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Old 03-31-2008, 02:45 AM
 
2 posts, read 25,419 times
Reputation: 10
Default Moving to Montreal from NY? How hard would it be?

How hard would it be for a young family to find jobs & housing in Montreal in short order? We are jobless, fed up with many things American and ready for a change.

OUR BACKGROUND:
My husband just graduated law school and has a background in television & music. He is awaiting bar results this May, but in the meantime has had NO LUCK finding a job. So much for higher education! He would love to work in business (Licensing or Intellectual Property) and working as a lawyer is not obligatory for him. He speaks fluent French that was put to the test when we spent a summer in Paris struding abroad at the Sorbonne. I myself am desperate to become fluent and would looove my kids to be multi-lingual.

We fell in love with the French culture, food, lifestyle and THE PEOPLE. We dream of living there, but scarce jobs, high cost of living, difficult immigration & distance from family have shelfed those dreams.

We are former NYC'ers currently living in Upstate NY. We love urban life with a European flair. NYC is our target city, but the expense and education issues are very prohibitive for us b/c we are raising small children right now.

I am a stay at home mom to my 2-year old daughter and expecting a baby girl due this summer. I would like to attend grad school in the next year or so. We're looking to settle our family for at least a few years in a metropolitan, cultural center (less expensive than our beloved NYC) where our girls can get a first rate education & become multi-lingual. If Montreal were a match and we still loved it after a few years we would forego sending the kids to American grade school and stay permanently. Please help!

QUESTIONS:
1. Can anyone recommend a starting point for us?
2. What is a reasonable timeframe for us to work with? (i.e. Could we pack up our car and move in the next 2-3 months?)
3. How do we commence a job hunt? Should we contact an employment agency/headhunter?
4. What resident status will be expected of us? Type of Visas, etc.?
5. I am open to having my new baby be born in Montreal, but not sure how welcomed I'd be by Montreal in my condition : ) We are currently uninsured & paying out of pocket for my pregnancy, is that an option in Montreal? Anyone have knowledge of private birthing centers?

THANK YOU FOR ANY INPUT, ADVICE OR GENERAL COMMENTS!!
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Old 03-31-2008, 11:39 AM
 
4,285 posts, read 9,737,423 times
Reputation: 3674
1. A reasonable starting point would be Citizenship and Immigration Canada's web site.

2. Can you just pack the car and move in? Not legally and not practically.

3. The type of job hunt you pursue will be dicatated in part by your immigration status. See #4

4. You may be allowed into Canada for a period of up to 6 months as a visitor. As a visitor, you will not be permitted to work, nor will you be eligible for government health coverage.

If your plan is to live and work in Canada, you are far better off to pursue entry either through the regular Permanent Resident program, the Skilled Worker program, or as a Provincial Nominee.

None of these processes happen immediately. All require copious paperwork, application fees, and waits measured in months or years.

Entering the country with a family as a visitor and attempting to stay really isn't a practical tactic when one considers the hassle of trying to find under the counter work,etc.
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Old 04-01-2008, 07:41 PM
 
1,003 posts, read 2,303,685 times
Reputation: 150
Quebec also has its own, separate visa program. You have to qualify separately for Quebec as well as for the general Canadian visa.

Be aware that thanks to language laws in Quebec, you may find employment difficult if you do not speak French. Montreal is heavily bilingual, but French is, at a minimum, a huge asset. you can attend grad school in English, though (McGill is one of the best rated universities in Canada).

If you're young and college educated, you've got a good shot at getting in on points--although experience is a huge help. Speaking French will also give you points.

Your husband will have a real problem practising law in Quebec as it is a civil law system. I don't know about demand for US trained lawyers.

Your children would be legally required to attend French language schools (unless you pay for fully private, non-subsidized private schools). You only have the right to send your children to English-language schools (including French immersion operated by the english school board) if one or both parents received English education in Canada.
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:08 AM
 
Location: montreal
12 posts, read 37,867 times
Reputation: 10
this is MUCH harder than you might think. i was naive, in love, and thought with a professionally employed husband who is a canadian citizen, and being a 'nice girl' (stay at home mom and housewifey type..) clean record, etc. . and being SPONSORED by said husband...it would be a breeze. so NOT...... it is nearing one year already, MANY thousands of dollars later, medical exams will soon be up (only good for one year, they cost 500.00 for me and my 2 daughters) and still no sign that immigration canada is going to rule on our case in the near future. be very careful about even THINKING about moving here. : ( learn to be happy where you are (note..it is a lovely place, montreal, and canada in general is very nice. it is just that it is way too much trouble, time and effort to be here legally - and we should all try to do things the legal way)
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:51 AM
 
2 posts, read 25,419 times
Reputation: 10
Default Discouraged about Montreal Now

I can't believe how difficult the process is. I thought we could atleast go there for 6 months to try it out and see if we could secure jobs/get into grad school. I thought the biggest problem would be having the baby there. I know people that live there and they have all been like "Come on up!" No one has mentioned it would be nearly impossible as these boards are suggesting. I am going to look into some free-standing birth centers anyway. Any help with that would be appreciated.
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Old 04-17-2008, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Western Mass.
605 posts, read 1,633,487 times
Reputation: 292
Do "anchor babies" work in Canada?
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:52 PM
 
40 posts, read 123,630 times
Reputation: 27
Question...Is it true that you should apply in any province BUT Quebec because it is easier and then you can move to wherever you want in Canada after immigration is finished..
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:12 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
25 posts, read 64,049 times
Reputation: 17
As a Canadian citizen who successfully sponsored his American spouse to become a Canadian Permanent Resident (in Quebec), I can only say, 'Hold onto your sanity.'

The hardest part about attaining permanent resident status is that even if you are 100% legitimate and meet all the requirements and have an excellent case and all the money to pay the fees and an immigration lawyer (we had all the above), the TIME it takes can make you go insane. The bureaucratic process, even if you have all your papers in proper order, moves PAINFULLY SLOWLY. You'll send off a form and won't hear anything back for months. Then you get a letter saying you forgot to dot an I or cross a T. Then you resend the form and wait another four months. In the meantime, your life is put on hold.

It was a process our lawyer said would take 8-12 months. It wound up taking two years. My common-law spouse couldn't work or study for that entire time, and it drove her nuts, understandably so. She was also prohibited from leaving the country.

Mind you this was an "in country" sponsorship. We could have done "out of country" but then she would have had to leave Canada and not come back until her status was approved.

Shortly before her status was approved, we decided to say screw it and moved to the US. (I'm a dual citizen.) By the time she was approved we had already put the wheels in motion to leave. Two years later, and now we're thinking about moving back to Canada so she can become a full fledged citizen. Might as well get something out of all that sacrifice and waiting!

But the best place to start is the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Good luck!

Last edited by america_dude; 10-17-2008 at 12:20 PM..
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:25 PM
 
4,285 posts, read 9,737,423 times
Reputation: 3674
Quote:
Originally Posted by america_dude View Post
As a Canadian citizen who successfully sponsored his American spouse to become a Canadian Permanent Resident (in Quebec), I can only say, 'Hold onto your sanity.'

The hardest part about attaining permanent resident status is that even if you are 100% legitimate and meet all the requirements and have an excellent case and all the money to pay the fees and an immigration lawyer (we had all the above), the TIME it takes can make you go insane. The bureaucratic process, even if you have all your papers in proper order, moves PAINFULLY SLOWLY. You'll send off a form and won't hear anything back for months. Then you get a letter saying you forgot to dot an I or cross a T. Then you resend the form and wait another four months. In the meantime, your life is put on hold.

It was a process our lawyer said would take 8-12 months. It wound up taking two years. My common-law spouse couldn't work or study for that entire time, and it drove her nuts, understandably so. She was also prohibited from leaving the country.

Mind you this was an "in country" sponsorship. We could have done "out of country" but then she would have had to leave Canada and not come back until her status was approved.

Shortly before her status was approved, we decided to say screw it and moved to the US. (I'm a dual citizen.) By the time she was approved we had already put the wheels in motion to leave. Two years later, and now we're thinking about moving back to Canada so she can become a full fledged citizen. Might as well get something out of all that sacrifice and waiting!

But the best place to start is the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website.

Good luck!
If I've read your post correctly, your spouse was approved for PR status, shortly thereafter you both moved to the US, and now you wish to return so she can gain Canadian citizenship.

Please be aware that to qualify to apply for citizenship, your spouse must have been physically present in Canada for a period of around 1100 days in the last 5 years. Having PR status for the time period isn't enough.
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