I never thought I will be pursuing work or immigrate to Canada or any other country way back in college. I was contented, I was happy living here in the Philippines.
Things changed as I competed on the real world. Working for more than 3 years in a pharmaceutical manufacturing company, something triggered me to change my mind. I decided to apply for work abroad after my resignation in the company. I happened to know Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) of Canada through a consultancy firm by chance.
I will be forever thankful to that immigration consultancy firm in Paranaque who opened this door for me. Just like applying for a job, or finishing a study, applying for an immigrant visa is never easy.
Unemployed that time (August to December 2012), I have a lot of time for IELTS review and accomplishment of document requirements. I was referred by the agency to Niners English Language Review Center. To get and pass IELTS was my first objective. There are two modules of IELTS: the General Training (GT) module and the Academic module. GT is for immigration and work purposes while Academic is for studies. I reviewed for almost 3 months, from September to November. To be able to get 9 in each bands: Writing, Speaking, Listening, & Reading, Niners advises for a 6 or more months of review. I decided to take the exam on November as I needed to get the result before the start of FSWP 2013. The review was enjoying, trainers are great, and they give techniques/ tips (especially in Writing part) that are helpful for one to get a higher score. Total cost of review is PhP5,000 and PhP9,000 for the IELTS. I registered at IDP.
Meanwhile, for the document requirements, I have to provide legal documents to certify employment in the eligible occupation, birth/ identity/ police certificates, education credential assessment , and proof of funds, among others. Below are description of these requirements.
1. Employment certificate/ reference letter – I secured a reference letter and a certificate of employment from my former HR Manager. For this, document should be recent, duties and responsibilities should match with the descriptions specified under HRDC NOC, and is printed on a paper with company letterhead.
2. Identity documents – This include NSO birth certificate, a national ID (I used my drivers license for this, other government-issued IDs will be OK), scanned copy of passport / notarized (this should be not expiring), and police clearance certificate (for work abroad) or NBI certificate in the Philippines. Purpose of the NBI should be ‘VISA CANADA’ or ‘IMMIGRATION CANADA’.
3. Scanned copy of passports of dependents – Since I am a single applicant, my dependents would be my parents and sister. Besides the copy of their passports (notarized also), I made an Affidavit stating that I will be sponsoring them on a later date during my residency in Canada. For married/ with a Common-Law partner, their dependents would be their partner and their children if any.
4. Education credential assessment – applying for a credential assessment took me a month. I applied at World Education Services (WES). Document requirements vary per university. In my case (UP Los Banos), I had to forward a separate copy of my diploma to WES in their Toronto office then the university to forward (independently) the certified copy of my Transcript of Records. WES service, by the way, was great. Through my online account in their website, I was able to track the progress of my application.
5. IELTS Test Result – minimum scores acceptable are 6.0 in all bands. Test results are available at IDP/ British Council websites 3 weeks from the date of test. Test reports are forwarded to provincial test takers while for Metro Manila takers you’ll be the one to get the report on their Makati office.
6. Proof of Fund – It is a requirement that an immigrant has a minimum fund of CAD11,391 for single applicant. For married / with children, there are additional fund requirement. In my case, I prepared bank certification of my savings account in BPI (ATM Savings account), Metrobank (ATM Savings account) and Asia United (Passbook Savings account) as document evidence of the source of funds for my immigration.
7. Filled-up Forms – Required forms are available on the Canada Immigration Center (CIC) website. Before finalizing the application forms and submission, I would advise you to create draft copies and study also the guidelines set by CIC on their website.
8. Fee Payment – I paid a CAD750 through a bank draft. I transacted through BPI (since I have a savings account there). The draft should be payable to THE RECEIVER GENERAL FOR CANADA. You can also pay through Credit Card. CIC website has the guidelines on how and where to pay for your application to FSW.
On Failing and Trying Again
I was not able to submit my application for 2013. My NOC – 0911/ Manufacturing Manager was not in the eligible occupations list released by CIC for that year.
After a year, I did not expect that the FSW 2014 would include NOC 0911 in the eligible occupation list. It was on April 2014 that CIC released the new set of eligible occupations. I was to give-up on my Canadian dream that time but thanks to God and to His plan. It was my second chance :-).
Since I almost have all the application documents, I was to pursue my FSW permanent visa application. I took another IELTS as I will be lacking 1 point (passing is 67 points) if I use my previous test result. Through God’s grace, I was able to get the necessary score in my 2nd IELTS. I, through the great help of my agency, finally lodged my application documents to CIC in Nova Scotia, Canada last June 13, 2014. The documents was received on June 18.
The leadtime for an FSW application is 6 to 12 months. The government of Canada and the respective visa office will give decision regarding permanent residency depending on the completeness and authenticity of an application.
A 100% in-faith application, last October 16, 2014, I was able to receive a Positive Eligibility Review (PER) email from CIC. My total points is only 67 – the passing mark for FSWP and thank God I made it.
Currently, I am waiting for the Medical Request (MR) and Right for Permament Residence Fee (RPRF) Request from the Canadian Embassy in Manila (CEM). It is approximately 7 months since the lodging of my application and I am positively waiting for CEM’s feedback the soonest time.. in God’s perfect time.
P.S. The Federal Skilled Worker Program 2014 of Canada is now closed. The current program now for skilled worker permanent residency is the Express Entry program where an applicant should submit an application online and should meet the requirement set. Highest ranking applicant (per month) will receive an invitation from the government of Canada and then he/ she should submit all the necessary documents after. Leadtime is 6 months or less for an applicant to receive his/her permanent resident visa. For details of this new program you can check the following link:
Moreso, if you have questions, I will be happy to respond to you back. God bless and never give-up on your dreams. 🙂