I posted my first post just under a week ago when I put up my timeline for my outland application with the VO being in Paris. When I posted my status for Step 2 showed Decision Made. I received a positive COPR response in the mail this morning!!!! Woooohoooooo! It's a huge sigh of relief. I called my wife and woke her up in the middle of the night to tell her... she woke up thinking it was a dream! So to recap my timeline...
Category: FAM / Outland app.
VO: Paris, France
Application received in Mississauga with meds included, all fees paid: March 26, 2012
Sponsor approved: June 27, 2012
File Transferred to VO: July 27, 2012
eCas checked on July 27, 2012 showed 'in-process'
eCas checked at random on August 5, 2012 showed 'Decision Made' (step 2)
COPR received in the post: August 10, 2012
(sent from VO on August 8, 2012)
Landing: Fall 2012
Couple of random notes that might be of interest,
- Our eCAS updates were, as far as we could tell, pretty spot on for both step 1 and step 2. Showing the various stages.
- COPR did not arrive in registered envelope or courrier, but that might reflect the nature/reliability of the postal system in this part of Europe?
- No interview and as am from a Visa Waiver state, no passport request.
- Meds and police reports (multiple countries) were all within 4-6 weeks of submission, not sure if that helps in processing but it certainly helps ease any pressure if the application takes longer than anticipated. I now have a lot of wiggle room to get my stuff sorted before heading to Canada. It's not always possible and it takes a lot of coordination effort to get all these elements timed right.
- All unknown or uncertain dates or events required were explained and proof presented to back up explanation (e.g. missing airline stubs or passport stamps).
- We didn't submit cards or letters but rather scanned everything and printed it on numbered sheets with footers and titles, etc. Not sure what the effect was but I want to believe it made reading / sorting easier and made the whole package less messy.
- Communication, as it's mostly skype and email for people these days we printed screenshots of each other's inboxes with filter set for the other half. Screenshot every page and then also printed a handful of key emails from each other. We printed screenshots of key conversations from skype and mentioned we'd be willing to provide more but had 1000+ pages of material.
- My wife got two friends (Canadians) to attest to our relationship and that they'd met me, etc. not sure what role it played, but it didn't hurt.
- We followed every instruction about putting the material together down to the letter - no deviation.
- We sent it in via registered mail to be able to track it and have proof of delivery.
- We triple checked our forms and all our paperwork - we even redid all the forms that came up new the day before we wanted to submit, just to be safe (this involved some expensive Fedex'ing to avoid loosing even more time, I turned around the new forms with signature to my wife is under 48hrs).
- All our photos had printed labels of where, what, who and dates (incl. who took the photo) - it was tedious and painful work. We made double sure all the photos were refering to something in either the friends we met, things we did or our wedding information, and we also made sure anything we talked about had a photo where available.
- We were lucky to have two immigration lawyer acquaintances that were willing to review our paperwork, I would have been willing to pay someone to review it. Not because we thought we'd screw it up but because we had the opportunity to clarify questions and have out minds put at ease. I would still maintain that most straightforward application are easy enough to do on your own - but it takes time and re-reading and triple checking every instruction and information and form is key to avoid errors.
- We kept an entire photocopy of our application - one for reference and in case we had to clear up any issues. It turned out to be an awesome stress-saver anytime we thought we forgot or missed something - seems like a waste of paper but seeing it's such an important process it's nice to know you'd be able to answer questions or double check things.
- Communication tip: We referenced the majority if not all or our email with the words IMM in our subject lines and made folders. That way when we had random questions or thoughts we didn't risk loosing them between us and missing potentially important bits.
Anyways... that's about all I can recall off the top of my head, it's been a crazy few days for me but am happy to try to answer questions if I can. Or clear up any confusion in what I just wrote.
Btw... quick side note... congrat to the Caribbean folks out there for the amazing performances in London... esp to Grenada for the first medal (GOLD!) and Jamaica for keeping up the amazing running feats! I have a history with the region and it's hard not to be extremely proud at this time