That’s what I said to Z, when we first attended the NBPNP Information Session on 10 March 2018.
Actually, our Canadian dream started somewhere in the middle of 2017, but we hadn’t really taken any definite towards achieving this dream until the beginning of 2018. Yes, we had researched and read various forums and blogs, and looked at the Government of Canada website regarding the application process, but we hadn’t really done anything with the information we gathered.
Then, in February 2018, we were told about the NB Information Session that would be held in the UAE in March. That gave us – well, ME – the spur needed to take the first steps towards immigration: doing the IELTS General Exam (which I took on 3 March 2018), and sending my educational degrees for an ECA through WES on 19 March 2018.
We attended the NBPNP Information Session on 10 March 2018, and Z wrote his IELTS exam on 7 April 2018. We sent Z’s degree to be assessed through WES on 30 March 2018. That was a mistake on our part, that we did it separately. My advice: if you plan to have both you and your spouse’s degree assessed, it’s cheaper to send them to WES together.
At the end of April 2018, I finally took the plunge and created our CIC profiles on the IRCC website, with me as the Principal Applicant, because of my primary NOC. And luckily, on 1st May 2018, NBPNP temporarily opened to accept Expressions of Interest from people who had attended their information sessions in the past 24 months.
Once we had submitted our EOI, it was a waiting game, where we gathered the necessary documents for a full application, until the much-awaited ITA from NBPNP came through on 11 June 2018. We submitted the full application to NBPNP on 26 June 2018, and received the NBPNP AOR on 29 June 2018. Then, a mere 16 days later, the NBPNP nomination letter came through. That gave us an additional 600 points for our CRS score, and an almost sure guarantee for getting the CIC ITA for PR at the next Express Entry draw, which we received on 25 July 2018.
And then the real battle started.
Unexpected delays, bungles by the courier company and the South African police, and severe fluctuations of currency values meant that we did not get to submit our full CIC application for PR until 10 September 2018, just 2 weeks before our 60-day deadline. Afterwards, things settled down again, but the wait for any sort of updates from CIC seemed to be agonisingly slow. There were bright spots, like when we passed the medical exams and received the RPRF request, but in-between those were what seemed to be never-ending stretches of silence. Finally, after 4 and a half long, long months for waiting anxiously and praying and hoping, we unexpectedly received the golden passport request (PPR) email on 14 January 2019.
We submitted our passports and supporting documents to the Dubai VAC on 16 January, and it was forwarded to the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi for processing the following day.
And then, of course, 2 days ago (28 January) CIC updated our application with their final decision, and yesterday, the Dubai VAC (VFS Global UAE) told me that we should receive our passports and CoPRs in the next 48 hours. Today, at 4 pm UAE time alhumdulillah, the Aramex courier showed up at our home with that precious bundle of joy (Z was at work so he missed it).
I honestly cannot describe the feelings I experienced when I took that package from the courier. My heart was beating so fast; and I know I had tears in my eyes. Thinking of everything we went through to get to this point. We are so close now, so close.
Inside the envelope were our passports, thoughtfully opened to the visa page, 2 copies of the Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) forms – one with our photos attached and another without – and an information document outlining our next steps.
I just sat and stared at the documents for I don’t know how long. Stared, smiled, and savoured the feeling of accomplishment as I took in the solid proof that we were one tiny step, one stamp away from being known as Canadian PRs and New Brunswickers.
I am very, very happy right now. Every time I look at our passports (and believe me, I having been looking at them almost every 15 minutes), I can’t help but smile.
Of course, there is anxiety mixed in with the happiness. Z and I had decided from the time we submitted the CIC PR application, that we would first do (what is termed) a “soft landing” in New Brunswick for around a week, so we could get our CoPR documents stamped, apply for our PR cards, get our Social Insurance Numbers (SINs) sorted out, and perhaps open a Canadian bank account, all in preparation for our final, permanent move to NB within a year afterwards.
There is so much to plan for and do still, but I can’t help but feel optimistic, and hopeful about the next stage of our Maple Leaf Journey.
What an adventure it has been so far. It’s not over yet, not by a long shot, but we are that much closer to one journey’s end, and the beginning of another.
SubhanAllah. All praise and glory to God for His blessings on us, for His all guidance and help in reaching this point. May He continue to bless us and guide us on our continuing journey to our dream of a better future in the Land of Maple Leaves.
Here is our timeline from the beginning until now:
- NBPNP Info Session: 10 March 2018
- NBPNP EOI: 1 May 2018
- NBPNP ITA: 11 June 2018
- NBPNP AOR: 26 June 2018
- NBPNP Nomination: 20 July 2018
- CIC ITA: 25 July 2018
- CIC AOR: 10 September 2018
- CIC MEP: 5 October 2018
- CIC RPRF Request: 8 November 2018
- Ghost Update: 25 November 2018
- CIC PPR Letter: 14 January 2019
- Passports Submitted: 16 January 2019
- CIC Final Decision – Approved: 28 January 2019
- CoPRs/Visas Received: 30 January 2019