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How I got three job offers while being outside Canada

trumprefugee

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Jun 6, 2017
952
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New York, USA
Category........
PNP
Visa Office......
Ottawa
NOC Code......
2172
App. Filed.......
06-01-2018
Nomination.....
19-12-2017
AOR Received.
07-01-2018
IELTS Request
24-06-2017
Med's Done....
05-01-2018
Passport Req..
09-03-2018
VISA ISSUED...
02-04-2018
LANDED..........
28-05-2018
@axolotl thanks a lot for creating this thread and sharing your experiences! I really enjoyed reading through this thread and started reading some of the content on your website. It contains very good guidance for those of us who are in the immigration process. I am also hoping to move to Toronto, although via OINP due to my low CRS and unsuccessful job search from overseas. Please do write a post on improving one's French. I am learning French and would find your tips very helpful.
 
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axolotl

Star Member
Apr 17, 2017
179
238
@axolotl thanks a lot for creating this thread and sharing your experiences! I really enjoyed reading through this thread and started reading some of the content on your website. It contains very good guidance for those of us who are in the immigration process. I am also hoping to move to Toronto, although via OINP due to my low CRS and unsuccessful job search from overseas. Please do write a post on improving one's French. I am learning French and would find your tips very helpful.
As promised, here's my post on how to improve one's French. I have copy-and-pasted the content below. Please feel free to either comment here or contact me via the web form on my website.

Why bother?
Learning French is a relatively easy way to improve one’s CRS score. By achieving an NCLC level of 5 (equivalent to B1 of the CEFR) or above for all four abilities (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), one can increae their CRS score by 16 points. (This applies to the Federal Skilled Worker Program. For other programs, please refer to this link.)

How long did it take me?
First a disclamer. I was already familiar with French as a written language long before I decided to move to Canada. I read Le Petit Prince and L’Étranger with the help of a dictionary, although I could understand nothing when I watched TV or films in French, nor could I have a conversation in it. Besides English and French, I also learned to read to German, Latin, and Greek. So I certainly am more used to language learning than the average person.

It was the decision to move to Canada, and the uncertainty whether I would have enough points, that prompted me to improve my spoken French. I had my first private lesson, which focused 100% on conversations, on 2 February 2017. I had in total 12 lessons, the last of which took place on 6 April 2017. I did not take any test at that time since I already had enough points for Canada PR. But I am quite sure that my NCLC level was already at or above 5 for both listening and speaking by that time. (Eventually I got my French officially evaluated, for free, on 24 October 2017, when I was already in Canada as a Permanent Resident. I got 6, 7, 8, and 7 for reading, writing, listening, and speaking, respectively.)

How I achieved this result and some advice.
Reading
An absolute beginner who does not live in a French-speaking country should first focus on grammar and vocabulary, as well as some general pronunciation rules. I highly recommend French for Reading. Although I had had some French at school, it was really this book that helped me learn enough grammar and vocabulary to read the two books mentioned in the beginning of this post. The last few chapters are not really necessary as they are about highly literary French that is hardly used even in modern literature.) I managed to finish this book in about two months a long time ago.

The reason why one should not completely ignore pronunciation in this phase is that it is easier to learn the general rules from the very beginning, than to learn many words with the wrong pronunciation and to correct them later. There are always exceptions (e.g. faisant). But it is important to know the general rules, e.g., that ille should be pronounced /ɪj/ as in fille instead of /ɪl/ as in file.

When you are reading a text, it is good practice to try to apply these pronuncation rules to read it aloud. It does not matter if your pronunciation is terrible. The purpose here is to learn how to apply these rules without too much reflexion.

Repetition is key to learn new words and conjugations. Rather than reading a lot of different texts, it is more effective to read the same text many times until you can understand it without having to translate individual words to your own language, or to analyze each sentence’s grammatical structure.

Repetition can be very boring. Therefore you must focus on texts that are not too difficult and whose content is interesting to you.

Finally, it is better to spend 30 minutes a day every day without exception, than to spend 8 hours every Saturday.

Writing
I really don’t have much to say about writing. It seemed more like a natural consequence of reading a lot.

Listening
The only way to improve one’s listening is by listening to a lot of French that one can understand. It is not necessary to understand 100%, but you must be able to grasp the overall meaning. This means that you must already know enough vocabulary and grammar before working on your listening.

I once wasted a lot of time listening to materials (news, films, etc.) that were too difficult to me. It was frustrating and did not help at all. Luckily I found Français Authentique. Its owner Johan has made a lot of audio files freely available on this website. He also publishes podcasts and has a Youtube channel. He always articulates and is probably the easist French-speaking person to understand. I suggest that one should start with his Les 7 Règles de Français Authentique. Each of his recordings is accompanied by a PDF which can be very helpful if there are words that you don’t know. When you are done with Les 7 Règles de Français Authentique, try his podcasts (free) or his Pack 1 or Pack 2 (paid).

I listened to his audios every day, for at least an hour a day, when I was commuting or simply taking a walk, until I moved to Canada. (I still listen to his podcasts regularly.) After about a month or two, my listening improved enough for me to understand about 70% of le Journal Télévisé sur France 2. In fact, le Journal Télévisé sur France 2 has become one of my daily routines. Depending on the topic, now I can often understand more than 90% of its content.

I walk to work and it takes about 35 minutes each way. I use this time to listen to Johan’s podcasts, or France Info (via the app Radios France), or L’heure du monde (podcast).

Speaking
My private lessons in Singapore did help, but I certainly could have saved the money. I sometimes talk to myself in French. Also, I try to practice French when dealing with the government (including the IRCC) or the customer services of banks, mobile plans, etc. After all, they are completely free and it is their problem if they get annoyed by my less-than-fluent French.

It is futile to try to speak French without first being able to understand spoken French. The key here is in fact more about listening as much French as you can (while you understand it), rather than trying to talk prematurely.

Books
The only book that I consider an absolute must is French for Reading, as explained previously.

I have also been using Alter Ego+ and I am quite happy with it. You can download the accompanying Guides Pédagogiques if you are self-studying as I am. It is practical only when you can already read French with relative ease.

I recently read, or am reading, the following books in French, because their content was or is interesting enough to me.

Free French courses for new immigrants
There are two free French courses for new immigrants living in Ontario: CLIC offered by the Federal government, and FLS offered by the Provincial government. There is no difference between the two except their source of funding.

Unless you are an absolute beginner, it is necessary to first have your French assessed. If you are living in Toronto, call YMCA Language Assessment and Referral Centre (416 925 5462). The assessment has four parts: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At the end of it, you will be shown all the possibilities in Toronto and you can choose which one fits your schedule the best.
 

FreshLife

Full Member
Oct 22, 2017
23
8
As promised, here's my post on how to improve one's French. I have copy-and-pasted the content below. Please feel free to either comment here or contact me via the web form on my website.
Nice post. I am learning French though with slow pace. I am using Duolingo and "Learn French with Vincent" youtube channel. So far I have realized that it is important to be disciplined. If I take breaks, I end up re-learning bunch of things.
 

thisworks

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Apr 17, 2017
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New York
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Doc's Request.
02-10-2017
AOR Received.
14-09-2017
Med's Done....
10-08-2017
Passport Req..
12-10-2017
VISA ISSUED...
18-10-2017
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FreshLife

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axolotl

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Apr 17, 2017
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At first I thought you were the one on the right with purple hair :)
Just kidding, nice read! This article is now trending along with other H1B related news (atleast on my feed).

On the personal front, I got my IELTS results today. Though I managed to get CLB10, overconfidence almost got me in writing and speaking.
Most people, at least on the development/engineering side, of the company are weirdos, myself included.

There are two My Little Pony fans who have spent thousands of dollars on hand-made ponies.

Congrats for your IELTS results. You may want to start the FBI clearance process as soon as possible if you haven't done it yet. It took me two months.
 

FreshLife

Full Member
Oct 22, 2017
23
8
Most people, at least on the development/engineering side, of the company are weirdos, myself included.

There are two My Little Pony fans who have spent thousands of dollars on hand-made ponies.
Haha, I don't have much but I carry around a stuffed toy parrot that my team members gave me as a farewell gift several years back. They thought I talked quite a bit. :)

Congrats for your IELTS results. You may want to start the FBI clearance process as soon as possible if you haven't done it yet. It took me two months.
Thanks. I have sent in my fingerprints to FBI. At the moment, their backlog is 14-16 weeks. I also need to get a PCC from Singapore, but as far as I know I need to wait for an ITA before I can make an appeal.
 

axolotl

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deadbird

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Jan 9, 2016
508
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2173
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
30-07-2016
AOR Received.
30-07-2016
Med's Done....
15-08-2016
Passport Req..
14-12-2016
Hi Petra @axolotl. Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to see similar minded people converging to Canada. I too am a Data scientist/Software engineer with an interest in early retirement. A lot of engineering minded people are similarly inclined as MMM points out in his poll. I was steadily squirreling away the $$$ in the US and was ready to retire in a handful of years. Unfortunately the big blocking factor was immigration and the continued erosion of public healthcare in the US. So, I took the tradeoff and added a couple of years to my retirement plan but solved immigration and healthcare. Got myself and my wife a PR in the beginning of 2017 (not too hard with a PhD) and convinced my employer (a top 5 tech company) to transfer me to Quebec. :)
 
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axolotl

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Apr 17, 2017
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Hi Petra @axolotl. Thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to see similar minded people converging to Canada. I too am a Data scientist/Software engineer with an interest in early retirement. A lot of engineering minded people are similarly inclined as MMM points out in his poll. I was steadily squirreling away the $$$ in the US and was ready to retire in a handful of years. Unfortunately the big blocking factor was immigration and the continued erosion of public healthcare in the US. So, I took the tradeoff and added a couple of years to my retirement plan but solved immigration and healthcare. Got myself and my wife a PR in the beginning of 2017 (not too hard with a PhD) and convinced my employer (a top 5 tech company) to transfer me to Quebec. :)
Interesting! I didn't know this blog before. Thank you for sharing it.

I quickly browsed through it. Indeed it is more or less the same idea as mine regarding personal finance.

One major difference is however that I am not against having debt, as long as it is productive and its interest rate is lower than the ROI of your assets. I would gladly borrow at 2.5% to finance an investment that gives me 10% ROI.

Also it is easier for me to save on food. There is such abundance of food at my employer that I can hardly find any opportunity to spend on food at all.

A huge advantage of living in a country like Canada is that you save SO much on health insurance and your children's education. I made more money in San Francisco but I save more in Toronto.

The only way for me to convince myself not to retire yet is that I believe the technology of immortality (or amortality if you will) or at least significant life (and youth) extension will become available but will be very expensive for a while. I may need more money - more than what I will have by growing my current wealth at 8% per year - to be able to get such treatment.
 
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deadbird

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Jan 9, 2016
508
78
Category........
NOC Code......
2173
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
30-07-2016
AOR Received.
30-07-2016
Med's Done....
15-08-2016
Passport Req..
14-12-2016
Interesting! I didn't know this blog before. Thank you for sharing it.

I quickly browsed through it. Indeed it is more or less the same idea as mine regarding personal finance.

One major difference is however that I am not against having debt, as long as it is productive and its interest rate is lower than the ROI of your assets. I would gladly borrow at 2.5% to finance an investment that gives me 10% ROI.

Also it is easier for me to save on food. There is such abundance of food at my employer that I can hardly find any opportunity to spend on food at all.

A huge advantage of living in a country like Canada is that you save SO much on health insurance and your children's education. I made more money in San Francisco but I save more in Toronto.

The only way for me to convince myself not to retire yet is that I believe the technology of immortality (or amortality if you will) or at least significant life (and youth) extension will become available but will be very expensive for a while. I may need more money - more than what I will have by growing my current wealth at 8% per year - to be able to get such treatment.
Interesting! I didn't know this blog before. Thank you for sharing it.

I quickly browsed through it. Indeed it is more or less the same idea as mine regarding personal finance.

One major difference is however that I am not against having debt, as long as it is productive and its interest rate is lower than the ROI of your assets. I would gladly borrow at 2.5% to finance an investment that gives me 10% ROI.

Also it is easier for me to save on food. There is such abundance of food at my employer that I can hardly find any opportunity to spend on food at all.

A huge advantage of living in a country like Canada is that you save SO much on health insurance and your children's education. I made more money in San Francisco but I save more in Toronto.

The only way for me to convince myself not to retire yet is that I believe the technology of immortality (or amortality if you will) or at least significant life (and youth) extension will become available but will be very expensive for a while. I may need more money - more than what I will have by growing my current wealth at 8% per year - to be able to get such treatment.
There are lot of nuances to financial independence planning and there's a huge online community of folks who actively discuss such strategies in great detail. You will find that most folks are not opposed to carrying debt such as a mortgage during the accumulation phase of their retirement nest because their job acts as a hedge against the risk of defaulting. However, post-FI nearly everyone chooses to be debt free since the cognitive burden of carrying debt is not worth the loss of quality of life. Some even choose to sell their house and rent instead, since it's less headache and offers more freedom of movement.

Super interesting point about lifespan enhancement. I've never heard it being mentioned in the context of financial independence. From what I know about the state of research in that area (work by Calico and talks by Aubrey De Gray), it still seems a ways off; though probably not impossible in a 30 year time frame. I guess my strategy would be to come out of retirement and head to one of the finance companies/hedge funds if the research seemed promising enough to earn money for it. My view on retirement is that once you're freed from the yokel of working for someone, you actually have time and the energy to work on individual projects that add a lot of value to society. In my case, I plan to do that in the domain of artificial intelligence and open-source my work. I am sure that such a skillset will be valuable monetarily in the financial sector should such a situation arise.
 
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trumprefugee

Hero Member
Jun 6, 2017
952
2,551
New York, USA
Category........
PNP
Visa Office......
Ottawa
NOC Code......
2172
App. Filed.......
06-01-2018
Nomination.....
19-12-2017
AOR Received.
07-01-2018
IELTS Request
24-06-2017
Med's Done....
05-01-2018
Passport Req..
09-03-2018
VISA ISSUED...
02-04-2018
LANDED..........
28-05-2018
Hey @deadbird and @axolotl! I am also a data analyst/software engineer in the early retirement camp. In fact, I will be retiring in January. For me, "retirement" does not mean never working for pay at all, but only working when and because I want to and at jobs that won't detract from my working on my long term goals. In other words, not being dependent on having a job to provide for my living expenses. I do hope to work full time at least in my first year or two in Canada, and then just do some part time or contract jobs as I get opportunities. One of the many reasons I am immigrating to Canada is because I want to do some activism for the US and propose feasible solutions for reform. I am a US citizen who thinks that the US could learn a lot from the Canadian system. I would like to get some experience living like a regular Canadian with a regular employee job and really get to know the system first hand. It also would be nice not to have to convert too many US dollars in the beginning. But I do not need a regular job for survival, and if I don't find a tolerable job, that would be ok as well.
 
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deadbird

Hero Member
Jan 9, 2016
508
78
Category........
NOC Code......
2173
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
30-07-2016
AOR Received.
30-07-2016
Med's Done....
15-08-2016
Passport Req..
14-12-2016
Hey @deadbird and @axolotl! I am also a data analyst/software engineer in the early retirement camp. In fact, I will be retiring in January. For me, "retirement" does not mean never working for pay at all, but only working when and because I want to and at jobs that won't detract from my working on my long term goals. In other words, not being dependent on having a job to provide for my living expenses. I do hope to work full time at least in my first year or two in Canada, and then just do some part time or contract jobs as I get opportunities. One of the many reasons I am immigrating to Canada is because I want to do some activism for the US and propose feasible solutions for reform. I am a US citizen who thinks that the US could learn a lot from the Canadian system. I would like to get some experience living like a regular Canadian with a regular employee job and really get to know the system first hand. It also would be nice not to have to convert too many US dollars in the beginning. But I do not need a regular job for survival, and if I don't find a tolerable job, that would be ok as well.
Hi @trumprefugee! So cool to hear from you. I thought early-retirement was rare and even rarer was geographical arbitraging. But hearing from two other data scientists/SWEs with an identical mindset makes me think there's some signal to this trend. :)