My Canadian Experience
Permanent Landed Status Application Now Complete


On Thursday 8th June I got a letter from the Canadian Consulate in Buffalo, NY saying my application was now complete and to send them my passport <YEAH!!!>

And so form completed and the three extra passport photos included along with details of my height and eye colour and into the envelope they provided and asked me to use to send it back along with the letter and stamped addressed reply envelope and that has been done.

I thus presume that in around 4 weeks or so I'll get my passport back with the visa stamp in it and any final instructions on what to do.  So looks like I am nearly there. Mind you it sure takes time to get your post to its destination in the USA as you can see below.

They expect Xpresspost to actually deliver the packet on 16th June and as you'll note it was posted on 8th June and so 7 days to get there.

On 13th June I got my first tax bill for Canada which is in fact my first filing and for the 2005 tax year. Apparently the first filing must be on paper but after that can be filed electronically. My accountants got all the forms completed and so the visit today was to sign all the forms and find out what my final tax bill was to be.  Having now returned from the accountants I've been able to pay the bill online which I have now done.

My USA company accounts for 2005 need to be completed by September and when I get those accounts back and find out what the tax bill is there the idea is to have another meeting with my accountants in Canada to figure out the best way forward. 

It's a touch complex as being 55 I don't really have enough time to build a Canadian pension.  I also need to figure out the pluses and minuses of having a USA company as opposed to a Canadian company. The Canadian accountants will do an analysis for me once they get to see the audited 2005 accounts for my Electric Scotland company and then I can make some decisions.

I also noted that here in Canada I can set of some of my mortgage interest against tax and also if I keep my prescription receipts I can also set these off against tax. I can also put the business use of the car against tax as well as a proportion of my house expenses.

The bill from the accountants for doing my personal tax was $315.65 but they did point out that it will be lower next year as this year they did need to collect a lot of information due to this being the first year for filing. I also got a bill for $107.00 for filing my Canadian company zero return.  This last bill is one the accounts will check on to see if I need the Canadian company.

One of the issues is that most of my income is actually from outside Canada and it is thought that with having to invoice for GST and PST with a Canadian company I might end up doing a lot of extra paperwork. Also the accountants fee for filing for a Canadian company will be much more expensive that doing just the zero return.

I also had to sign a form about my "overseas" earnings and company ownership. The accountants still need to view my company accounts to complete that return but they can file an interim statement until those are available. They say that Canada Revenue feel more comfortable getting at least an interim filing on this rather than nothing and so this will be filed as well.

This all reminds me that I need to go find old pensions from the UK as I did once have a pension with Carnation Foods in the UK so somewhere I do have a pension from them.  I also have some years worth of pension from my old computer company so also need to get that organised as well.

So... still lots of admin work to sort things out for the future :-)

I've also been doing more work on selling my micro buttons.  I was pleased to get a communication in from the Scottish Executive saying they'd like to take out an advert for their "Friends of Scotland" program. Also Nova Scotia got in touch saying they'd like to take out an advert around mid July for their Gathering of the Clans event.  I do also have another 2 companies that said they'd like to advertise so need to follow those up.  Should they both come through that means I just have 2 buttons left to sell and so very pleased with that.

And so I have a feeling that everything is coming together nicely and I'll soon be able to focus back onto content for the site.

I also received a cash donation from an excellent organisation (they requested I not name them) which in effect pays for a brand new web server.  I now have the money in but due to wire transfer costs will purchase the new server around the last day of this month. That means I should have it built by the second week of July and in operation.  This will give us lots more storage and should certainly be much faster than the old one which has lasted five years.

Part of the new money raised from advertising will go towards an additional T1 leased line.  These usually cost around $840 a month so not cheap and goes to show the costs of running a large web site.

I headed to Toronto on 13th June to attend a Knight Templars meeting and also a meeting with the Scottish Studies Foundation meeting.  Seem to have got things a touch mixed up as both were in fact on the same day and time so I only attended the KT meeting. 

The Templars do arrange regular social meetings at each others houses to promote a sense of community and this was the first one I'd managed to attend. While the event is held at each others homes they do arrange for the event to be supported and so folk from the Templars appear before hand to bring food and drink :-)


And this was the nice wee spread they put on :-)

I forgot to take my power cord for my notebook computer and so I got minimal work done while I was away as my battery ran out on me <sigh>.

It was a lovely day on the Thursday before heading back to Chatham and even the dogs were out sunbathing :-)

So as at 15th June that brings us up to date with things in Canada :-)

On Thursday June 22nd I received my passport back with the visa from Buffalo...


I also received a wee postcard along with the documents

This essentially gives me until 28th Sept. 2006 to exit the country and then come back in to register for my permanent landed status.  The documents do state that when I come back in to Canada to present my visa the Canada Border Services Agency Officer will begin the application for my Permanent Resident Card.  They also advise that I should wait until I have the Permanent Resident Card to travel outside Canada. They also point out I need to provide proof of funds at this time.

On Monday 26th June, 2006 I exited Canada for the USA and then turned right around and re-entered Canada to get my Permanent Landed Status...

I was advised that it will take 6 - 8 weeks before I will receive my actual card and in the meantime I should apply to have my SIN card replaced to reflect my new status in Canada and also to get my Health card replaced as well. I was advised that I need to take great care of this form as I can't get a replacement if I lose it.

On my way back to Chatham I again took the scenic route and discovered I have no sense of direction. I got onto Highway 40 but decided I must have missed the road that would take me down the river towards Walpole Island.  I thus decided to make a right turn thinking that would get me to the river.  After driving some distance I saw a sign for the US Bridge and yes that was me back to where I came from in Sarnia. And so off I went again and this time found the correct road :-)

It was a cloudy day but I stopped off again at the Baldoon Settlement and McDonald Park to have some lunch and took a few pictures...


It really is a lovely spot to have a picnic


Lots of birds all around the park


Next to the Baldoon settlement is a wild life sanctuary


I met a local man who told me that these swan had hatched out the signets on a wee island of grass in the middle of this pond and they are clearly waiting for the signets to get a wee bit older before departing for other climes


When I first saw the swans they all had their heads under water and at first I couldn't make out what they were.


And the dog found a turtle of which there are many in the area or so I am told.

And so I just need to complete some more forms to get my new OHIP and SIN cards and hopefully this will be the last time I need to do this. I'll endeavor to get this done quickly and this is really the final part of the paper work to complete my permanent landed status. I have to admit to a certain sense of achievement getting this far :-)

For those interested in knowing more about what the SIN card is all about here is a leaflet I picked up when I applied for my new card...

I would note just for interest that if I spend 3 years in Canada out of the next 4 years then I can apply for Canadian citizenship and if I wish can also apply for dual citizenship. On this subject it might interest you to view the .pdf file about Canada and for Canadians it would be interesting if you know all the answers to the citizenship test that they give at the end of the .pdf file :-)

You'll find it at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pdf/pub/look.pdf

I did notice that you apparently do not need to complete this test if you are 55 or older! :-)

The final task done this month was to place the order for my new web server.

And so at end of June 2006 this completes my Canadian Journal.  As I said at the beginning this journal was to document my progress towards obtaining my Permanent Landed Status in Canada and be a reminder to me as to all that I had to do towards that goal. It's been quite an experience and I'm sure I'll look back at this from time to time just to remind me of all the things I got up to.  I hope you have enjoyed reading along with me and seeing all the things I had to get up to and what I have experienced.

THE END


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