A frustrating wait

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 the motivation!

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 set out.

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.


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