Deciding to embark on the road of Immigration Canada came when we were still unaware of the upcoming deportation notice (for the first part of this journey, click here).
It started to take shape after George W. Bush won his second term as president. After 9/11 the atmosphere soured in the States and things were not going to get better with Bush getting re-elected. I had had enough of the country. This is how we did it. My husband, who had the skills needed to pass the Immigration Canada test, started sending out job applications to several companies in Canada.
We eventually received a reply from one company in Saskatoon that was interested in hiring him and was willing to go through all the paperwork necessary to help us with this quest of ours.
Armed with this letter, and at the advice of a friend to
contact the Congress Woman's office in our area for help to
our deportation from the USA extended (and with yet another
lawyer to help us get through the first meeting with the deportation
officer), we were able to proof that we would leave the country on our
own after being given some time to get our Immigration Canada
started. Thank God for giving us a deportation officer who was
work with us, as long as we would be reporting back monthly, with proof
of progress in our Canadian immigration process.
In December 2005 we finally received a letter from the Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) office which was an invitation for an interview... in Trinidad. Yes, Trinidad. We couldn't have the interview in the States, because we were still citizens of Suriname. Therefore we had to leave the United States to go to Trinidad for the interview with the Canadian Immigration officer. The Canadian Immigration office in Trinidad, which is the Canadian High Commission, represents Suriname too.
We left the United States with high hopes of getting our Permanent Resident status. Our future depended on a successful Immigration Canada process. Though we were quite nervous about the possibility of not getting the permanent resident visa, we knew we were doing everything that was required from us. Still, the possibility was there... And in that case we would have to stay in Suriname. I love my home country, but I always knew I would one day leave for another country. It is way too hot there, and it's still a developing country.
However, the five months we spent there while waiting for an answer from the Canadian Immigration office after our interview, was a precious time I'll remember for a long time.
After all it had been fifteen
years since we had last seen it. It was also the first time our
daughters saw the country their
parents came from. They enjoyed their stay a lot as well. Suriname
country full of warm people who love to party and have fun!
The food is
second to none! It's like
that in most of the Caribbean. No wonder tourists like to visit the
Caribbean, but Suriname is not an island, and it's fairly unknown yet
in the western world. (If you like the Caribbean, then you'll like Suriname
and its capital city Paramaribo.)
In April 2006 we finally received the long awaited letter from the Canadian Immigration office. We were very nervous as we opened it. The relief and joy we felt when we saw our passports stamped with the Permanent Resident visa is simply indescribable... it was an emotional moment. We felt a real connection with Canada. I have to say, while going through the whole Immigration Canada process we noticed the marked difference in the attitude of Canadians vs. Americans. Canadians really are friendlier, happier and more relaxed than Americans.
When I started looking for help on discussion boards and forums about information on Immigration Canada, I met several very helpful Canadians, and I even became good friends with one of them whom I'm still in touch with. They all did their best to answer my questions concerning Immigration Canada. Most Canadians are very helpful and friendly. They have a "live and let live" attitude and are very laid back. I am so happy to have moved to Canada!
In May 2006 we finally arrived in Toronto as landed Canadian immigrants. The feeling of gratitude that washed over us was overwhelming! Just imagine: the USA had kicked us out, but Canada had embraced us. Immigration lawyers in the US had robbed us, but with the extensive information found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada Web site, we didn't even need to hire a lawyer, except for a few questions we had that were answered for free by the lawyer we had contacted. However, your case may be different and you may require an immigration attorney's extensive help in your Immigration Canada efforts.
To think that we were devastated when the deportation notice arrived,
we now realise that it was actually a blessing
on this path to Canada.
Had we not received the notice, we would probably not feel the pressure
of working hard at getting our Canadian Immigration papers. We might at
have given up on the Immigration Canada process, since it is a
process and at times quite frustrating.
Today we are close to becoming Canadian citizens! Soon we will have completed three years as permanent residents or "landed immigrants" in Canada, which means we can apply for the citizenship status. We can't wait to officially become Canadians, or as they also say: Canucks!
Now that the vague idea of Immigration Canada (that came to my mind after reading about British Columbia in that book I bought in 2003) has become a reality, and we have settled in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (where the job offer came from)... my next step is to relocate to British Columbia! It will be my final journey, for that is the paradise of my dreams!