Today, another reader, Dolapo is sharing her Canadian Immigration experience with us. Fasten your seat belts as the Canadian immigration story you are about to read is most likely one you have possibly never heard of before. Before you dive into her Canadian Immigration story and experience, let me provide you with some background information about Dolapo.
She is a graduate of Bowen University in Nigeria with a Bachelors degree in Sociology. She also has a Master’s degree in Knowledge and Information Systems Management from University of Southampton in United Kingdom. She has over 5 years of work experience in diverse fields and industries. Basically, one you think she would be a perfect fit for one or more of the Canadian immigration programs but that was not quite the case as seen in her experience below.
It’s quite amazing how things have unfolded for me since my first attempt at immigrating to Canada in 2012. I have had my fair share of denials and setbacks, but all in all things turned around!
I would like to clearly state that everyone’s journey is unique in its own rite. Even if you are applying under the same immigration category, don’t be taken aback if your situation is different from the next persons. The reason for its uniqueness is solely dependent on the immigration case file officer handling your application (even though they have a structured work standard for each category). It could also be that the rules change before or after you apply etc. This post only illustrates my experience and how I was able to get my permanent residency in Canada.
I have 2 siblings living in Saskatchewan; the first has resided here for 13 years and the other 4 years. They both have good jobs and are well grounded in Saskatchewan (being that one is a Citizen and the other a Permanent Resident). I was encouraged by both of them in 2011 to immigrate to Canada because of the vast opportunities and livelihood, which I heeded to and started gathering my documents to apply under the Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program (SINP)-Family Class Category.
First Application Permanent Resident Application
I applied on the 17th of January, 2012 with hopes of getting nominated by the province to apply for permanent residency. But chai! Was I in for a rollercoaster ride of rejections! After 2 years of no correspondence from SINP, I finally got a mail on the 30th of July, 2014 stating I was ineligible for nomination on the flimsy grounds of not having experience in my field of study. It sounded absurd to my family and me, which swiftly propelled us to ask for a second review of my application.
At this time, I still had a Canadian Visitors Visa, so I decided to come visit my sibling in Canada while waiting for the outcome of my PR application. I made the move with the hope that my being in the country would make a difference to my application. So I took the bold step, quit my job and headed here. Please bare in mind that this was very risky and seemed like a foolish decision at the time, mainly because I was moving without any status as an immigrant but only as a visitor. After a month of moving I received a mail on the 18th of February, 2015 stating my ineligibility on the same grounds as the first application, even after I wrote to them explaining how my degree correlates with my work experience. I began to panic and it seemed like I had made a bad decision to move here.
After the first Denial
After a week of looking for possible alternatives, I had two options lined up. The first viable option was to get an employer to sponsor me and apply for LMIA ( Labour Market Impact Assessment). The second was to apply for a one-year diploma degree. I was fortunate to get a company that was willing to sponsor me and apply for LMIA at no cost.
Study Permit Denial
I also applied and got admission to school here in Saskatchewan. I applied for my study permit on the 29thof May, 2015 and was refused on the 9th of August, 2015 on the grounds that I was ineligible to apply for a study permit within Canada but back in my home country (Nigeria). Devastating right? That was not all!
At this time the so called company that promised to sponsor me had done nothing to procure my LMIA at that point. After months of waiting with expectations I was let down in October with fibs of how they were no longer going to sponsor me for unclear reasons. I choked at the news, thanked them for considering me in the first place and left their office. I had given up! I was frustrated! I was angry and depressed! I couldn’t believe all the series of rejections that kept attacking me one after the other. Need I mention that my visitor’s visa was to expire on the 21st of September, 2015, which compelled me to apply for an extension on the 10th of August, 2015.
Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program Application #2 with a Denial
While looking for new avenues, I was advised by Cannime Services, few friends and family to apply for Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program (SINP) Jobs On-demand and Express entry category. Again, I gathered my documents, sourced for funds to keep in my account for 3 months and when slots were allocated for the above mentioned categories I applied simultaneously on the 21st of September, 2015. Ideally, you are to only apply for one at a time, if not you will be asked to choose between the two. I cancelled my express entry application and opted for the On-demand category which was rejected again for a missing document on the 27th of November, 2015.
SINP Application #3
Fortunately for me another slot of 500 Express entry intake opened up. I reluctantly uploaded all my documents again said a short prayer without an iota of faith and submitted my application on the 4th of December, 2015.
Canadian Visa Extension Denial
At this point I had given up and only relied on receiving an approval from CIC (Canada Immigration and Citizenship) for my visa extension. Little did I know what was going to hit me.
On the fateful evening of the 8th of December, 2015 I received a mail from CIC stating that my application for visitor’s extension has been refused on the premises that:
Reason for original entry and reason for requested extension;
Ties to country of permanent residence, including: – employment and study commitments; – family ties and responsibilities; – status (citizenship or immigration status);
Financial means for the extended stay and return home;
Travel and identity documents;
Probability to leave Canada at the end of authorized stay. After considering all the circumstances of your case.
Application to Restore Status after Visa Denial
I was so devastated at the news that I finally gave up. Everyone who knew my situation was perplexed and couldn’t think of any other alternative. My options were limited; the only other possibility was to apply for restoration of status within 90 days, which has a 1% chance of getting a positive outcome. I had convinced myself that I was going back home if restoration of status had proved futile.
The Christmas Surprise/Gift
At my friend’s baby shower, we were all gathered discussing our various immigration/career experiences, when I unexpectedly received an e-mail from SINP.
“This one that they are sending me an e-mail on Saturday (12th of December, 2015), I am too positive it’s a rejection letter again” I muttered unconvincingly.
I reluctantly opened the e-mail and couldn’t believe what I read! I read the words “Nomination Approval Letter – Enhanced”. My whole being screamed “I HAVE BEEN NOMINATED OOOO!!!!!!” My sister quickly grabbed my phone to confirm the news while all my friends ran towards me screaming and jumping. The whole room was lit with shouts of joy, gratitude to God and tears. That honestly was the best Christmas gift ever!
After the Provincial Nomination
After I received my Nomination from SINP, CIC invited me to apply for Permanent Residency on the 18th of December, 2015, but I didn’t send in my application in till the 31st of December. Believing that things go as planned; I received my Confirmation of Permanent Residency on the 18th of April and landed as a Permanent Resident on the 30th of April, 2016.
This has indeed been a rocky journey, especially one filled with rejections and disappointments. During this time, I learnt to be resilient and trust God in totality. Things may seem bleak and unresponsive but there is always a positive outcome if you stay optimistic. I wish you all the best in your immigration process and pray you don’t face the same hardship as I did!
Since becoming a Permanent residence of Canada, Dolapo has had 3 job offers to choose from. We are so happy for her success. Her determination is definitely one to emulate.
Thank you so much Dolapo for sharing your story with Cannime Service (Now InfoPlace Canada). This will encourage a lot of applicants out there especially those who have faced challenges through the process. Cheers to an exciting life in Canada!
There are lots of immigration programs out there and the challenge is usually finding one that fits best with your profile. If you would like to immigrate to Canada and are not sure where to start, please contact us.