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O HAI California!

pgh

Missed ya.

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EscapeLogue

pgh
This entry is meant for tracking my attempt at emigrating. Mostly self-indulgent, but may be helpful to others who consider the same activity.

Sometime in late 1980s: See the movie "My Side of the Mountain". Become obsessed with wishing I was Canadian for several years.

1996: Contemplate going to grad scool in SK. Not enough money to do so without debt. What if I never find a job ever? Hyperopia already develpoing at age 19.

Sometime in 2000: See the movie "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing". Desperately want to visit Toronto.

Early Nov 2004: I and 150 million other Americans crash the CIC web site as we contemplate new options...

Late Nov 2004: First border crossing to Niagara Falls with David during Road Trip 2004. In the words of Marge Simpson, it felt so clean, and bland. Like me.

Nov 2006: Somewhat doomed 2-week Midwest road trip, which included 4 nights in Toronto. Amazing city. Love at first sight. If only the trip weren't overshadowed by other life issues.

2007-2009: Repeatedly re-watch "I've Heard the Mermaids Singing". Become obsessed with Toronto. Tragically assume I will never be able to live there because of life circumstances.

14 Aug 09: David travels to Toronto for 3 nights. Upon speaking with him by phone, he mentions he would love to live there. Seeds planted. cic.gc.ca visited for the first time since Nov 2004. PDFs downloaded. I qualify as Federal Skilled Worker-Economic Class. 76 points with David as CLS.

Late Aug 2009: David and I exchange forms, remote discussions.

Labor Day Weekend 2009: "No Harm Trying" decision is made. Forms begin to be filled.

5 October 2009: All forms and docs gathered and complete. New Payment form now on site. CC payment makes it even easier. Package sent by FedEx.

9 October 2009: Application received in Sydney by CIO. Hurry up and wait begins.

16 December 2009: Application approved by CIO, notification received by email. 120-day clock starts ticking.

9 Febrary 2010: All documents gathered for visa app except David's FBI certs (still waiting - requested 12/22).

22 February 2010: David's FBI fingerprints rejected. Resubmission made. Typical processing is 8-10 weeks, which would push Visa deadline by a couple weeks. Will see if we get them back before 3/31, otherwise may try submitting application without them.

18 March 2010: David's second set of fingerprints rejected. Less than a month remaining before deadline so other options being considered. Third set sent.

14 April 2010: No response yet on 3rd fingerprints attempt. Deadline is tomorrow so we send the application as-is with an explanation letter where David's FBI report should be. Will send FBI report as soon as we get it... Assuming we get it this time.

10 May 2010: FBI clearance for David is received. FedExed to Buffalo with explanations and confirmations galore.

12 May 2010: Buffalo consulate sends barcodes for further correspondence. Too bad it's a day late to include with David's FBI paperwork. Hurry up and wait!

10 September 2010: Buffalo sends request to take medical exams and to send Right of Permanent Residence fee. Dang - that's a lot of money!

10 October 2010: Medical exams are taken. ROPR check mailed.

22 October 2010: Delivery confirmation card received for ROPR check.

November 2010: Status on CIC website states "IN PROCESS". It's apparently a long process.

March 2011: Relationship drama; I'm back in SF. Neither David nor I really think we'll actually end up moving to Canada...

19 August 2011: Consulate sends the passport request - must be sent to Buffalo within 30 days. Hilarity ensues as the long gap convinced me that very day that it would be a good time to send off for my passport card. I am able to retrieve the passport mailer from the post office and send it off to David for further delivery to Buffalo.

29 September 2011: Passports arrive with the visas and landing docs. Inventory completed and sent to David for re-check. David is planning a trip to Canada but will not land (as I have to land first anyway).

24 November 2011: It's Thanksgiving Day in the States, so I escape to Canada. I land in Toronto at the Airport. My first international flight ever. You know that paranoia over security theatre and defending the homeland from grannies at the airport? Canada doesn't have it. "Welcome to Canada" is the standard script from every agent I meet. They're all adorable scruffy guys and amazingly polite and nice to me.

I'm home. Now to find that job...

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