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An Update on “Chiruza Canadiense”—The Road to Permanent Residence is Long

Chiruza Canadiense - Dreaming of Canada
Chiruza Canadiense – Dreaming of Canada

Update: Her immigration journey didn’t go as planned… and neither did her attitude.

Remember “Chiruza Canadiense”? I interviewed her over a year ago, in March 2013. Back then, she had applied for permanent residence under Quebec’s skilled worker category and she was stuck in processing limbo.

She was kind enough to share an update. Below is the email she sent me.

When you interviewed me, I had been waiting for 15 months with no news (see question no. 3 on the interview). Eventually, I reached a point where I was so upset and so tired of wasting time, money, and energy on French classes that, in June 2013, I decided to stop attending classes at the Alliance Française until I receive some serious news from the BIQ. I felt like I had no more energy left to keep on fighting. Besides, I had nothing to hold on to.

Fast forward to September 2013, month 22 of waiting. I had just started a new job and life was busy. When I least expected it, I received an email from the BIQ. Finally, something! The BIQ asked me to submit (again!) practically all the documents in my dossier (immigration file). Why that? Because the rules had changed. When I first applied in November 2011 you were required to send copies of your supporting documents. The BIQ didn’t need the documents to be translated or certified. The rules had changed and they were applied retroactively to my dossier.

BIQ - Request for documents
BIQ – Request for documents

The letter scared me. I had 90 days to send all the documents again translated (to either English or French) and certified or I’d be automatically rejected. The whole thing came out of the blue and on top of that, it was extremely expensive (hiring a translator, having the documents certified and sent via DHL/FedEx, etc.)—it cost me a whole month of income. Ouch.

I ran all through Buenos Aires, working with the translator’s schedule and rushing. It took a couple of months to get that done.

On November 2013, I sent all the documents again. I was happy it was done. I checked the tracking number and the documents were received four days later.

At this point, I was so fed up with the immigration process that I welcome the fact I had no news from the BIQ.

Then I started to count the months again. Two days before month 5 after sending the documents, I received another email from the BIQ—and I was expecting it.

Chiruza Canadiense reacting to the email on a Facebook group
Chiruza Canadiense reacting to the email on a Facebook group

Let me explain. It’s not like I have special powers whatsoever, but I’m in touch with a few applicants and they all received it. So I knew my “bomb” was coming….

Many of these applicants had received a letter of “intent to denial” (lettre d’intention de refus). The BIQ basically told them they didn’t have enough points as to be selected, so unless they send new supporting documents to help their case within 90 days, they’d be denied. And that after waiting patiently for almost 3 years!

So, in my case, the BIQ assessed my application (at last!). It stated I qualified for a référence en francisation. Basically, I’m in between the letter of denial and the preselection for the selection interview (!) with the conseiller d’immigration!

As a single applicant, I need 49 points to be considered for the interview. And according to the BIQ, I’m two-point short with 47 points.

The BIQ gave me 18 months to get these two points. Plenty of time… many people told me how lucky I am.

So I decided it was about time to hire the services of a government-approved immigration consultant. I will have a one-hour chat with him to explore my options, the best way to gather those points, where should I be careful, and whether it’s a good strategy to make a 14-day trip to Québec or not (that would give me one extra point out of the two I need), etc.

So, that’s where I’m at! Still waiting, but there is hope.

The email from the BIQ she finally received
The email from the BIQ she finally received

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