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Old 18th January 2024, 19:31   #31
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

I am in the same boat as you were in.
Can you share your contact info.
I am from Bahadurgarh
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Old 18th January 2024, 20:54   #32
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
You mentioned you applied for sabbatical at your bank in India and it was rejected. So, Did you resign from your Bank before you took the flight to Cananda? If not, how did you handle the resignation and exit formalities from your Indian employment while in Canada?
Well for few months I kept telling them that I am still in India and studying and will join the service as soon as the program ends but they proceeded to open a disciplinary proceeding against me. They assigned a person who represented me and another who represented bank and ďcourtĒ like proceedings happened. Iím Aug of 2022 they terminated me and said that I am not disbarred from Bank and I can join the institution if again there is a job opening. After termination I asked them 3/4 times to send me my experience letter but nobody responded, this is another thing which really pisses me off. They had all the time and energy to terminate me but didnít had a minute to even acknowledge my email for experience letter.

Things worked out in our favor and now I donít need to deal with them at all.

Now you know 😃

Sangwan
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Old 19th January 2024, 11:41   #33
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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Originally Posted by Sangwan View Post
Well for few months I kept telling them that I am still in India and studying and will join the service as soon as the program ends but they proceeded to open a disciplinary proceeding against me. They assigned a person who represented me and another who represented bank and ďcourtĒ like proceedings happened. Iím Aug of 2022 they terminated me and said that I am not disbarred from Bank and I can join the institution if again there is a job opening. After termination I asked them 3/4 times to send me my experience letter but nobody responded, this is another thing which really pisses me off. They had all the time and energy to terminate me but didnít had a minute to even acknowledge my email for experience letter.
They would have sent you a show cause notice via registered post and asked you to report to work in person once your sanctioned leave ran out. Once that did not happen, they would have opened disciplinary proceedings with you being represented in absentia. Assuming that you were physically absent during the entire period with no intention to return to report for work, they would have terminated your employment and issued a termination letter, again via post to the address they have for you in their records.

Termination is a serious matter, especially in Indian govt/PSU entities and they are bound by the standing orders (SO) act and they need to follow it to the T, or risk inviting legal action against them. Labour laws are quite strict in India unlike in North America where employment is at will and companies are free to hire and fire at will and employees are free to go at very short/no notice. I know it does not matter now but the best course of action would have been to resign, even if in absentia and explain that you have left the country and cannot serve notice. Even that may have been contentious because banks need time and notice to replace employees, especially at an officer level and duties must be handed over in an organized manner to the person taking over. This, does not include tech companies of today where hiring and firing is the order of the day

Anyways, liked your write up and the detail that you have gone into. Wish you all the best in your new innings!
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Old 19th January 2024, 21:05   #34
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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I know it does not matter now but the best course of action would have been to resign, even if in absentia and explain that you have left the country and cannot serve notice. Even that may have been contentious because banks need time and notice to replace employees, especially at an officer level and duties must be handed over in an organized manner to the person taking over.
True. But, I knew how slow moving the management was when it came to its employees and way the overall attitude was, I didnít felt like letting them know of my intentions. So, I did what I did.

Thank you for your wishes.

Cheers,
Sangwan
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Old 6th April 2024, 14:23   #35
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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True. But, I knew how slow moving the management was when it came to its employees and way the overall attitude was, I didn’t felt like letting them know of my intentions. So, I did what I did.
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If you have read till here then I am grateful you gave your valuable time to this read and hope that you learned something valuable from it.
I have to applaud your patience in writing this thread. It gives a detailed explanation of your journey (and mine too ).

I can corelate with the pains and pleasures in this journey. In fact, I feel your journey was even harder than mine as I am still a bachelor.

I am in my early 30's and I came to Canada in 2022 to pursue my Masters in Engineering Management from University of Ottawa. I had a prior experience of 7 years working as an Engineer at ITC in India.

I completed my Masters in January 2024. I and got my PGWP in March 2024. I also got an ITA to apply for OINP under OINP Master's graduate stream Have recently submitted my file to OINP. Ontario government takes 30-60 days to process the application. Post that the the file goes in Non express entry system which has a processing time of 12 months.

I am currently applying for full time jobs which is proving to be difficult.

Last edited by Aditya : 6th April 2024 at 22:13. Reason: Quoted text trimmed
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Old 6th April 2024, 19:43   #36
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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Originally Posted by WanderinNomad View Post

I am currently applying for full time jobs which is proving to be difficult.
I know how hard it can be. And I donít know how hard youíre trying but I would suggest keep on applying and donít loose hope. Youíre already in your 30s so you definitely know the word ďpatienceĒ.

I am so happy you got the invitation because it is a bloodbath now for the applicants who are trying to get PR.

Thank you for the kind word. My and your journey is nothing compared to the people who spent so many years here and now have to face the reality that they donít have the points to get that invite from IRCC. Feel free to reach out if you are coming on this side in lower mainland.

Cheers,
Sangwan
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Old 16th April 2024, 08:54   #37
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

Hello Sangwan,

Hope you are doing great! I was in the middle of exam prep, picking up a new job (after lay-off) and then switching over to another, living alone for some time and a few other things. But I had this though of remembering to return to this thread to say a few things.

Really appreciate the effort in putting this thread together. It speaks volumes of the humbling experience immigrating to Canada is. There's very few people with odds by their side who come to Canada and pick up where they left in their home country. For everyone else its all about re-writing your story going back to learning to live independently right after college. Rightly said it speaks of your integrity, intellect and maturity for writing about these experiences rather than the virtual world of reels and snaps and glory galore that many seek as a means of dealing with the hand they have been dealt with.

Many experiences you shared resonate with me. First of all, about the PSU culture in India as I too worked in a PSU (Maharatna at that) but from a different Industry. Another relative of mine worked in a PSU bank and decided to take a sabbatical, and followed his spouse to the UK for her 2 year assignment just to take a break from all the ruckus that we tend to accept as normal in our lives. In fact I shared this thread with him.

My decision to move to Canada was never a concrete one. It wasn't even mine. My parents had planted the seed somewhere in 2018 after two visits to Canada in the past and constantly being bombarded by friends and relatives that the oil and gas industry has great prospects for me. So over a course of 2 years we were doing things that we needed to do in bits and pieces and it was my dad who supported us in keeping at it. Covid stalled it a bit and we finally saw it happening in August 2021. Coincidentally having an incompetent boss to report to for the last 2 years due to "seniority" and seeing no career prospects for my wife living on-site in the secluded hinterland of UP gave us the final push to take a call.


Looks like I settled with the sour grapes, but hear me out...

As some members rightly mention of the prospects we left behind in India, they all kind of assume that Canada is the land for the lazy. Looking at the struggles of immigrants there is a tendency to assume that we shied away from the hardships which were just on the brink of rewarding us. The comparison is never apples to apples, its about money and wealth and never about anything else.

After moving to Canada, I lived off of government benefits in the first year, and barely breached the low income threshold in the next year. In all this while we went through
1. ZERO antibiotics and antihistamines which we a routine prescription in India for dealing with a bad day
2. ZERO standing in a line for anything, Period
3. ZERO expense for having our first child (except for hospital parking).
4. Felt ZERO need for a car through most of the pregnancy.
5. Asked for help and donations in kind from strangers and felt ZERO guilt about it.
6. Had ZERO comfort of having your family by your side and in tune with your life.
7. Have had ZERO influence in our personal lives as a couple, making it stronger than before.
8. Had ZERO hesitation in telling people I was jobless and did food delivery for some time.
9. Have settled to have ZERO expectation from parents to help us out in our lives.
10. Have ZERO qualms if my son decides to become a plumber, I wouldn't be worried or hiding my face, or doling out money to him in his 30s.
.
.
.

For the upbringing I had in India, I was sure I would never have had these experiences had I been in India. My son would definitely have had none, contrary to that he would be fed fed every meal by a full-time maid watching cartoons on his personal iPad. There was no way I was going to have the air kicked out of my lungs had it not been for moving to Canada. Yes, the grapes are sour, but you need to have a few to value the sweet ones.

Long term...
I believe 2 or 3 years is too short to compare what this country has to offer compared to what we could have had back in India. As one learns the nuances, the picture starts to pans out nicely. Its first about survival, then security and then quality. People get here eventually, that's what i believe.

There is no one judging you and a sensible person lives comfortably in the long run. That's very hard to picture when you are looking at the size of your neighbour's wallet to measure success.
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Old 17th April 2024, 07:15   #38
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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Rightly said it speaks of your integrity, intellect and maturity for writing about these experiences rather than the virtual world of reels and snaps and glory galore that many seek as a means of dealing with the hand they have been dealt with.
Thank you so much for the kind words. All I want is to help others who are thinking on embarking on this journey and it would make me so happy if anyone could learn a thing or two from my experiences.

Quote:
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Long term...
I believe 2 or 3 years is too short to compare what this country has to offer compared to what we could have had back in India. As one learns the nuances, the picture starts to pans out nicely. Its first about survival, then security and then quality. People get here eventually, that's what i believe.

There is no one judging you and a sensible person lives comfortably in the long run. That's very hard to picture when you are looking at the size of your neighbour's wallet to measure success.
This is so true. Everything will happen but it will take time. The target keeps on changing, first it was getting that PR, then it was getting a place of our own (I will make a post on that experience too), and now is to get a government job (Haryana lives strong in me and this is what we know ) which is having good benefits and decent pay. Overall, I am really happy with my decisions and on the weekends when I get to sit on a beautiful beach witnessing the sunset then that feeling gets more solidified.

I am glad that your parents nudged you in this direction. If someone had given me this advice around 2016/17 then that would have been awesome! But this is good too.

Cheers,
Sangwan
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Old 14th May 2024, 07:40   #39
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

The Home Buying Process:

So, another major milestone was achieved! or a major liability for a major part of our life added? As I mentioned in my earlier posts, we were planning to buy a place of our own as soon as we got the residency because this was the aspiration of my wife. Homes are cool but they are not cool as the cars/motorcycles, but I knew this was more important and had to be done.

In May 2023, after we had gotten our invitation from IRCC and we have already submitted the documents, we asked my friend/co-worker/realtor, Nitish, to show us some homes. There are different types of homes in Canada/USA. Maybe its the same concept in Europe too but this is not the case in India, at least in Haryana. So, the types of home:

Apartment/Condo: Multi-storied buildings and it could be 1/2/3 or more bedroom apartments. There are strata/maintenance fees which I hate.

Townhouse: These are single homes, but you share walls with other townhouses and there is strata fees involved here as well. You don’t have a basement in a townhouse.

My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada-frasertownhomeslangley1.jpg

Houses with shared wall: So, these will be separate units, but they will have a common wall. There is no strata fees. These will have basements too which could be used for rental income.

My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada-partywallagreementsinalbertascaled.jpg

Detached house: This will be a single unit, there will be no sharing of walls and that would be the ideal home for us. They will have basements too.

My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada-hikesterson.jpg

So, on a sunny May/June (I am not able to recall) afternoon, Nitish asked us to come and see him at Varsity Building located on Fraser Hwy, Langley. It was the first time my wife, son and I were looking at a property as potential buyers. In Canada, there are two ways to look at a property, if it's an Open house, then you don’t need the realtor, you can just go into the building without an appointment and see it for yourself. If there is no open house, then your realtor will get in touch with the seller’s realtor, set up a meeting to see the property and you can go with or without him to visit. When Nitish took us for the first time, it was an Open house in that building, we saw a 1 bedroom and a 2-bedroom apartment. Then we went to a townhouse and a detached house in some other areas of Langley. It was a great experience, and it gave us the confidence that we can do this alone, and we don’t need to call Nitish every time we wish to see a building. Just go on any real estate website, set the filter for open houses on that day and voila! You have a list of places you can check out. There is no pressure on you to give your details or make an offer, just go and see and if you like it then ask your realtor to get in touch with the seller’s realtor and proceed. This went on for a few months until we got our PRs.

Being in Lower mainland Vancouver we were witnessing crazy property prices. With our current salaries and the ability to make downpayment for a home, having a detached house was out of the question in the lower mainland. The below were our following options:

1. Go to Edmonton/Calgary in Alberta: This was an option we seriously considered because the house prices in Alberta were still on sane level. For example, a brand-new detached house in Edmonton with basement will cost around $500,000 and an old, detached house in lower mainland will cost around $1.2+ million depending on the location, at the time where I was renting, that house would cost more than $3 Million to own. Taxes are low, there was no property transfer tax on first time home buyers, and we could buy a brand-new house. But the problem was that so many residents of British Columbia had already moved there as well as people from other provinces that everyone advised us that first secure a job here and then purchase a property. Also, the cold is brutal in Alberta. -40/50 degree Celsius is not a joke.

2. Buy a townhouse in Abbotsford and or around the surrounding area: So, Abbotsford was being considered because we could get a townhouse or an apartment within our budget, or we would save some money. We wouldn’t need to switch our jobs, could buy something right away and then make the switch but it meant commuting a lot. For example, for me it would be 140-150 kms daily which would be more expense towards fuel and wear and tear of the vehicle, and our cars are gas guzzlers. Also, our son would be at a day care and my wife, and I would be out of city and if God forbid there is an emergency, then it would take time for us to get to him, so it wasn’t a very favorable option.

3. Buy an apartment in Surrey/Langley or surrounding areas: This was another option; my wife’s job is at Surrey-Langley border. Langley is closer to her, so the idea was to get a place near her office, and then at least one person doesn’t have to drive that much and can get to our son in an emergency.

4. Move to Victoria: I am in love with this city. I can’t explain it but once you have lived here then “Nothing else will do”. The housing situation is bad, and that is why I moved to Surrey, or I would have stayed there forever. Now, as we had the money and opportunity, I was in the mind that we should go back and spend our life there.

Now you can see there were many options, and few things were clear after some lengthy discussions between me and my wife which are the following and are not in order:

1. If possible, move to Alberta, then go for a detached house as were had never lived in an apartment.

2. I hate the idea of giving the strata fees and believe that it's a waste of money (though I understand why it's charged). This was unavoidable if we went for an apartment or townhouse.

3. Wife hated the idea of starting over again like again going through interviews, again looking for jobs, again learning roads in a new city. She doesn’t like change that much.

4. I felt that if we were going to buy an apartment as that was within our budget then we should buy one in Victoria and not in lower mainland, otherwise let’s just go to Alberta.

5. We are a small family, it's only me, our son and wife and we should look at both 1- and 2-bedroom apartments. Yes, thinking of 1 bedroom apartment alone can make one claustrophobic.

November of 2023:

When we finally got our PR process done. We finally decided that we are not going to Alberta as my wife was already freaking out on the prospect of dealing with the Alberta winters. I started calling Edmonton/Calgary as the Arctic Tundra to tease my wife because she was just thinking about the cold and how we will deal with it.

As Alberta was out of consideration, it was decided that an apartment will be our first purchase, and again, I suggested that if we spend a few years in an apartment then why not buy one in Victoria? Find jobs over there and settle down for good. I know my wife wasn’t keen on going through the job finding process, but she has been to Victoria a few times and likes the place.

Going to Victoria was great but it also had its own issues:

1. Again, find jobs.

2. Must complete probation period (3-6 months for most jobs) in the new job and then apply for mortgage.

3. Finding a place to rent while we settle in new roles is not easy otherwise why would we have moved in the first place?

So, it wasn’t all easy, and then we also decided to apply for Provincial Government Jobs in Victoria, and if we can get one, we’ll move otherwise, if we find something nice in Langley, then we will go for it. Surrey is too Surrey; Langley is great, and it will be closer to the workplace for my wife.

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: Apartment No 212, 5485 Brydon Crescent, Langley

After seeing so many apartments while our PR applications were being processed, we were like seasoned pre-home buyers (if it makes sense to anyone), we knew what to look for or should I say my wife knew what to look for, I just roamed around and gave my observations here and there. She was the one thoroughly going through everything and so in November there was an open house, and the address was 5485 Brydon Crescent. We loved this place, it was a corner unit, the building was only 2 years old, and it had this huge balcony, two bedrooms, two bathrooms and everything felt great. I called Nitish, asked him to come and see it and he also liked the place. We decided to put an offer on the apartment.

Now, here’s the deal. What happens in Canada, or I believe in USA too is that you as a buyer will ask your realtor to put an offer on the concerned property. If there is no on-going offer on the property, then the seller will have 24 hours to either accept the offer or make a counteroffer to your offer and then the buyer will have 24 hours to say yes or no or give another counteroffer. I hope you get the gist. Your realtor may or may not push you for the property concerned, ours did not. He was very supportive and said put in an offer or say yes to what you feel comfortable with. In our case, we placed an offer of CAD 570K. I believe in the start and the seller’s realtor instead of putting a counteroffer texted our realtor and said that's too low. The property was listed at CAD 589K and later she told our realtor her clients are okay if we offer CAD 585K or it's not a deal. We offered CAD 572K and that was a mistake because later we came to know that even though the real estate market is down but there is still not much room for negotiation because someone somewhere will say yes close to the price the seller is asking and we should have said yes at that time to CAD 585K (you’ll know why soon).

Back to square one: We again started looking for places but this time I was also contacting different banks as I was trying to get pre-approved for home loan or mortgage loan. Let me tell you what pre-approved is, so, if a bank pre-approves my loan application then based on the funds I have for down payment, the declaration from your end whether you will give 5/10/20% downpayment and our current salaries, the bank gives you an amount which will be the maximum loan you can get from the bank based on current status. The loan from the bank plus the amount you are ready to put as a down payment will give you the maximum amount you can have for purchasing a home. In our case it was CAD 485K (if we give 20% downpayment) for mortgage and the rest is on us as to how much we will put towards down payment. I would also like to mention that the bank asks you how much % you’ll put as a down payment of the purchasing price. If your down payment is less than 20% then your loan amount might be less, you’ll need to get sort of a mortgage insurance, it's kind of a guarantee that if things go south then bank can claim that insurance and save itself. If downpayment is 20% or more then you don’t need to get that insurance. Depending on the % you are putting as downpayment this insurance can vary between CAD 5K-20K. Overall, an expensive proposition. Once you’re pre-approved then that pre-approval is valid for three months and the bank must honor the terms and, you can still go with a different bank but at least you have a guaranteed funds from one. All this process is free of cost, so don’t feel obligated to anyone.

The downpayment funds: If you are in Canada and your funds are not here and are back in your home country then please make sure you get them as soon as possible with you once you decide to buy a property. If you’re a salaried person then there is not much to inquire about, you only must make sure that the funds for down payment are with you for more than 90 days (about 3 months). If they are not 90 days (about 3 months) old, then you’ll need to get gift certificates signed by your family members for each overseas transaction. In our case the funds were not 90 days (about 3 months) old, and we had some hiccups (more on that later).

We had decided to put 20% down, and we had also decided to buy the property for under CAD 600K as we would be comfortable with the payments then. Some of our funds were here in Canada which was the amount we saved over the months. But the rest was in India and with new restrictions in place since October of 2023 to send money outside India, we transferred only INR 7 Lakhs through each family member because anything more than that would warrant paying 20% as TCS (Tax Collected at Source).

Finally, we had the downpayment funds and had the pre-approval letter and so we began the search. I again suggested buying an apartment in Victoria while we are at our current jobs because then we won’t have to worry about probation and a place would be ready for us when we arrive in Victoria. But we didn’t have any progress on the job front and then it could be a huge gamble. So, we kept looking here and in the last week of Jan 2024 we found a listing which piqued our interest.

THIS IS THE ONE (FOR NOW): Our home search in and around Langley brought us back to Varsity Building in Langley from where it all started for us. There was an apartment listed, it had two bedrooms and two bathrooms. 880 Sq Ft area, bedrooms on either side and living room in the middle (ideal map for my wife). The cooking stove was powered with gas (Yay!) and it was east facing, so plenty of sunlight in the morning. Across the road, in the next block is a grocery store, bank and a full-sized shopping complex. The downtown of Langley is just 1 KMs away and 1.3 KMs away is the Willow brook area (another great shopping place). On top of that in the next few years there will be a metro station 2/3 blocks away. Overall, a great place and within our budget (was listed at CAD 590K) and if somebody works from home then you don’t even need a car as everything is within walking distance. BUT it was 9 years old, and the strata fees was CAD 394 monthly. We right away asked Nitish to book a meeting to see this apartment in person and he did. We loved it and on Jan 28th, 2024, we placed an offer of CAD 585K. Now you can see this was the mistake we committed. The lady at Brydon Crescent was also asking for CAD 585K but we said No to her, and that apartment was only 2 years old, corner unit and the strata fees was also CAD 350! So, there were savings in every aspect. And now here we are putting an initial offer of $585K, but these setbacks give you the experience and make you wise.

Naturally, the sellers gave a counteroffer which was CAD 588K. Now instead of going back and forth again, I told my wife that it's on her now as having a place of her own has long been a desire for her, I said to her “we are already spending CAD 585K and now either we can keep on looking or just give another 3 grand and buy this place, because $3K is nothing when you are spending close to $600K”. She said yes and we told Nitish that we accepted the offer. We saved $2000 when compared to the original listed price.

THE PROCESS:

In the acceptance offer, there will be all the details, such as property address, the purchase price, the date of closing (means when the buyer will get the possession) and the subject (conditions) removal date.

To make sure that we are not getting into a messy property, the buyer’s realtor adds subjects (conditions) to the accepted offer and once these conditions are removed then there is no turning back and you must get the funds and buy the property. In our case, I had the task of getting the finance done and Nitish would go through the property Strata documents, we will get the property inspected to make sure everything is working and if not then it needs to either repaired to the seller must reduce the price. The inspection went well, there were 5 minor issues otherwise everything was kept well and in order. The issues were:

1. One of the gas stoves was not working.

2. The dishwasher had water on its surface, as per the person inspecting it, it should have been dry.

3. The valve of master bedroom’s bathroom toilet was closed. We didn’t know why it was closed nor did we open it at that time.

4. The balcony door was not locking.

5. The exhaust fan in the other bathroom made more sound compared to the other one.

We informed the seller that they need to fix it and if they didn’t fix it then there will be a hold of $3000 on the day of release of funds. The sellers accepted our condition, and we went ahead.

Once the finance was sorted, and Nitish gave green light with the Strata Documents, we went ahead and now there was no turning back. The closing date was Feb 22, 2024, and the possession date was Feb 24. During the period, we went to our lawyer just once to sign some papers otherwise everything happened over the phone, or via email. There were no meetings, no running back and forth. You really don’t get the experience that yes you are buying something.

The Finance: Now this one deserves a special mention as it was a headache for me. So, as mentioned earlier I had a pre-approval for $485K from RBC (Royal Bank of Canada). My wife and I have accounts with Bank of Nova Scotia who disappointed us big time. I went with CIBC and overall, I hated the process of getting the financing done in Canada.

If you’re someone who loves negotiating and will fight tooth and nail for every single dollar then you’ll be just fine. I, on the other hand, don’t like this process, I need a number, an assurance that this is the best deal I can get and that’s it, I will not ask any more questions and will follow along. So, in terms of Banks, there is RBC, CIBC, BNS, TD, BMO (Please see the full forms on the Internet), then there are credit unions too. I mean there is plenty to choose from. Nitish suggested that I should stick to the banks and avoid credit unions or any other avenues where I can get mortgage from. I contacted my own bank, BNS, and RBC was pre-approved, and then there was TD, CIBC and BMO. I contacted TD but this person didn’t feel right. BMO was not contacted as I figured out everyone is offering the same ROI, and it is up to me. BNS offered me ROI of more than 6% and on top of that also said that this is the best deal. I was like WOW! Because RBC had pre-approved me for 5.25% for 3 years fixed (more on fixed later) and so BNS was out. I got in touch with CIBC as Nitish’s sister worked there at that time, she got me in touch with a CIBC Mortgage advisor who said that they can easily give me ROI less than 5.25%. I contacted the RBC guy and said, hey, is this the best you can do or is there some more room. He asked me to give him a day and he will try to get 5.15%. In the evening, he said he could only get 5.20%. He told me many times on the phone that evening like how much he tried to get this rate and how many approvals he had to go through to get this done. I said thank you.

CIBC said that they would offer me 3 years fixed at 5.20% and as Nitish’s sister was working there so I felt safer with them. I told the RBC guy that I have no hard feelings, but I will go with CIBC. As soon as he heard that I was interacting with other banks, he first took me on a guilt trip and then at the end said RBC can offer you 5.10%. Now, instead of being happy, these are the things which boil my blood. When I asked him earlier if there was any room, he said 5.20 % is final and now when I said yes somewhere else then he is giving me this new offer. I confronted him, and all he said was that he didn’t think I would be in touch with other banks, and I was like to get the best ROI, one must get these banks fight each other, and the winner will have the customer. What an idiotic process. Meanwhile CIBC offered me 5.15% and now 0.05% means nothing to me because at least CIBC people were upfront about it.

But CIBC gave me another headache, remember that if the funds for downpayment are less than 90 days then you must get these gift certificates signed. CIBC had a change in their policy, they would need statements for only last 30 days and my mortgage advisor, showed these funds as something else in the application instead of gifts and here in Canada, the loans irrespective of loan amount goes to back office to some underwriter and man, this underwriter, he was not communicative, all the documents were provided right away but he kept asking the same things in different formats. I was running out of patience because there was not much to think about but for some reason this person was taking all the time in the world to get it done. What was supposed to be a 2-3 days max job took me more than week to get done. I am still waiting for a service experience email from CIBC, and I have so many things to say to them.

Finally, once the mortgage was approved, it was time for us to wait. Meanwhile, all the issues were fixed, and I found a “Pandit ji” to do some “pooja” for the new place. On 22nd Feb we got the keys instead of 24th as everything went well and on 24th we did the Pooja. It was nice. On 25th Feb we moved into OUR PLACE and have been living there since.

Final Cost Breakdown:

Purchase Price 588K + Property Transfer Tax + Inspection Fee ($350 cash) + Lawyers Fee + Miscellaneous fees = $600,204.57

FIXED and VARIABLE Mortgage: So, In Canada, you have the option to get a variable mortgage or a fixed mortgage. With variable, the ROI varies with the policy of Bank of Canada (Canada’s RBI), if rate is high variable ROI is high and vice versa. For mortgage, no matter what the rate is, you’ll pay whatever you agreed to initially. With our downpayment and the way the payments are being made, we are in hook for a period of little shy of 30 years, and now for the first three years (6 months in advance is allowed) we will pay our EMI based on ROI 5.15% no matter what the rate will be. If we want to break this term, then there will be a penalty and then we can get the new term. Most people avoid it. If I had gone through variable then ROI would have been around 7+% I guess but this is fine for now, we will spend accordingly.



Final thoughts :

I am happy that we have a place of our own, I am happy that this is not a liability, but an investment. On checking the Internet, if we rent this place in future, the rent could easily be around $3000. Due to the location and the incoming metro station, the price will only go up, so I am not worried. But this step also means that this is not the final home nor is the final city. I love Victoria and I will try to make us move there and my wife and I grew up in detached houses, in the small town/city of Haryana, so apartment is not our dream but it's a step towards getting that house. If we had moved to Alberta, then maybe that would have been the home for a long time but with this one I already know that time is limited.

In terms of expense, more than 2 month have passed and things are okay, I am spending like I used to before when we were renting, but now I can’t make a big purchase on whim, I feel that if there is not a major expense of any kind like going to India due to an emergency, or our Santa Fes going through a break down then I feel this is easily doable because we budgeted for miscellaneous expenses and the other upcoming expenses due to purchasing the property. The savings amount has reduced for sure but now all the money is going towards our own place, and yes we have entered the rat race for sure . But, at least till now it seems a wise decision.


Cheers,
Sangwan

Last edited by Sangwan : 14th May 2024 at 08:06. Reason: needed to add more comments
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Old 14th May 2024, 08:11   #40
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

One of the goals for this year was to get a motorcycle license. To get a motorcycle in British Columbia which is called Class 6, the following stages must be cleared:

1. Clear Knowledge test.

2. Clear Motorcycle Skill Test.

3. Clear Motorcycle Road test.

I started going through MCQs to prepare for a knowledge test. I practiced for around 2 days, and I was done for the moment. I had booked a knowledge test somewhere around the end of Jan of 2024.

Picture this, it is Jan 10th, 2024, time is around 9:35 AM, its cold, my son is watching TV, but he is all dressed up and ready to go to his daycare whenever I decide to drop him. I on the other hand, havenít taken bath and I am on the laptop and decide to open ICBC website (ICBC is the insurance, and licensing authority in BC) because I was lost in my thoughts. I went over the website and selected the ďre-scheduleĒ option. I could see that today is Jan 10th, and there is availability at 10:30 AM, but it is less than 1 hour, and I must get ready, drop him off and reach there at least 10-15 mins early. All this was going on in my head, but my hand was not in my control, and I ended up booking the test which was going to start in less than an hour. Suffice to say, I was running around and somehow managed to reach at around 10:20 AM. Paid my fees and everything and the test starts. Last time I gave the test in 2021 and that time I really prepared, and, in few minutes, I was done but this time I hadnít practiced much and there were 40 questions and I had to score 80% or more to pass. I started the test and man initially I was good and there is an option to pass on the next question but eventually I had run out of options, and I cleared the test on the 39th question, it was so close! When I finally passed, I had a sigh of relief, as I was overconfident and should have practiced more. I came home and booked my motorcycle skill test in Victoria for Feb 6th.

In Victoria, their lives a girl, she is few years older than me, but she and I have the same last name, we come from the city, Rohtak, and even have our houses in the adjacent sectors in Rohtak. So, she is kind of a sister to me, I guess. Well, she already has motorcycle license and owns a Ninja 400. So, I contacted her and updated her on my upcoming skill test. I took a day off from my job and went to Victoria via ferry to give the test because I donít know anyone in lower mainland Vancouver who has a motorcycle, and I donít make that many friends. In the skill test what happens is that the examiner assesses you if you know the basics of motorcycling. The following things happened during the test:

1. The examiner asked me about different switches on the motorcycle handlebar.

2. Then she asked me to move the motorcycle and apply the brakes. I had to do this without starting the bike. It's like when you move the bike on your own when it's not running.

3. Then she asked me to get on it and stop at a white line.

4. Then around 20-30 meters away was another set of cones with a white line, she asked me to start the bike and stop it there.

5. Then she asked me to lock the handle towards left and keep it locked and move the motorcycle, she then adjusted the cones around the track as per the turning of the motorcycle and then again asked me to go straight ahead and stop.

6. I was again present at the original starting point and now had to go through the course, first straight, then make a without putting my feet down and then do a slalom test (going in a zig zag fashion between the cones) and then stop.

7. Do the same on the opposite side which means if I started from the right, took a left turn and then did slalom test, now I had to start from the left and take the right turn and so on.

8. Then she asked me to again get on starting point, asked me to accelerate make a turn and keep my eyes straight, as soon as I see her raising her hand, I need to stop right away. This tests how you brake in time of emergency.

After all these tests she gave me the good news that I passed and coming to Victoria was a success.

Funny Incident at the test: So, at one time when she asked me ďgo ahead and waitĒ, but I misheard, and I thought she said, ďgo ahead and waveĒ. So, once I reached the stopping point, I stopped and started waving towards her. She was confused why I was waving, and I was confused thinking what kind of test is this!? She said I asked you to wait not wave! and then we both laughed. She said my stupidity made her day and bonus marks to me for my blunder. I still chuckle when I think about that incident.

So, back to Surrey and I book the road test somewhere in April as then the temperature would be bearable.

It is the month of March, it was the first week I guess, we have shifted to Langley to our new place, and I got a call from Victoria. When we hadnít found our place, my wife and I were trying for provincial government jobs and we had applied for various positions, sometimes we got out in the screening stage, sometimes it was the written stage and sometimes it was the interview stage. So, for one particular position, everything went well, I made it to the interview but I wasnít the chosen candidate, instead they put me on this eligibility list, what it means is that If this department offers a similar position, then I wouldnít need to go through all the stages and could just start with the job. So, in March 2024, I get this call that we have a temporary position and are you willing to work? This position is from work from home, so I said yes! If everything went smoothly then I was supposed to start in April. And my mind raced to the fact that I have this motorcycle road test in April, so I had the whole month of march with me and maybe I should get this done sooner.

If you have read my earlier posts in my PR journey, then you might have remembered how badly I did with my car driving license. I passed in my 3rd attempt. I was not willing to go through the same process with the motorcycle. I decided that I will take a few lessons and rent a motorcycle from the school.

I contacted Urban Rider (love this school!) So, they offered a package which consisted of two road tests and renting the motorcycle on the day of road test. Including taxes, it costs $351. On March 26th, 2024, I was booked for a road test in Burnaby at 9:30 AM. It was raining a little, but everything went so well, and I cleared the test with flying colors. My happiness knew no bounds, I was so elated.

I gave my test on this little 250 CC Kawasaki.

My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada-whatsapp-image-20240513-7.35.29-pm.jpeg

To be honest, I was not this excited when we went to purchase the apartment, but it is different when it comes to cars/motorcycles. I have this obsession now, whenever I am free, I look at motorcycles, reviews and every small detail. It hasnít been that long, but my wife is fed up with me. I have made an excel sheet and have already decided on my next bike. I havenít taken any test ride; I will take one when it is time to go for it, but it was my dream bike back in India.

In case youíre curious, I wonít keep you wondering. I have decided to purchase a Kawasaki Z900RS. It is in-line 4, retro styled and it is so-so gorgeous. Back in India, it was priced at INR 15 Lakhs (ex-showroom) I think, and I didnít have that kind of money. I wonít give any more details on the motorcycle, there will be a separate thread for it. Just waiting for the right time to come and I get that bike home.

So, I have a motorcycle license! After so many years (3 to be precise) I will again have a motorcycle in my life. Leaving you with a few pics I took of the Z900RS in a showroom.

Only Yellow Color is available for 2024 model years and it doesn't look that bad in person.

My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada-whatsapp-image-20240513-7.35.29-pm-3.jpeg

My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada-whatsapp-image-20240513-7.35.29-pm-2.jpeg

My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada-whatsapp-image-20240513-7.35.29-pm-1.jpeg

Cheers,

Sangwan
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Old 16th May 2024, 04:40   #41
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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Originally Posted by Sangwan View Post
[b][u]The Home Buying Process
Well done. Congratulations.

I find some similarities to the purchase process, compared to New Zealand. There's just one big difference. The age of homes are poles apart and we are a small country, compared to Canada.

We just bought a house and I'll document the process when I have time. In a few years, our house will be a 100 years old :-).

When you go to these open homes and if there is one that interests you, don't you have to run the property documents through a lawyer before you put your offer? Or were you placing a conditional offer each time?
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Old 16th May 2024, 06:34   #42
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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Well done. Congratulations.

When you go to these open homes and if there is one that interests you, don't you have to run the property documents through a lawyer before you put your offer? Or were you placing a conditional offer each time?
Thanks Sandeep!

I am already jealous that you get to live in a detached home and although it will be 100 years old, I guess you'll have a big backyard.

If a property is interesting, and the sellers' realtor feel that you are indeed serious then sometimes they share the property documents or they'll ask you to send an offer and then you get the access to the documents.

Here the conditions are called subjects like I explained in my post and if the subjects don't clear then you can walk away from the deal without any issues.

My realtor goes through the building documents and the lawyer checks the title of the property to make sure that the seller is the current owner and there are no dues on the property.

When the whole process is done, our lawyer again sent us a final check of title on the property and now it shows that my wife and I are the owners.

Hope this helps, otherwise DM me if you have any more questions.

Cheers,
Sangwan
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Old 16th May 2024, 06:54   #43
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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When you go to these open homes and if there is one that interests you, don't you have to run the property documents through a lawyer before you put your offer? Or were you placing a conditional offer each time?
I believe they were conditional offers, reading through the process. Similar in Australia, where conditions include subject to 'Building and Pest Inspection' results. Documents get vetted through conveyancing, once the seller has accepted your offer.
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Old 16th May 2024, 07:48   #44
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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[b]The Home Buying Process: [/B
Hello from a fellow Pacific NorthWesterner !!

Congratulations on your new home and I cannot believe the details you have put in your thread on your home buying process, kudos!

I can totally relate to your entire home buying process, thoughts, dilemmas including arranging large sums of money for downpayment.

We too bought our home in Feb'2022 and went through the same process and it was a nightmarish situation of bidding wars, losing homes (lost bidding for over 10 homes), organizing large sums of money through every possible means and in haste losing money because of the fear of losing the home. Oh gosh! I am so thankful that stressful period is behind us.

If there is some consolation- We won our brand new single family home beating "15 Bidders" and we got the home even though we were $10K less than the top bidder because we paid 100% cash (via. a company that we employed)- That's a long story for another day.

When we moved back to Seattle from Mid-west after nearly 5-years, it was a huge shock to see the home prices have touched the sky. We were thinking of buying a home in the heart of the action but, due to homes in $2M-$3M range, we had to keeping moving north and find something in our budget which was little over half that price.

I knew British Columbia is expensive but, a 2-bedroom 900 sq.ft home for $600K is similar to bigger cities like Bellevue and I guess the price we pay for living in the heart of the city.

Have several friends in B.C, Calgary and Toronto area and everyone blames JT for the rising prices of everything in Canada.

We visit Surrey/Langley/Vancouver pretty often and as a day-trip to enjoy the wonderful Indian food you get out there (My favorite is-Chacha Tandoori Grill ), hope to catch up over a coffee/meal in one of our visits.

Cheers & Enjoy your new home !!!
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Old 17th May 2024, 07:38   #45
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Re: My Journey : From an International Student to a Permanent Resident in Canada

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Hello from a fellow Pacific NorthWesterner !!

We too bought our home in Feb'2022 and went through the same process

Cheers & Enjoy your new home !!!
Congratulations to you too! Still the houses are cheaper in USA compared to Canada.

See you around & try Tasty Indian Bistro too, its also nice and fancy.

Cheers,
Sangwan
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