Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We got our PR Card

We finally got our PR Card on the 10th of August 2015. However it wasn't without much "drama". Since we are still busy preparing for our travels, I'll spare the details. Furthermore I have my beef with CIC which I will write something here in the weeks to come. We should not have gone through what we have gone through. Yet CIC, in their "infinite wisdom", let it happen. <So, watch this space>...

Both my wife and I will like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for their help in making it possible:

  • Liberal MP Geoff Regan's Office and his staffer Afton Doubleday
  • Liberal MLA Patricia Arab and her staffer Sadie Ghosn
  • Canada Post Halifax (Almond St.) staff Carol, Dianne, Donna and Dave
  • Greg and Mei at 5800 South
  • Our friend Anthony Cheah for his advice
  • My bosses at Magiclamp Software 
Thanks for all your help and understanding. Now we can go back home for our visit with peace of mind.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

CIC has no way of sending legitimate request and consideration for urgent processing of PR card for new landed immigrants

 I write this blog entry because there is no other place to send a complaint. So I suppose the best way to do so is to put up in the web and spread it through social media (twitter, facebook and even linkedin). My hope is that someone else, who will be in the same shoe as me, does not have to go through the ordeal that my spouse and I had to go through with CIC.

Let me begin by saying that I’ve lived in Canada for well over half a decade (6 years to be more precise). Of that time, I was on study permit for PhD and also later on a work permit. I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia with my wife and little baby girl. We recently purchased a home here and are integrating well with the community. Both my wife and I work with local IT companies. I work as a Senior IT Consultant building state of the art Canadian made software products and my wife also works as a Senior Consultant with a management-consulting firm. All these are what the Canadian government (federal and Nova Scotia provincial) wants, which is attracting foreign talents to spur the economy and help with paying off taxes to the CRA.

So we decided that we would want to hang around a little longer here and thus applied for our Canadian permanent residency status via the Nova Scotia Provincial Nominee program. We finally got our “confirmation of permanent residency” letter early on this year, which is some where in April 2015. Considering the weather then, we decided to postpone our landing a little later. When the snow finally started to melt, we drove from Halifax straight down to Maine. We crossed over back to Canada via the Woodstock POE on the 2nd of May 2015. Despite having a letter from my employer kindly requesting consideration in speeding up our PR Card processing, the border guard agent who attended to us, did not accept the letter, as it wasn’t part of the standard protocol.

My job as an IT Consultant requires me to travel to the US from time to time for demo and software implementation purposes – mostly for a period of 3 days in a row after which I’ll return back to home base in Halifax. But due to not having my PR card ready yet, I was not able to do so and that severely impacted the resource planning for the company I work with.

At the time of crossing (landing), the date on the PR Card processing time for new immigrants as stated in the website, was about 41 days. Seeing that my wife is on a years maternity leave and that both of us have not return to our home country for well over 4 years, we decided that we ought to go home soon (my wife has to return to work in September this year). But due to the PR card, we decided to buy a ticket that’s a little further ahead of time (with added buffer). Eventually we bought our tickets to fly back home to Malaysia for somewhere around mid of August 2015. This gives us well over 3 months from the time of landing to have the PR card mailed to us.

However as the time progressed, the average days it takes to process a new immigrant’s PR card extended beyond 41 days. At first it went up to 50 odd days, and then to 60 over, and then to 70 over and eventually to 87. Every time we get close to date that ought to mean our application should be process, the days get changed again. In other words, the goal-post keeps on getting shifted as we came close to it. Thus it was hard for me to reason to them to check the status of my PR card process when I called the call centre. The typically answer I got was exactly what I find in the website. After over many calls, I had a kind agent who was willing to hear my story somewhat and eventually helped to check the system to see at which stage our PR card processing is in. But he stressed that he could not alter the speed it takes. Although I wish that wasn't the case as it was already too close to our flight dates.

As I’ve mentioned, it’s been over 4 years since we return home. And since I am working, I can only afford a maximum of 3 weeks of vacation. Thus I would like to maximize my time spend over in Malaysia with my love ones. Although I was told that we can apply for a 1 time entry visa for not having the PR card yet, it boggles me that we had to wait well over 3 months to have anything send back to us! Especially in my situation, where I am still considered a new landed immigrant. Having to travel to the Canadian embassy (which is not in Malaysia but in Singapore) and wait about 3 days to get the visa would easily shave away a good chunk of my time back home just to deal with red tape that shouldn't have happen in the first place.

Where am I right now? Well as it is when writing this blog entry (5th August), we still have not receive our PR card yet. And we are only 2 weeks away from our flight. Well done CIC! I appreciate your "concern" (note the sarcasm). I certainly hope that no one else has to experience what we are going through.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Moving to Canada (Part 2)

So you did the whole nine yards (went through the laborious task of filling in forms, submitting, medical, worry, interview etc etc) and now you got the welcome letter from CIC which says your application for Canadian permanent residency has been approve. So what now???

First of all, welcome to the club. Any thoughts of where you might want to land? You should probably start thinking of that now if you haven't.

Well, each province has a not-for-profit organization that reaches out to newcomers and provide support and help for their settlement needs. If I am not mistaken in your acceptance letter/email from the CIC, they would have directed you to a website for all your newcomers needs.

I did a quick google and this is their site: … /index.asp
Click on the 'Find settlement services in your area' link which would bring you to a google maps that hi lights the centres which provides these services on the map.

Take for example if you're heading to Nova Scotia, you'd be going to
Ontario -
etc etc.

There's also a good document guide from CIC which details things you need to know that answers your questions in terms of preparation etc.

The owner of the magazine, 'Canadian Immigrant', Nick Noorani (who was an immigrant himself) has additional guides to note for in terms of integrating in the job culture which is an extra for you to read if want: … anada1.pdf
which is taken from his site: that has immense information on what to watch out for.

Hope this helps.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Moving to Canada (Part 1)

Are you a fellow Malaysian contemplating on moving overseas? I don’t claim to know all the answers but I do know that depending on your background, age and ethnicity, the answer and the reason to this question may differ.

Chances are, if you are an average middle class non-bumiputera (non-sons of the soil) person like me, you might share the same reasons. Is it worth it? I can’t answer that right now as I am still on this journey. For me, I feel strongly that I want a better future for my children and giving them a level playing field compared to what they would have should they be brought up in Malaysia. No matter what the reasons are, I am sure you can agree to some extend that some of the recent happenings in the political landscape in Malaysia have put off lots of people and that includes me myself.

Having made this move, I’d like to share the different avenues towards coming to Canada, a place I chose instead of the usual places which most Malaysians would prefer to go to (e.g. Singapore, Australia, New Zealand or the UK).

The easiest step of course is if you are patient and much younger (note this is for an average joe. of course it is always easier if you have a tard load of cash – then you could go ahead an apply for the business class PR). So, let’s assume that you are a fresh grad with a few years of working experience under your belt. One move is to try to get into a masters degree course here in Canada. Of course, money would be a concern. But if you had good results from your degree, then, chances are you can apply for a stipend from your faculty and hope to have part or all of your education funded (if you are lucky, you might even have enough for your living expenses). Rough it out for a year or two and when you are done. Go and apply for a graduate work permit. Work for a year and by then you are qualified for CEC (Canadian Experience Class PR). Yes, with the recent change implemented this year, you’d only need 1 year of Canadian working experience to qualify to apply for the PR under this scheme. Prior to that it was 2 years.

Coming next, I’ll furnish with other methods to get here and perhaps provide some links.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Having been in Canada for more than 3 years now has changed my point of view on many things. I know the title says going to Canada but infact I’ve already been in Canada for so long. However the process of integration is still ongoing and thus the name still has its value.

After a long absence, and also from the previous 2 posts, I’ve decided that I shall begin sharing my experience in terms of my process in acquiring landed immigrant status. That’s another phrase for PR (permanent resident) for folks here in Canada. So expect some additional resources and thoughts on a personal level from my site on the matter of Canadian PR, from time to time.

Chow for now!

Thursday, October 4, 2012


Caution: This blog post may not be suitable for some folks.

To the Malaysian / Singaporean or South East Asian Chinese, I say be prepared, be really prepared. Why? “CHINA” that’s why!.

Having been here (in Halifax, NS particularly) for 3 years, it has only gotten worse. Gone are the days when Malaysian/Singaporean or South East Asian Chinese enjoyed the recognition of being different and coming from a country that is multi-lingual, multi-racial and some might say a mini version of America. Folks over here (the maritimers/ Canadians) and also immigrants from other countries from South Asia (e.g. India) and Middle East, mostly do not know of the existence of our progressive country. And therefore they naturally think that we folks are from China, per say.

Furthermore, having an oriental look doesn’t help either. They almost readily single you out you as a person from China. Don’t get me wrong. Its not that I don’t respect China. Infact, I have great respect for the country and its history. Hell, my roots, dates back to age old China. My forefathers came from Fujian province. Infact a lot of Chinese immigrants that left China before world war 1 were either from Fujian or Guangdong province (although the former was more than the later).

Many came to British controlled states like Malaya or Singapore to find for greener pastures. Others did travel further to the shores of North America (for helping out in building rail tracks). My forefathers from my maternal side came way before that – during the Ming dynasty and traded with local in the then famous Malacca port. They mixed and inter-married with the locals. So, yes, Chinese were keen maritimers themselves just as in other cultures from the west. What is different was that the Chinese were into trade and not did not fixate into expanding their land mass across the seas like the Spaniards, or the French and much later the English.

So, yes, I have a great deal of respect for China and its history because of my roots. But, not China as it is today! Particularly the young (those who are born 1986 or later) who come over to Canada to study due to the following reasons: (1) These are young Chinese who have in their entirely life lived in luxury. They do not know hardship one bit – ergo they come with the knowledge that they deserve better because they should. (2) Generally lack less than stellar mannerism.

Coupled with the fact that sleepy Halifax is quite a (WASPY) place – yes lots of White Anglo Saxon – these 2 combine makes it hard for any other oriental looking folks out there such as myself to assert their cultural difference. We (along with those such as Japanese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and some lighter skin Thais etc) might find it hard as locals tend to think that we all are from China and thus get treated as folks from there. I sincerely hope that more youths from China could improve their image. The other solution of course is to leave sleepy little Halifax for larger cities where there are significant number of Asians there and thus locals would be open to different types of Chinese.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Do You Really Need Cable?

As a student, you'll find ways to trim wherever you can. Well, even if you're working you might also think twice of spending the extra $. Here's one tip you can use for your entertainment needs. Instead of subscribing to expensive cable channel providers like Eastlink or Bell, pay the extra for a decent broadband connection (ensure you're getting at least 5Mb/s or more). With high speed internet, you can watch your favourite shows online at anytime you want. What's more, you don't have to worry about missing a particular show at a particular time. You simply have to visit the website to replay the show. Now, if you're into the flat screen TV and don't do online, then you might want to just get a digital dish and digital converter to hook up to your TV because basic channels are free anyhow - just like TV3, RTM, and 8TV back home. But better than that, they actually screen up to date shows. My only beef on TV channels are that they have extra long advertisement. Here are some links to sort you out if you choose the internet route.

Under the Showcase brand of Media products are a suite of channels to fill your appetite, simply head to and lo' and behold, you'll see a list of channels like Global, Showcase, Foodnetwork, SliceTV, HGTV, History Channel. (Note: some of the links are just website for the channel but do not have any streaming services)

And if you're heard of CTV, they are under another BIG media giant in Canada - Bell Media. There's no point going to each of their specific channel sites as they usually consolidate everything under Besides, they don't let you see everything for free only - although they are a some fair bits too as they have to compete for advertising space with the rest.

Last but not least the RTM equivalent of Canada is CBC. Play around with this link, You be surprise as sometimes they do have quality series too. Although some of the series have very dry Canadian sense of humor to it, so its hard to appreciate.

All major media mentioned above have their own news channel too. I prefer CBC, as they seem to have a broader spectrum of things as well as better local coverage for each provinces.

So, there you go, before you decide to sign the dotted line for a 2 year or 3 year deal for cable, think again.