Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Canadian PR Family Sponsorship In-Land Application - Quebec - As a Malaysian

Hi all!

It's been a while since I last updated my post. It has almost been 2 years (2 years as of 23APR17!) living here in Quebec, Canada.

Whilst the visa application process for permanent residency under the Family Sponsorship has been arduous, I'm glad to state that the application process is finally complete! as of writing this post, I am awaiting a phone call from the Montreal Immigration Office to schedule an interview appointment to finalise my visa/status.

I am writing this post today to share my personal experiences on my journey so far.

When I first arrived, I came in under a tourist/visitor visa which allowed me 3 months stay and the application alone for this visa was quite extensive. Instead of finding a service to assist me with this application and pay for extra fees, I was quite adamant in applying for it all on my own (I was a travel consultant at the time and wanted a challenge!).

The best way to start off with any visa is to answer the questions as honestly as you can, on the official immigration page here.

Since I started on the tourist visa as a Malaysian citizen, I had to gather a shitload of documents proving that my stay was legit, pay an expensive visa fee (around $120-ish AUD at the time? I cannot remember) for a 3-month period.

In that time, I had to also apply for the extension of this visitor/temporary resident visa (tourist) whilst I applied for permanent residency.

Both these processes were done online (tourist & extension only): Based on my answers, I was able to submit & pay for my application online.

This was done when I was back in Australia, so it made it even more complicated on my part. Once everything was approved, I had to send my passport to get a physical visa label glued in. 😒

[NOTE]: The online account accessing part is SHIT. For some reason, I have issues logging in (re-directs me to the homepage, and not where it shows your application status). I had to have 10+ tabs open and re-submit my credentials to get to just check messages/status.

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Applying for a visitor/temporary visa extension was easier than the initial application as you should already have the required documentation proving why you're in Canada to begin with, so I'm not going into details for this.

As for the in-land permanent residency visa, I suppose, if you have ever applied for visas elsewhere they mostly ask you for the same shit  (especially if you are applying under a Family Sponsorship: Spouse/Common-law or Conjugal Partner): proof that you are married/living together/legit relationship, you and your spouse's history, and etc.,. And, it's all done via the old-school way: mail.

Personally, I had most of the documents lined up from my previous Australian 450 visa. The one thing to consider when doing it yourself: they make it hard AF. The steps are clear-ish but confusing simultaneously (maybe cause I was applying to be a Quebec resident as well).

For those intending to reside in Quebec: You apply for the Federal part first - they re-direct you to Quebec website for more documents & fees ($220 CAD), which is then sent back for Federal processing (this process might change at time of reading and/or if your instructions state otherwise; please adhere to the updated process).

If you are having a hard time reading or comprehending this whole process, I'd probably recommend that you find a migration agent, as this process was not the simplest of task.

During the time that I have the visitor visa extension granted (PR application received), we had to fork out extra $$$ for another application so that I could work - Open Work Permit. I personally find it stupid and greedy that I had to apply for this whilst awaiting a 26 month period for the permanent residency process - this should have been given. Greedy bunch they are.

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Personal rant: When I applied for permanent residency under this specific class, the processing time was an estimate of 24-26 months (in-land applications) from when the application was received. Recently, they've shortened it to 12 months as of 07DEC17 #fuckyou:


 Just my luck...

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In January 2017, I had finally received a correspondence, stating that I had to 1) proceed in performing a medical check-up, 2) finger-prints & Royal Canadian Police background check (I paid close to $100 for this) and, 3*) pay for the Rights of Permanent Residency fee (RPRF).

*I would personally recommend paying the fee straight-up along with the application as it makes life a whole lot easier, as their description to where you can pay for it/notify them of the payment is pretty damn vague. A lot of research time was spent on this for applicants like me who chose to pay towards the end of the application process. This was based on my personal experience only.

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Further notes to consider:

1.) If in your Malaysian passport, if it does not specify your surname and first name, they will automatically put your entire name as the last name.They had issues locating me until we figured out why in some cases, they cannot locate me in their system at all.

2.) For those intending to reside in Quebec: If you are planning on applying for the health card during this period, please note that you are required to be employed on a full-time basis despite having applied for PR (despite having a Social Insurance Number (SIN)). Yes, it's not stated anywhere in that link until you decide to call them up and they hand you the disappointing news.

Once you gather the necessary proofs & contact the RAMQ, they will then provide you with the information of the nearest CSLC where you are able to submit your application to be covered health-wise.

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I hope this helps! I wish that someone was able to guide me through this process, but guess I am glad I was successful in applying for it on my own.

Good luck to whomever happens to stumble on this post, cause you wouldn't be here if you weren't searching! 😂


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Sephora | Worst Online Shopping Experience Ever

First & Last time I order anything from you guys EVER


Gah. What a great way to start my blog for 2017! Admittedly, I have not been very active as of late, as I'm either exhausted from work or I'm busy watercolour painting away!

I, however, have been naughty the last few months and indulged in the world of online retail. I mean, what is there not to like? For someone who enjoys taking her time browsing, comparing and reading reviews prior to making a purchase, the world of e-commerce is perfect. I literally get to be at home, click, pay and just wait for the order to be delivered. The only downsides are: A) I don't get the items instantly and B) I don't get to see the products first hand.

However, for things such as shoes (which I have purchased before), art supplies, cosmetics and certain clothing items, I don't really feel the need to try it on.

I've been ordering online for a while now, and I can say that so far, I have had no issues up until this particular experience.

For those who do not know Sephora, they are an international chain cosmetics retailer. I personally did not recognise this brand up until I moved to Canada and they seem to be pretty big in North America - recognized as the go-to place for your cosmetics/beauty needs.

Based on how popular and recognisable the company is, I decided to purchase new make-up and treat myself to my first Kat Von D eye-shadow palette, Kat Von D Hello Canada set, and a brush cleaner by Sephora's own brand.

Popped in my card details, checked that it has been charged to my account and left it be.

Now, based on my personal experience, most orders that were placed before a certain time on the day are normally shipped out either the day itself, or the following business day.

This, sadly, did not occur.

I tried to be patient and allowed a few more days to pass before calling their customer support line to enquire about my order. The representative told me that there was a delay for shipments from their Canadian distribution center. I was not given any further information as to when my shipment was expected to ship out and was given the generic apology for the "inconvenience".

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I took it upon myself to ask them the same question and rant at their Twitter page, only to be told to DM them with my order number. Sure enough I did, and their only compensation was the 100 Beauty points which was added to my account. It wasn't much but it was something more than I received over the initial conversation I had with them.

To put the time-line into perspective, I placed the order early Monday morning (like around 3AM EST). My shipment was only shipped out the following Monday, so I received it later that week. I was glad that everything was shipped in one piece until ...

... Until I was discovered days later that I was charged TWICE.

Image result for molang bunny angry

What I was like at the time.

Now, thankfully I had enough funds in my bank account. However, the most fucked-up part is that my Canadian bank charges a fee for any additional withdrawal made on that account (I get up to 12 "free withdrawals/debit"). I was already over this limit and I was appalled at the fact that they:

a) Debited the amount twice
b) And, I'm getting charged extra for this.

Long story short, I was re-directed to my bank, who was nice enough to refund this transaction fee.

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In summary, the amount of cluster-fuck and trouble I had to endure through this online experience is definitely enough to deter me from online purchases with them ever again.

You'd seriously think that a reputable cosmetic retailer would be more efficient than this, but guess they don't really give a fuck.

Sadly, the only reason I'll be returning to shop at Sephora will be at one of their downtown stores due to convenience's sake.

If there was any better options which can compete with the range they have, feel free to send them my way!

Does anyone else have Sephora horror stories? Let me know if you do!