The story of our immigration to Canada - How to Emigrate to Canada - Darren & Mette Hobden Immigration Story - How we Emigrated to Canada
 

Our Canadian Immigration Story

Visiting Molly's Reach
Our family standing outside Molly's Reach in Gibsons, Sunshine Coast, where the Beachcombers TV series was filmed.
Many years ago, in the seventies, I can remember watching "The Beachcombers" on TV back in England. I remember being mesmerized by the beauty of Canada and was envious at the lives and adventures that the "Beachcombers" kids had.

Roll on a few years later to July 2001 and we came on a holiday to Vancouver to see my sister, who emigrated in 1988 and is now married and settled in Vancouver. I was the only one who had been to Canada before this and even though we had spoken about emigrating it was difficult for Mette to decide without visiting first. It wasn't long into our holiday before she agreed that Canada had exactly what we were looking for including nature, more opportunities for all of us, a less stress more laid back attitude and a better standard of living. While riding on the chairlift on Grouse Mountain we asked our children if they would like to live in Canada and their instant answer was yes.

Darren & Mette of Emi-Great
Our holiday was for three weeks and during this time we spent three days on Vancouver Island and decided between us that this was where we wanted to call home. Unfortunately, as always, our holiday came to an end and we returned back to England. When we got back we seriously started looking at emigrating and how we were going to make it happen. In March 2002 we went to one of the Emigration Shows held in England every year (along with the other thousands also looking to move abroad for that new life) and met our Immigration Consultant, Stuart Bennett. We talked to the Canadian High Commission and found out what we needed to get sufficient points to enable our emigration application to be successful and went home to start on our paperwork. At this time the Canadian High Commission wasn't taking applications as it was changing its points system. Unfortunately they changed the number of points needed from 70 to 75 which meant it was very difficult to achieve the required points.

A couple of months later and with a package as thick as a telephone directory with all the different papers we needed, we sent our application off to Stuart who checked it all through for us. Included in this package were copies of birth certificates for all of us, police checks, details of every address we had lived at since aged eighteen, job details, work references, a valuation of our house and research we had done on houses and work in Canada to name a few. After about six weeks we received our pink slip to say that our application had been received and was being processed but we knew that it could take up to two years. We still had to carry on with our lives with work and school and all the activities that we were involved in while hoping everyday for some news.

In October 2002 we came back to Canada on a fact finding trip. We looked at areas on Vancouver Island from Victoria to Nanaimo to Sooke. It was an interesting and enjoyable trip as it already felt like home. We returned once more to England and continued with our lives as best we could while waiting for even the tiniest snippet of information about how our application was doing.

The Emigrate Challenge Video
We went to the Emigration Show in March 2003 and tried to find out if the Canadian High Commission had any information yet, but nothing. We spoke to Stuart and he said that he couldn't see any problems with our application and it was just a matter of waiting but he would try to find out some more information for us. About this time we became one of the families that were chosen to video their emigration process, with all the ups and the downs, the happy times and frustrating moments. This DVD "The Emigrate Challenge" became available to the public in mid-2004 so that other potential immigrants can learn or take information for their own emigration journeys.

In April Stuart called us to say that we may have to go for an interview. He thought this was strange as he felt we had a strong application and that interviews were being phased out. We were quite happy with this news as it meant we hadn't been rejected and at least we still had a chance.

Just before the Emigration Show in October 2003 we heard that the Canadian High Commission had dropped their point system from 75 to 67. I quickly called Stuart who said we should easily be in because he thought we had more than the 75 points needed originally.

We went to the emigration Show and spoke to a lady from the Canadian High commission who said she would look at our application as, it seemed we should definitely have enough points now, and she would let us know what was happening. This was on the Sunday, by the Wednesday Stuart called to say "go for your medicals, if you pass those you are in!"

Darren & Mette of Emi-Great
We went to London for our medicals on October 31st 2003 and put our house on the market at the end of November. Two days before Christmas 2003 we received a call from Stuart saying that our Visas had arrived. We made it! The best Christmas present without a doubt.

We now had to organize shipping our possessions. We had to sort through everything we owned and did some Garage Sales to get rid of the stuff we didn't want. We sold one car and moved out of our house to my parents on April1st. On April 3rd we had a farewell evening with family and friends. It felt strange as it wasn't like your normal "goodbye, see you later" as you don't know when you will see them next.

We had already opened a bank account in Canada on one of our visits so transferring the money was quite simple and we did this on April 5th, the day before we left.

The morning of April 6th arrived and it was time to leave. After checking we had everything and the packing was complete we headed for the airport; me, Mette, our two children, Rosie our dog and my parents who were coming to wave us off. We checked in at Heathrow Airport and Rosie was taken off in her crate. My parents said their goodbyes and we waited for our call. We boarded our plane, sat back and knew that we were on our way to our new life in Canada.

When we arrived in Canada we stayed at my sisters in Vancouver for a week. During this time we had Easter, which was good for helping the children settle, and we obtained our SIN numbers and bought a van.

Living on the Lakefront
A week later we went across to Vancouver Island and rented a lakefront house for a month. It was nice to have a break after all the stresses of emigrating. While living there we looked at houses and indeed bought one and from putting in the offer to moving in to the house was just three weeks. Now we had our own new home in Canada it seemed a lot more real.

I got a job in the social health care field, Mette retrained as a Realtor and the children settled into their schools, clubs and activities. We all made friends and started living and loving our Canadian life.

Since then we have moved house, bought and sold vehicles, been to the dentist, doctors and hospital (we could have done without the last three) and enjoyed visits from friends and relatives.

Oh, and we started up this company, Emi-Great Relocation Specialists. We know what it's like living with all the frustrations and aggravations of emigrating and relocating, struggling to find out information while living away. We hope this website will help you find the information required to assist you to your chosen destination.

Many thanks,

Darren and Mette Hobden.

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