tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
The chat with the consultant's assistant was pretty straight forward. We have the Certificate of Permanent Residency and that's what we take to the border in addition to his passport. We get a copy of it and that's the document we would use when he applies for the Social Insurance card, applies for a Canadian pension or for having him put on my Blue Cross at work. It is basically the same kind of thing as a birth certificate or marriage certificate. The PR card he gets in the mail and carries in his wallet is important but the document is moreso. We also talked about what to do at the border and after, there are rule like how many days he must stay in the country over 5 years to keep his PR valid. When she told us that he has to stay married to me for 2 years, he joked that I was the one that put that rule in there which made her laugh.

The "stay in country" thing, 40% of the 5 years that start with the first time you leave the country is something to keep track of. She was telling us that some people get PR and then spend a lot of time back "home" and end up losing it. Also, another person was keeping track of the number of days out of the country but his method of counting and the Immigration Official's was different and he was out by 2 or 3 days and lost his card. I don't think we have to worry about that. We're not going to be spending huge amounts of time outside the country but will be going on holidays of course. Being the organized person that I am, I'm sure I'll keep a running document, something I can access online.

He'll have a brief interview at the border as well, with a few questions that are pretty much formalities. Checking the accuracy of the Certificate information, and confirming that he's not been arrested for anything were two that I can remember.

When we were done there, we went for supper at a pub and took the ferry across on the way home. It's overcast this morning but supposed to get nicer but tomorrow there's 40% chance of showers. The Pride parade is tomorrow so I hope it holds off. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Been waiting for that paperwork to get to the consultant's office. CIC London didn't send it by courier, just regular post and to be fair, any time G. sent me a card it could take up to two weeks. I blame Canada Post and there has been a slowdown of sorts since they're teetering on the verge of a possible strike or lockout. Lucky they hadn't gone out. When they put it in the post in London, that was just before the possibility I think. Anyway, I got an email notice for the final invoice for the consultant's fee yesterday so I called to find out if they'd got the paperwork yet and they had just that morning. We're going in for a meeting with the consultant tomorrow after work, just to go over what to expect at the border crossing interview, I think and if there's any final things to talk about or ask, we can do it then.

Turns out we can't do the interview in Halifax, not sure why so will ask tomorrow. Instead, we have to go to a border. Since we aren't flying anywhere, we'll drive to the US border and do it there. That means a road trip! It's the best part of 6 hours to get there, driving up to New Brunswick and west to the US at Calais, Maine/St. Stephen NB. I don't know how long it will take, I guess it depends on how busy they are with this sort of thing. With any luck, they'll have someone dedicated to doing this, not just any old border official because they'll be busy with tourists, random checks of cars and paperwork etc.

Since it's so far to go, we want to stay over somewhere before coming back and picked a pretty town nearby, St. Andrews which is quite historic as it happens. Then we can stop off in a couple of places on the way back, one to see a cousin and get a cuppa or some lunch and one in Moncton where my BFF lives for  supper and a visit. IT's about 2.5 hours home from there with the sun not down until well after 9 or 9:30 so we won't be driving back in the dark.

All that's left for him to do then is to change his address with the government and they send him a Permanent Resident ID card. Yay!
tvordlj: (Us)
that's "Johnston speak" for 20 kinds of awesome. Also, another family-speak is OHBOY OHBOY OHBOY OH BOY!!!.
Why all the excitement? I got a call a little while after I posted earlier today and found out that Graham's Permanent Residency was approved!!!! I spoke to the Assistant at the consultant's office and Graham also got an email from him as well. There seems to have been some confusion on where they were supposed to send the confirmation, however. The AA told me, I think, that at one point it was sent to his old address in the UK, th en they sent it to the Consultant's office but they didn't specifically address him so it got sent back.  The suite where the consultant has his office is a large one that rents out office space to quite a few small companies and people so if you don't say who it's going to, the mail people aren't going to know. Anyway, it's being sent back and we'll go in to have a meeting with him to go over some stuff that will have to be done.

Not sure if there are more forms to fill out or just to sign and apparently there's an interview with the Border Control with four questions for it to be officially stamped. Normally, we'd have to make a trip to the nearest Canadian border, which would be the US border next to new Brunswick. It's about a 5 or 6 hour drive from here. Cheaper than flying out and back again though. Anyway, Apparently there's an office that the CIC has in Halifax to do the interviews for people that can't get to the border. Where we don't have a car, I asked if we could do that. I think the questions are just to do with his circumstances such as has he been arrested since he put in the application. That sort of thing. Anyway, we'll go over al that when we talk to the consultant. At the interview, from what I understand, they can remove the visitor visa extension from his passport and later they'll mail him the actual PR card for his wallet. I thought he'd have to send his passport to London and the assisstant said she was surprised as well that it wasn't requested. Perhaps it's changed since the new government went in or the UK has changed how they do it. I'm still worrying about a cock up that will delay things but the important thing is that it IS approved. The rest is just logistics.

So we sent the application in on August 31, 2015 and it was approved at least a few weeks ago when they tried to send the letter to the consultant the first time. That's about 9 months from start to finish so that's pretty good.

Next stop, citizenship! He'll have to wait a few years before he can apply for that but that is his intention.
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Went out to the Gothic Christmas Craft show on Saturday with my mom. She really enjoyed it! She loves the jewellry, the shiny things! They had so much there that's very different. I didn't buy anything this year, just some fudge ;) We picked up some yummies in the farmer's market next door as well.

Then on Sunday, my cousin picked me up, we picked up an Auntie and went to my mom's for an impromptu pot luck lunch. My sister joined us as well. Not fair to show up at lunchtime and expect mom to feed us all, this way was more fun! I decided to make eccles cakes on Saturday night to bring and they went over quite well. :) Haven't made them for awhile.

IMmigration consultant called the government to find out where our application is, how far along etc. Was told we aren't in the system yet though their website says they are working on applications received a few weeks after ours was sent. We have the receipt from the courier so we know it's arrived there. They're going to put a trace on it to find out where it is. Likely sitting on someone's desk and they haven't update the computer yet. I wonder if the delay on his medical stuff is why it's sitting somewhere. IT just figures doesn't it? G. can't come here and get a medical health card until we have that file number. frustrating. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Got a new computer chair for home on the weekend, early Christmas presenet from G. I got it put together and it's great though the seat is smaller than the old one. IT raises up higher which is better for me. That's always the thing that seems to go on them first over time, the hydraulic lift and I hate when the chair is really low. Very difficult to get out of them.

It's November! Wow. Already! I've got a good handle on Christmas presents, at least. Still need to pick up some things and I will do that over the next few weeks. There are a couple of things I have to post to the UK, though most of G.'s gifts will be sent via Amazon. I have to send his birthday box this week, though, just as soon as i get a card to go in it. Next year I can wrap it and give the gift to him in person! (all going well)

On that note, now that his medical stuff is all clear, we're waiting for the sponsorship. I was speaking to the consultant this morning, just to touch base and he reckons it might be soon. It's very difficult to predict, of course, when you're dealing with government departments. Immigration is one of the ones that seem to suck in your request and applications into a black hole, he joked. Similar to Revenue Canada! One kind of promising thing he said, which surprised me was that he had a recent client who was sponsoring his wife who lives in Pakistan and their application and the Permanent Residency was issued in about 7 or 8 months. It was also processed through the London office where ours will be. I was shocked. The website was predicting over 2 year wait times.

He said that is an estimate based on the previous 6 months and still no guarantees of course. He also said that family applications do have a higher priority than other types and they do prioritize by a group of certain conditions. Some of those he said were if the couple had been dating more than 2 years before the wedding, if the couple are married not just common law, if there are children involved. We certainly tick two of those boxes. I really hate to get my hopes up, mind you. But it would be wonderful if, when he comes here in the spring, he only has to wait a few more months to get the PR stamp instead of 2 years! 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
G. had his second xray on Tuesday and was told then "You aren't growing anything", that is, the TB tests came back clear as we expected. But he was still concerned anyway, just in case. You never can be 100% sure until they tell you, even if the doctors were pretty sure there was nothing to be concerned about in the first place. All that gets sent to the Canadian government so that when my sponsorship is approved, (not heard anything on that yet), when the package then goes to London to the High Commission to process his application, there won't be any delays. The wait time at the moment is pretty  long as it is. I'm seriously thinking of emailing my new MP when my sponsorship is approved to complain about the unacceptable wait times. One of the things the Liberal party promised was to lower the immigration wait times. I know that won't happen overnight, but at least I can complain about it and see what his reaction is. Sometimes the squeaky wheel gets a bit of grease, you never know!

I was supposed to be on training next week, two two-day courses that i could take from home. First, the second of the two was rescheduled because it was full. I hadn't heard about the first one and time's getting short. There was a hold up with the purchase order and all kinds of stupid red tape. Anyway, a rep called me from the training company. The other course is full, too. Well if there hadn't been so much last minute faffing about, it might not have been. Never mind. I was rescheduled for that too. Part one in the middle of NOvember, part two in the middle of December. There's another course I want as well but that is in a second batch of training to be attached to a second purchase order apparently. It's not as crucial as the other training, more of a "nice to have" advanced course in something I already do.

The plus side is I can reschedule myself for the flu shot clinic at work that I would have missed and also get my yearly bus pass renewed and sorted out. Silver linings, you guys.

Got a couple of things to pick up at the post office this weekend, when i know i have a few things on order, I wait until the end of the week to see how many postal delivery cards I get so i only have to go once. Got two already this week. Canada Post does have a redirect scheme that I can use as well, to send it to the post office here at work. I have done that but as it's a PO number, not all retailers like to do that. I've ordered some clothes from an online sale, buy one get one free. Got six items for the price of three, a very good value. Two bras, two long sleeve tshirts which I needed (don't have a lot of those for winter), a pair of pants and a sweatshirt.

It's getting more difficult to get sweatshirts it seems. Everything is "active wear" made for yoga and gym, all stretchy lycra stuff. There is some fleece out there but it's not the kind i really like, the plain cotton sweatshirt material that isn't really fleecy inside and that stretches and gets all comfy over time. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Whinge... moan... too warm and humid....

 But on the plus side, only two more weeks of work before I get to see my husband! It still feels odd using that term (but in a good way). I've taken the documentation to the consultant who said he thought he could get to it this weekend, the man has no life and admitted he's married to the job. I don't know how long he's going to be able to keep up the pace! I think he'll be able to get things together to send off the applications this week, or next if he's too backed up. Soon, anyway. Then the waiting begins for real.

Pulled out my suitcase to start chucking stuff in, like my wedding shoes, the guestbook, the thank you notes and the many charging and usb cords! Graham sent me a SIM card for my unlocked phone so i can hit the ground running. Just got to charge it. All these things that need charging and there's no point doing it until closer to the day i leave. Camera batteries, laptop, phone, the GPS can wait until I get there I suppose but I'll probably charge that too. I found my spare camera battery and I have the charger. The only thing I'm missing is the cord to attach the iPod to the sound system in a car. If the car has a usb then we're ok but I don't know until we pick up the rental. If i can't find it, I guess i'll have to buy another one  just in case we need it. I'll have to charge up the iPod as well and check the play lists.

A few more books for the list...
2015 books )
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
I've received the stuff G. sent and i'm going to see the consultant after work tomorrow. Crossed bits that the news is good and we can at least submit the application at least for my sponsorship part while waiting for the rest of G.'s medical results. I also want to see if the application can be submitted in my married name. I had filled out everything under my maiden name but all my ID is now changed. It doesn't really make a difference in the grand scheme of things and they'll be informed that I now go by Williams anyway. I just want this to get started in some way. It's really felt like we were stalled at the starting gate. So close and yet so far and it's frustrating. 
tvordlj: (Meez avatar)
Our weather has been very spotty and cool lately with the sun popping up with no warning now and then. It's hard to plan anything. Saturday is the Pride parade and I wanted to go. The forecast is 40% possibility of showers. That could mean it will clear up and be really nice. It's happened before. Meanwhile, My mother is staying overnight Saturday with her cousin and wants me to stay at her place to keep the cat company. She (the cat) would probably be just fine on her own for a day I suppose but it doesn't matter. I'll have the use of the car and on Sunday I think i'll do some errands and get some groceries in. If Saturday seems like it will be decent, Mom will pick me up in the morning and we'll drive her to her cousin's place. I can then drive back downtown and see if i can find a place to park relatively near where the parade is going to be and walk over to watch. If parking is going to be a pain, i could park further away and take a bus or just skip it altogether. I don't go every year but i do enjoy it when i do go. Pride parades are always really happy and colourful and joyful.

Plans are coming together for our road trip in September to Northumberland. We have a hotel booked and that's the main thing. We're going to stay in a small seaside village but it's close to Holy Island where the old abbey of Lindisfarne is. There's also a couple of castles very close by and we are planning to drive across and see at least one of the Roman sites along Hadrian's Wall. Other day trips may include a drive out to the Snake Pass and a trip to Blackpool. There's a possibility of a trip by train to Liverpool but it might be a bit much to squeeze that in. hanging out with friends, seeing the Jethro Tull Rock Opera, visiting the old Corrie set one last time before it closes to the public, maybe a movie, some shopping. Being together. :)

Graham has all of his paperwork back and after one more check over the list, should be posting it to me by the end of the week. That means I should get it not much later than the end of July and when I do, I'll put my last bits and pieces with it and make an appointment with the immigration consultant and see what's next. He's going to set up all the forms and send the whole application in, not sure what else I need to sign or give him, besides the next installment $$ That means, I hope, the sponsorship application should be in by early August and then we wait. I want to get average timelines for, first, the approval for the sponsorship and then for the permanent residency application. I know overall it can take 6 or 8 months or so from start to finish. It's getting exciting now that the next step is just about here. 

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