A frustrating wait
I'm not one for writing letters, whether that be to newspapers
or friends and family or Santa Claus. But this time I have both the time and
I have been following the numerous articles and letters over
recent years with regard to the challenges employers face recruiting sufficient
numbers of skilled workers, not only in Whistler but more recently in the Lower
Mainland in general. Having first come to Whistler five winters ago I fell for
the place almost immediately... I knew within my first week that somehow I
would find a way to make this my home, whatever it took. In the 3.5 years since
I applied for residency under the Skilled Worker scheme I have only become more
passionate about fulfilling this goal.
I have probably been as determined as anyone, having bought a
house in Squamish, where I now live, before even securing a job here. Some
would say that is reckless, but in the current property market I would argue
it's a good investment whatever happens. It has definitely been a stressful and
frustrating tactic though... not that I expected such a lengthy process when I
Anyway, I was one of the lucky few who managed to secure a
sponsored work permit through a company in Vancouver where I have been working
for the last year. I guess I should be thankful that it only took three years
to make the right contact... and on a chairlift at Cypress as it happens!
So you may think the moral is to be extra determined (and carry
your resume when skiing) and then it will all work out happily (eventually)...
but it doesn't seem to be that easy.
My work permit has just ran out as, contrary to the Canadian
High Commission info, they have not finalized my residency within six months of
securing employment in Canada. As a good boy I anticipated this and started the
process for an extension of my existing one year visa. Unfortunately the
company did not supply the correct paperwork for the extension, as even their
immigration expert didn't understand the process... so the extension was rejected.
However my residency application is at the stage where I have
had to send off my passport to the UK so they can issue the visa... so here I
am not able to work (ie. zero income), not able to travel but told by
Immigration that I must leave Canada (ie. can't return to UK and work without
my passport) and have nothing but time while I wait and wait and wait.