I receive several emails a day from South Africans with immigration questions. I usually try get back to people as soon as possible, but admittedly, my email inbox does get away from me. While I do eventually get back to everyone, I do prefer compiling a list of Q&A’s online if I feel like it could be particularly helpful to you. So, here’s our first post of Expat Q&A’s including an important topic on moving with pets.
You mentioned something about a fast track (express entry) visa application – How does that work?
Express Entry is an online system of immigrating to Canada for specific skilled workers that they are trying to recruit to the country. You can read more about it here.
We did not initially use this method/route as Craig had received a job offer and we went to work permit route. We did, however, use Express Entry thereafter to become permanent residents. Once we had PR, it meant that our stay in Canada was not dependent on Craig’s job at the time and it also meant that we could start working towards Citizenship, which was the goal.
You can read more about how what we needed to immigrate here.
My Husband and I are both in our 40’s, with two kids in High School. What would be the best route for us to follow to get into Canada?
Immigration questions are tough to answer when I don’t have the full picture. If you could let me know whether you and your husband have any qualifications or what career you are both based in so I could advise whether perhaps you would qualify for Express Entry (you can also view the requirements here). That route is always the number 1 route I would recommend for most people because it means that you would land in Canada as permanent residents (PR).
If you do not qualify for Express Entry, the next best thing would be to try get a job offer and apply for a work visa. You are still able to apply for Express Entry once you’re here working and it can speed up the PR process.
Did you bring any animals along? We aren’t willing to leave ours behind.
We specifically held off on getting a kitten because we already knew we were leaving, but not everyone has the benefit of knowing this in advance. I’m also glad that we held off on getting pets until we arrived because it’s harder (but not impossible) to find a rental that will allow pets.
Nonetheless, had we gotten any animals while in South Africa, we would have definitely brought them with us. Moving with pets to Canada is possible! I do not think immigration is a reason to give away pets and it’s actually relatively easy to bring them over. Most people have used KLM. You can find their info here.
I’m immigrating to Canada soon and would just like to ask you about the shops over there in Canada. Can you maybe tell me the different kinds you get and what are the same than over in SA just with different names for example, what is the Pick ‘n Pay type of shop over there and Dischem and Woolworths and so on?
In terms of shops, they are completely different here. We miss our Woollies so much and haven’t found a ‘replacement’, per se. But we have adapted. The general stores are Co-op, Walmart, Safeway and Sobeys. We prefer the Safeway and Sobeys that feel more like PnP’s. Then you can get Costco for bulk buy at a discounted price (a bit like Makro).
Then there are specialised health food stores like Blush Lane in Edmonton, and Calgary, Alberta, that we love too. In terms of a Dischem, Costco would probably be the best bet, but you would be buying in bulk (and just be aware, most things do expire). We usually do that for toiletries and medical things that won’t go off before we use them.
Shoot me an email if you have any questions you’d like me to answer! 🙂