Saturday, October 14, 2006

Fall leaves

Fall leaves
Originally uploaded by oHoTos.
Fall has arrived and the colors are just beautiful even here in Montreal!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sorry, busy...

...found a job, no time for blogging these days!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Our cards arrived

We were told that it would take 4-6 weeks to receive our permanent resident cards, but yestarday, after only three weeks we already received them. These days we are busy going to an information meeting about Quebec's economy and jobmarket, so I have to catch up with some stuff that I wanted to blog about later.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Our first two weeks in Montreal

So now it has been over two weeks already that we landed as immigrants, I finally got hooked up for Internet by cable so I can resume writing this blog.
Immigration at the airport was a very smooth procedure, verification of passports, visa and permanent resident confirmation by the first agent, then another agent verified again and filled out all the paperwork, then we went to Quebec immigration where we were enrolled for an information session for new immigrants and given a few explanations and helpful stuff like bus and metro maps. After realising that two of our checked bags hadn't arrived in Montreal we finally went through customs and then took our first steps out of the airport to breathe our first Canadian air before taking a taxi to our new home in Montreal.
Having never been to Canada before landing here, our first impression of Montreal is "this is just like the US but in french". Generally we like everything we've seen so far and we have a lot more to discover. What have we been up to? Paperwork mostly, the first days we went to get our social security number here and then made our application for our health insurance cards here.
Enough for today...

Monday, July 03, 2006

Canada Here We Are!

Already five days! Still busy with administrative stuff but we're happy. More details will follow as soon as I have Internet at home.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Appartment found

About two days ago we finally found a nice new home for us in Montreal. With the help of Marie from IDEAL Canada we found a very nice 3 1/2 in Côte-des-Neiges.
Six more days and we'll be on the other side of the big pond!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Reduction of Right of Permanent Residence Fee

Some rather good news today, after the Right of Permanent Residence Fee change we are entitled to a 50% refund which is quite a considerable amount. More about this here: CIC Canada Reduction of Right of Permanent Residence Fee

Friday, April 21, 2006

Just a short post... keep this blog going. No real news these days. Our bank account at the RBC was created and our place is a complete mess while we try to get us motivated to sort through our stuff and get it packed. Time is flying and we also have to find a place to stay in Montreal.

Friday, March 24, 2006

How to open a bank account from outside of Canada

During the last days I have been gathering information on how to open a bank account when you're not yet in Canada. After checking the conditions of several banks the National Bank of Canada and RBC Royal Bank made it to my shortlist so I contacted them via their e-mail forms on their websites:
NBC Contact & RBC Royal Bank - Contact Us
RBC Royal Bank promptly sent me an answer and asked me to send them my destination, arrival date, name, address and telephone number so that they could forward this to one of their branches who would contact me with the documentation to fill out. Five days later I received a mail with instructions, an account application and a signature card attached in PDF format. I had a few questions about the things to fill out on the application and they promptly replied with their answers.
So today I went to the Canadian Consulate here in Barcelona to get certified photocopies of my passport, drivers license and I got a stamp and signature to validate my signature on the RBC signature card. For this I had to pay a small service fee of 14 Euros... nothing for free but at least the assistant to the Consul that I dealt with was very nice and even asked me some questions about the visa procedure for Canada.
Now I still have to get a recommendation letter from my bank here and then I will send everything to the Royal Bank and they will open a deposit account for me upon five days. To withdraw money from that account I will have to be in Canada and I will be able to change to the type of account that best fits me once I am over there.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Busy times ahead

Only 97 days until we leave! I haven't updated this blog lately, but this is what I've been up to:
  • looking for an appartment
  • trying to open a bank account
  • organising the transport of our stuff
  • starting to look for a job

Some things seem to be quite easy even if you're not in the country yet. What particularily strikes me is that almost all the people I have been in contact with are very helpful. As soon as I have more details on what I have accomplished so far I will post them here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Le Québec en photos

A very nice blog, check out these photos of our future home:
Urbanisme II - Le Québec en photos

Yes, I know that Canada is a bit colder

What happens when someone throws boiling water into the air at temperatures like this -40C in Satkatchewan Canada? Watch for yourself:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

They are beautiful

Well, maybe that's exaggerated, but it is certainly a nice feeling to finally see the visa in the passport. I was a bit surprised that there is no photo on the visa itself, they even sent back the additional photos that they asked us to supply.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

One year, day for day!

Yesterday evening we received the notification that a letter from the Canadian embassy is awaiting us for pick-up at the post office today February 28th. Very nice coincidence considering that we started this whole adventure exactly a year ago when we sent our application for a Quebec selection certificate on February 28th, 2005! I can't wait to see our visas apposed on our passports this evening.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

We've got a date

Reservations are made. We leave from Barcelona on June 28th on an Air Canada flight to Montreal via Paris.

Our Passports went on a trip

A quick photosession, ran to DHL, measured the ID pics - too small! Back to the photographer, got yelled at because what we needed was not standard, new pics (for free and correct size this time), ran back to DHL, stuffed passports, declaration and ID pics in the envelope, wallet 30 Euros lighter... and they're sent.
That was our evening yesterday. Now we just have to wait until they send us back some nice visas!

Monday, February 13, 2006

"Nous sommes prêts à emêttre vos visas..."

This noon we finally got the big surprise in the mailbox, that famous brown envelope from the Paris embassy. Our application was accepted and our visas are ready to be issued. 350 days exactly after we started this adventure by sending out our application for a Quebec selection certificate. Now we have to get some more photos done, send them with our passports to Paris and wait for them to be returned with our visas! It's a good feeling, knowing that everything is OK and that we can now start to really prepare our move.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Finally, after checking our application status for the second time this morning:

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Now I am starting to bug them a bit

It's quite hard waiting, waiting, waiting... It's been over three months now that we have done the medicals and a decision should be just around the corner. But I don't like sitting around and doing nothing so I sent a fax to the Paris embassy yesterday to request an update about the status of our visa application. Let's see if they answer anytime soon.

Monday, January 09, 2006

No news is good news?

... I would have preferred to get some news from the embassy today - nothing! Empty mailbox, no e-mail, no fax, no phonecall... the wait goes on.