finally is coming back

As a CBC (Canadian born Chinese), I’ve had the notion of returning “home” from Hong Kong to Canada for many years now. Only it didn’t happen as planned. I’d told my family I’d be away for two years. Those two years ended up being four years, six years, eight years, then…twenty! Finally, I was ready! But I was no longer moving back to Canada as a single woman. I am married now and have two young kids! As excited as we were about our move to Vancouver, it was equally daunting since I had spent twenty years in Asia, and the thought of uprooting everyone and having to think about housing, jobs, and schooling made it even more frightening.  

How would life in Canada be like compared to Hong Kong? What would school be like? Would the kids be able to make friends easily? How on earth do I even enroll them in a darn school? Would they need to take tests to get accepted?  

Walking home from school on a nice, sunny day.

First things first, I had to tackle the issue of schools. My kids were five and ten at the time, nicely settled in their current school in Hong Kong (which we all loved) and happy with their friends. Calling and notifying the school that they would be leaving was terrifying as that is when sh*t got real. 

The next step was figuring out how to apply for school in Vancouver in the middle of the school year. We quickly explored three options – public schools, private schools, and Catholic schools. Canadian public schooling provided free education and is meant for kids who resided in the surrounding neighborhood. Private schools have limited spaces and require a tuition fee plus interviews. Catholic schools also have limited spaces and require interviews but charge a lower tuition fee. Our arrival into Canada coincided with the end of the first term, meaning we had missed all school interview opportunities. But we saw our community public school as a fantastic opportunity for our kids to attend a school where they could meet neighborhood kids easily and form strong friendships (plus it was free).  

To start, we knew we had to go to the school board for enrollment, and that this must be done in person. Prior to my hubby flying back for a couple of weeks to get this rolling, we were able to learn some important details. It was comforting to know that by law, kids must be given a place in school, though there is no guarantee as to whether it’s the one closest to your home. They do try to place siblings in the same school though, so that was reassuring. We learned that we had to provide certain information to the school board such as three pieces of address proof, since public schools are generally assigned by catchments (to homes in the respective district). We also needed children’s birth certificates, proof of status in Canada, and immunization records. Upon our arrival, we scheduled an English test for them, a formality to see if the kids needed ESL assistance or if they would be in mainstream classes. Once that was done, they would be placed in the appropriate class and a start date would be provided. So far, so good. 

We were thrilled when we found out that the kids were placed in the public school that was a 10-minute walk from our home. It is a French immersion school with English only classes as well. Even though my kids attended the English stream, we loved the idea that students had such an option, and at no additional charge. I was a little surprised to see that all the classes comprised two grades, meaning teachers were responsible for teaching material fit for both groups. Apparently, it’s not uncommon here, plus it was nice to see different age groups getting along.  

A beautiful and large park is connected to the school for more play options.

On the first day of school in Canada, I think I was just as nervous as the kids. By the end of the school day, I was pacing outside by the playground. I clearly remember waiting outside the classroom doors as the bell rang, a tinge of anxiety rushing through me as I searched for their faces amongst the swarms of children. What came next gave me a true sense of relief! My kindergartner ran out, made a beeline for me, and asked if he could play with his new friends. I nodded and nearly cried. Off they ran to swing, slide and climb in the massive playground area. I then looked for my older one, who I was secretly more nervous about since she was entering her tweens and change can be extra difficult. Luckily, I had nothing to worry about as she exited her class with smiles, surrounded by a few girls to her left and right. She also asked if she could stick around longer to play with friends, and I gladly said “Yes!”. It was calming to witness the welcoming spirit, friendliness, and kindness of both the staff and children. This new school was much smaller than their Hong Kong school, and perhaps this helped them adapt quicker to the new setting.  

As days passed, we would alternate between driving and walking to and from school, sometimes staying much later to let the kids burn some extra energy with friends. It was a beautiful sight to see the children laughing and running around with the other kids. We as parents also got to know other families quite well. Having the school adjacent to a 57-acre park with playgrounds, a water park, tennis courts, a dog park, and a sports field added to the appeal of this school and offered many fun options for playdates with school friends.  

Kids enjoy staying longer at the school playground to burn some more energy and hang out with friends.

In terms of academics, the kids seemed to adjust nicely. The new thing for them was French, and though I worried that my older one would be behind, it turned out that kids didn’t formally start French lessons here until Grade 5, unless they were in French immersion classes. Since my kids attended a Canadian English school in Hong Kong, they were able to fare well with the lessons here and found the Canadian curriculum on par with what they were learning at their school in Hong Kong. They were happy with the minimal homework and the emphasis on spending time outdoors. Equally as important, they quickly made friends and I was relieved to see how happy they both were at their new school. I also quickly joined a WhatsApp parents’ group and made new friends of my own.  

One year on, and the kids have moved onto another school. Last September, back to school in Canada meant starting at a Catholic school as we decided to have them in a school in line with our faith. We have kept in touch with the friends and families from the first school though, even the teachers. Ultimately, we are just grateful that we have been able to experience the different school systems, and both communities were equally warm and supportive, and welcomed us with open arms. 

For more information about life in Canada, please contact Christine at christine@101migration.com 

www.101migration.com 

bc nominee program

In 2019, Canada had 642,000 international students, and they welcomed another 67,000 between January and April 2020. But what are the reasons behind these staggering numbers?

Whatever avenue you’re planning to pursue, it’s essential to invest in your education. Many of those who want to explore new horizons and gain more experiences decide to study abroad. If you’re one of them, you might consider Canada because of these:

1. World-Class Education

The Canadian education system is recognised as equal to that of the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia. Many Canadian universities are consistently included in the global rankings. The University of Toronto and McGill University got into the prominent spots in 2020.

There are plenty of quality institutions to choose from, whether you’re looking for a university, a community college, or a vocational school.

2. Affordable Education

The biggest barrier for most students who want to study abroad is the cost. While international students’ tuition fees are higher than domestic ones, these are more affordable than other countries with competitive education. Generally, you need C$20,000 and C$30,000 per year for tuition, depending on the school and program.

Also, Canada’s cost of living is relatively affordable. There are also lots of opportunities for those who want to work while studying.

3. Work While Studying

Studying abroad incurs other expenses such as housing and insurance. Fortunately, international students are allowed to take on jobs while in school. You can work up to 20 hours/week during school terms and 30 hours/week during breaks. It is indicated in the study permit where you’re allowed to take on jobs on or off-campus.

4. High-level of Safety

Canada immigration

Canada ranks 6th in the 2020 Global Peace Index, which is one reason why many international students choose Canada.

Studying abroad can be scary because you’re surrounded by new people, new settings, and new rules. It’s essential to choose a location where the personal safety factor is high. The Great White North is also known for being non-discriminatory.

“Canada has designed policies to people from any form of discrimination, regardless of their background and circumstance. International students can thrive when the society is non-discriminatory because they won’t be afraid to compete.”, explains Luke Wood, public relations consultant for Monkeyfoodz.

5. Immigration Options

People studying abroad are usually given a temporary visa that expires at the end of their program.

Canada offers programs that allow international students to apply for permanent residence after graduation. The Post-Graduation Work Permit extends your stay after school so that you can gain some work experience. If you’ve studied or worked in a Canadian provide, you could qualify for the Provincial Nominee stream.

There are various streams to consider, but make sure you genuinely qualify for the one you’re applying into. It’s best to consult an immigration consultant who has assisted many moves to Canada.

Do you want to study in Canada but don’t know how to begin the application? 101migration can help you. Book your appointment now!

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Did you know that Canada ranked #1 in the 2020 Quality of Life Rankings?

It’s no surprise that 284 387 people migrated to this country between July 2019 and June 2020 only!

“Canada appeals to tourists and immigrants for being safe and politically stable. Its public health system is also well-developed and applauded across the globe. Not to mention the spectacular natural views and diverse culture.”, says Audrey Bergen, a financial consultant for Rapidbiz.

Let’s get to know Canada a little more and discover why this country is the best place to live.

1. Universal Healthcare System

The healthcare system of Canada is one of the most accessible on the planet. Most medical treatments are for free and are government-funded. Each province receives a health budget which they use for local needs. Health cards are issued to eligible residents for them to access a wide range of healthcare services. It is important to note that your healthcare benefits primarily depend on your status in the country.

2. Excellent Literacy Rate

Education is precious in Canada, and the government has ensured that all citizens have access to quality education—no matter their background. Compared to many other countries in the world, Canada allocates more capita on education. As a result, it has created a well-informed and well-paid society that also offers good job opportunities for skilled expats.

3. Economic Stability

The Great White North is one of the strongest economies in the world. Its banking system is considered the solid-rock foundation of the economy. In fact, the World Economic Forum has awarded it for seven consecutive years. This remarkable financial stability creates a wide variety of career options for its citizens.

Canada is also prosperous in other industries, such as agriculture, energy, technology, and manufacturing. Finding a job can be tricky for expats; it’s encouraged to approach a licensed immigration consultant to determine the best career path for you.

4. Amazing Natural Wealth

Canada is home to postcard-perfect lakes and mountain views, which is undoubtedly beneficial to your well-being. But more than that, the country’s strong economy is built on its natural wealth. Its oil and gas industry and mining sector are significant contributors to the annual GDP.

The expansive plains are ideal for farming barley, corn, oats, rye, and wheat. The climate is also suitable for maple species, making it possible for the country to produce around 80% of the world’s maple syrup. Check out the top 10 natural destinations in Canada.

5. Diverse Culture

Multiculturalism is often considered one of Canada’s most significant accomplishments and distinguishing quality of the Canadian identity.

The country is a collection of ethnic subcultures, creating a vibrant atmosphere. Acceptance and respect are somehow part of the psyche of everyone living there. As a result, it’s easy for immigrants to settle smoothly.

Moving into a different country is a monumental decision that requires numerous considerations—not to mention all the paperwork. Get some help from professionals by contacting 101migration.com.

Immigration Consultant

Have you been trying to get an Australian visa?

While our borders are currently closed as a result of COVID-19, it’s important to know what to expect once tourist visa applications open again.

Giving your all only for your Australian visa application to be rejected isn’t something you want, so what can you do to tip the scales in your favour?

Recently, things have become tough. A lot has changed. It’s not business as usual anymore with the Australian government (and that was before COVID-19!)

Before granting any visa, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection thoroughly inspects every application. 

Every document is checked to ensure correct information for the specific visa you are applying for. Anything less than what they expect, the application fails. 

That said, let’s review some common reasons for Australian visa refusals to make sure this never happens to you! 

Wrong Visa Application 

This is a common reason, considering Australia has more than 100 types of visas to apply for. 

Patty Leglise of Wayne’s Landscaping has had to help numerous overseas friends with directions on visas. “There’s that many different types of visas out there, it can be daunting and confusing if you don’t know which one is the right visa for you. Living here in Australia makes it a bit easier for them as I can help direct them to which visas are best for their situations.”

Again, all these visas have different and specific requirements you need to meet. It’s therefore advisable to consult a migration expert before submitting any visa application. 

Unsatisfactory Activity on a Previous Visa 

Wondering how this could happen? Overstaying when on a temporary visa could be one of the reasons. 

Again, if you abuse the attached conditions for a certain visa, you are still not safe. Such misconduct could send a message to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection that you are deceitful. The result? Refusal to grant you another visa in future. 

Providing Misleading Information During Application 

While applying for a visa, integrity is key. When every document you submit is subject to scrutiny, providing the right information is a must. Ensure to properly check what information is needed for a specific visa. 

Nikole Grbin, an osteopath based in Adelaide, made sure to triple-check her application. “You can never be too careful when it comes to these types of documents. It’s also easier to just include all information that you need to, so that you leave less room for questions.”

When it comes to providing the information, avoid giving false documentation. Your partner’s visa could be used as a reference point. Maybe the documents you submit do not fully support your relationship. Unconvincing evidence on partnerships could translate to a visa refusal. 

Poor Health Conditions 

Australia is very strict on an individual’s health before agreeing to grant any visa. 

Poor health may mean you could become a future problem, either financially or to those responsible for treating you. For individuals less than 75 years of age, potential treatment should not exceed $21,000 for more than 5 years. 

Contrary to this, be sure to miss the visa. Most people denied a visa due to health issues, is as a result of expected exceeding of treatment costs.

Unsatisfactory Behaviour 

Australia (and generally no country) does not tolerate criminals.

To get your visa you must meet the character requirements. A serious ‘character test’ is carried out to confirm ‘good character’. 

Nothing could hinder your potential Australian tourist visa by the Immigration Department quite like evidence of previous criminal activity coming up. 

So, what is the character test all about? 

Evidence of a significant criminal record means you fail the character test. 

Why this way? They consider the possibility of you carrying on with the same behaviour while in Australia. Association with suspected criminal gangs or organisations again could lead to visa refusal. 

Insufficient funds 

Will you meet the living standards in Australia? 

Currently, Australia is listed as the fourth most expensive country in the world. This means you have to show evidence of sufficient funds to maintain your stay in Australia. All these will depend on the type of visa plus its subclass. 

Financial experts Concept BK say that the costs involved is something that an alarming people tend to overlook. “Australia is not a cheap country to live in. Whether it’s property expenses, groceries or even just transportation, it’s easy for costs to spiral out of control if people are not careful. Moving to a new country is a time to save, not to spend. It’s critical that people only spend if it’s absolutely necessary.”

For business and maybe retirement visa you could be required to prove possession of financial assets and investments amounting to a certain value. Failing to prove financial capability, you may be risking a visa rejection. 

diversity in canada

As you set out on a new chapter in Canada, it’s crucial to know that some things may be different from what you’re accustomed to.

We interviewed experienced immigration consultants in Canada about setting the right path in this country. They gave these tips to minimise confusion and unrealistic expectations:

1. Use Government Programs for Newcomers

The Canadian Government has some programs dedicated to helping immigrants settle fast and easy in the country. A lot of paperwork is involved in these programs, but they’re all worth it. 

Permanent residents and protected individuals may get free language classes. You could also qualify for a federal loan offered to immigrants who wants to start a business in the country. At the same time, the Federal Internship Program assists newcomers in getting a work experience. Check your possible benefits here.

2. Get Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

To enjoy government benefits and become eligible to work in Canada, you need a Social Insurance Number (SIN). This is similar to the national identification number in other countries, which also means that it is unique and should be kept confidential。

 3. Get to Know Your City

“Familiarise yourself with your chosen city as fast as possible. This information will help you make wise decisions in various aspects of your Canadian life. Study the city map and try to locate the important places, such as grocery stores, bus stops, hospitals, police stations, schools, and churches.”, says Alister Clare, a Credit Capital investment consultant.

Research thoroughly about the industries in your city, its attractions, and even its “less charming” parts. Try to find out which places are likely to have jobs opportunities for you.

4. Set up Your Healthcare

diversity in australia

Canada’s healthcare is the object of envy of many. It’s because the Government pays for everyone’s basic health insurance, which will be delivered by a private provider.

Immigrants can avail the universal healthcare program, although there’s a waiting period of 90 days. It is strongly advised to apply for health insurance immediately so that you already have a safety net in your new country.

Check if your current health insurance has international coverage as well.

5. Build Your Own Network

Building a network is essential, particularly for immigrants. While Canada is a peaceful and prosperous country, it’s better to have people you can rely on in case of any unforeseen event.

So, try to attend gatherings and events. Talk to your neighbours and colleagues at work. Thankfully, there are immigrant communities in various part of Canada. Inquire about this with the local council or your immigration consultant.

Moving into a new country can be an exciting experience. You’ll meet new friends, see new places, and experience new cultures. Make your move to Canada smooth and enjoyable by partnering with 101migration!

We offer immigration and consultation services to people who wish to move to Canada. Our team is deeply familiar with all the processes and laws involved in migration. Call us now to simplify the process.

Are you prepared for the future?

Life insurance policies go beyond just protecting family members from your earning ability. 

Most people buy life insurance policies to protect their family in case of an unexpected tragedy. If there’s no one to earn money then life can quickly become a challenge. Life insurance policies are one of the best ways to transfer the risk of not having a source of income for your family. 

Don’t leave your family without the support they deserve if something unexpected happens.

If you’re ready to protect your loved ones’ future, here are the benefits of life insurance that you need to know about.

1. Transfer of risk

Accidents don’t come with an invitation. However, they can cause irrevocable damage to the family and put them in the position of a financial crisis. 

That is why it is essential for the bread earner to buy this policy. 

Traditional life insurance policies include paying a lump sum amount to the family members in case the insured person dies.

Bookkeeping expert Peter Wilesmith explains that it’s best to look into life insurance while you’re fit and healthy. She explains that “no one wants to think about their own passing. But by putting in place a fail-safe while you’re young, you can ensure your loved ones are protected if anything does go wrong in the future. A quick conversation with your partner can feel uncomfortable, but protect them for life.”

2. Investment value

Unlike term life policies, whole life policies work a bit differently. 

Whole life policies combine your protection benefits along with a saving bank account instead of providing a significant amount of money after the insurer dies.

Whole life insurance policy premiums have two parts: 

  • One that compensates for accepting the insurance risk for the insurance company
  • A second where the money that builds the cash value.

The cash value of your policy builds as you keep paying regular premiums. The insurance company reinvests your money to make more cash. However, you get guaranteed cash value from the insurance company.

The takeaway? A whole life insurance includes the benefits of a traditional life insurance along with regular saving by paying a fixed premium.

3. Tax advantages

Investing in a life insurance policy means your funds get reinvested in bonds or stocks, or maybe even a combination of these two. 

But, the main advantage is you get a tax-deferred savings account. 

This allows you to grow your investments faster compared to what you usually would if you had a regular savings bank account taxed annually.

According to the team at Energy Healing Massage, there are also health benefits that can come with a life insurance policy. They explain “your health and lifestyle can impact the cost of your premiums. So by changing your lifestyle and becoming healthier you can actually minimise your premiums. That means advantages in your hip pocket and to your waistline.”

4. Serves as collateral

The cash value of an insurance policy can be used as collateral. This is a hard asset. You can borrow money against your whole life insurance policy.

This is crucial for families who want to buy a new house. The policyholder can use this asset as a down payment to draw funds for the house.

5. Structured savings approach

Life insurance policies have two benefits: 

  • You save money as you earn
  • You are making arrangements for your family to earn money in case you die.

It is a challenge to save money regularly for Australians. A life insurance policy forces you to save a certain part of your income regularly. That is why life insurance is an essential way to save for your retirement.

Life insurance is essential if you are the primary bread earner in the family. It helps to protect your family if you die.

Additionally, life policies also give you an opportunity to save regularly for extended periods in your career.

Are you looking for financial advice and support to protect your family in a new country? Chat to the 101 Migration team today!

immigration consultant vancouver

Oh, Australia!

The Land Down Under. A land filled with vibrant culture, breathtaking sceneries, modern structures, and exciting holiday opportunities. It’s not surprising that many people want to visit and live here. In fact, according to the recent census, Australia’s population and migration rate continuously grow.

However, there are many other things you must know before actually moving into this country.

Here’s a guide to all essentials for everyone moving to Oz.

1.It’s A Huge Country

And we’re talking about one country = one continent.

Australia has a size of more than 3 million square miles. You may compare it to the size of Europe. The distance between Ukraine and Portugal is less to that of Sydney and Perth. This proves its large size which welcomed 239,600 new residents from the years 2018-2019.

2.Buying A Property Can Be Complex for New Residents

If you are not an Australian citizen or a holder of a permanent residency visa, you are classified as a foreign investor. In that case, you can only purchase a property off-plan. This means the property is vacant upon purchase and you have to start the building a residential dwelling within 12 months.

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) is the regulating body when it comes to selling properties in Australia to new arrivals. Once you’ve identified the property and completed the negotiation with the seller, a licensed estate agent must prepare the contract that includes all conditions. Once completely signed, the contract becomes legally binding and is submitted to the solicitor for final settlement. There may be some variations across states, which is why it is advised to hire a professional immigration consultant.

3.Prepare Your Bank and Insurance

Opening a bank account before actually moving into Australia can lessen all the things you have to deal with when you get there. Thankfully, numerous major banking institutions offer this option, such as Commonwealth Bank and ANZ.

Australia immigration

Scan copies of your passport, IDs, birth certificate, report cards, and other important documents and save the files online or in a USB so you have a backup in case anything is lost during transit.

Shane Perry, a financial expert from Max Funding suggests “If you have no claims on your past policies, bring proof with you on your move to Australia. Australian insurance providers may use this as a reference when calculating your home or car premiums.”

4.Cost of Living Is Expensive in Some Areas

Particularly in Melbourne and Sydney, where rentals are comparable to New York and London. Rental of a 3-bedroom apartment in the city centre is only moderately less expensive in Australia, with rates around £2,700/month compared to London’s £3,000/month on average.

Logically, prices decrease as they move farther from the centre.

5.Satisfying Compensation

When it comes to compensation, Australia is also known for its competitive wages. Data from a recent study showed that the average weekly earnings of:

  • A full-time adult increased by 4.8% to $1,713.90
  • A male is at $1,958.30 (public) and $1,780.70 (private)
  • A female is at  $1,751.30 (public) and $1,469.10 (private)

This is between May 2019 to May 2020.

6.Excellent Healthcare Services

diversity in canada

Just like a tasty barbecue, healthcare is also practically free in Australia. All Australian citizens and permanent residents can qualify for Medicare.

Medicare is the country’s universal health insurance scheme that provides Australians access to a broad range of healthcare services at low or zero cost. Some foreign visitors may also qualify.

Here’s How to Move to Australia Easily

Australia is a lovely place to start a business, raise a family, study, and explore. Once you’re there, it won’t take time before you feel at home. But before that, you have to deal with tedious paperwork.

Hiring a professional immigration consultant can expedite the process significantly. They will handle the legal and documentation processes, from filing the visa application forms, scheduling interviews, settling fees, preparing letters, and many other tiny details involved in the application.

Are you looking for immigration guidance?

You are in the right place!

Welcome to your new life! 

Choose the perfect place to live and work!

Be guided by our immigration consultants from 101migration!

GET FREE ASSESSMENT TODAY!

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Are you concerned with the latest news regarding the Corona Virus and travel?

Do you always catch flu or cold when you fly or travel?  

According to research, a good number of people will contract cold or flu from merely sharing an aeroplane cabin. That means the risk of being exposed to the Corona Virus is also increased.

Taking the appropriate measures and precautions when you fly can, however, help reduce the risk of catching flu or any other easily transmitted infection. 

For many people, the recirculated air is the reason they catch a flight soon after a flight.  This isn’t, however, precisely true. 

A survey conducted on 1,100 passengers flying on planes recirculated air and others using 100% fresh air shows that at least 20% of all these passengers (in both planes) developed a cold a week after flying. In other words, recirculated air only contributes to a small percentage of the cases. It is for this reason most planes have in-cabin HEPA filters to help filter out germs and other microbes from the air. 

Scientists have also been able to uncover several factors that increase the risk of catching a bug when flying.  

Outlined below are some of these risk factors and how to avoid them. 

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Australia immigration

Between needing to pay for your airline flight to Australia, your current housing, and all of the other financial costs associated with packing up and moving to another county, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed by the small bank account balance that you are left with.  Here I am going to tell you about non-resident funding options in Australia.

Although some forms of financing might not yet be available to you in Australia as a non-resident, many options are available to meet your student, personal, and home needs as you get your new home set up in Australia. Here, I am going to answer a few of your queries.

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