, they only represent people that they know they can get accepted. Canadian Immigration does not require representation - in fact, it is purposely set up so you can do it yourself - but if you are borderline, having an immigration lawyer could be a good idea. At the very least, I thought, we can fill out their application and see whether or not they offer us representation. That will tell us something one way or the other. I filled out their form.
Then three things happened.
One, the Canadian law firm sent us an application for representation and a fee schedule.
Two, the backlog of applications waiting for immigration shrank from 19 months to 9 months.
And three... (drumroll, please) the passmark was lowered from 75 points to 67 points!!
In response to a large influx of people applying to emigrate who were borderline, the country lowered the mark. Amazing. That gave me a really good feeling about Canada - the first of many.
Uncle David. Somewhere around this time, Allan searched on the internet for his long-lost uncle, his mother's brother who he has not seen since Allan was around 12 years old. Allan suspects David now lives in Canada; he has an address and phone number, thinks it's probably him, but we don't know for sure...