Category Archives: canada

On this page:
  • Canada and Web 2.0 conferences
  • First accumulated snowfall
  • Took the IELTS
  • Work permit on its way
  • Okay, I can solve that
  • Paperwork hassles

Canada and Web 2.0 conferences

A colleague asked me about Web 2.0 and social networking conferences in Canada, so I figured I’d post it here too. Here are the big ones I know about:

Any really cool ones I missed?

First accumulated snowfall

When I opened the door this morning to freezing rain and accumulated
snowfall on the ground, I nearly turned around and walked back in. W-
gave me a big warm hug, which is good because sometimes I have very
few other reasons to put up with this weather.

The subway was packed packed packed, and I left my lunch bag on the
eastbound train. =(

Time to dust off the parkas and bring out the toques. Winter is here.

Not everything is gloomy. I’m looking forward to toasting my toes near
the fireplace and warming my lap with, well, a computer. ;) It’s time
to bake lasagna and make hearty soups, time to fill the house with the
comforting aroma of chocolate chip cookies when J- is out and peanut
butter cookies when she’s in. I’m looking forward to tobogganing down
the slopes of High Park, too. I guess that’ll be my winter
sport—that, and enjoying hot chocolate!

I still think the Philippines does Christmas better, but at least
winter gets a little bit easier to manage each year…

I really want to work out this working from home bit.

Random Emacs symbol: apropos-mode – Command: Major mode for following hyperlinks in output of apropos commands.

Took the IELTS

Canada’s skilled worker point system includes points for language
proficiency, which can be proved either through a letter or through a
standardized test. I decided to go for the standardized test so that
it wouldn’t be a potential hiccup in my application. The most
convenient option seemed to be the IELTS. I did that test today.

The IELTS wasn’t difficult, although the writing section was somewhat
tiring. I had just enough time to do a little composition and
revision. I’m reasonably happy with the quality of the essay that I
wrote. The speaking test was a lot of fun, too. The questions asked
happened to be related to a topic that I’d read a lot about lately, so
I not only had a strong opinion, but the facts to back it up. ;)

W- and I enjoyed joking about the test preparation. A website I
checked out last night advised strategies such as using “high-quality”
words in the essay portion in order to impress examiners. “Apropos”
was one such “high-quality” word proposed by the website. Although
I’ve been teased about my vocabulary before, I don’t do it to sound
educated, and I refuse to use the word “utilize” when “use” is fine.
We had much fun making up sentences with lots of buzzwords and jargon,
though! (Should be good preparation for IBM! ;) )

Random Emacs symbol: c-nonlabel-token-key – Variable: Regexp matching
things that can’t occur in generic colon labels,

Work permit on its way

A CIC official called me two days ago to clarify something on my
application for a post-graduate work permit. When we cleared that up,
she told me that my work permit should be done that day. Yay! I’m
looking forward to getting it in the mail. Of course, that probably
means less time to work on my book, but it’ll be good to work. =)

Random Emacs symbol: ccl-encode-euc-tw – Variable: CCL program to encode EUC-TW encoding.

Okay, I can solve that

I think I can deal with the temporary resident visa through mail.

Now the only thing I need to figure out is whether it’s
damn-the-cost-we’re-flying-home, or whether we can find something that
works out better…

Random Emacs symbol: bbdb-legal-zip-codes – Variable: List of regexps that match legal zip codes.

Paperwork hassles

This is more complicated than I thought.

The post-graduate work permit I am getting is most definitely not an
entry document, which means that if I step out of Canada, I’m going to
need to apply at an embassy for a temporary resident visa to get back
in. If I had applied for a work permit outside Canada, then the visa
would be automatic, but I don’t have the time.

I can apply for a temporary resident visa outside Canada. However,
this involves mailing my passport off. Which I’m going to have to do
anyway, so I might as well do it as soon as I’ve cleared the
requirements for my post-graduate work permit. Buffalo, NY is
reasonably fast – 43% of cases in 2 days or less.

I can apply for permanent residency through the consulate in Buffalo.
However, the process takes a while. Buffalo will only respond to
status checks after 18 months. Manila is even worse: “Applications can
be expected to be reviewed only 48 months (four years) from the date
we acknowledge receipt of a complete file.”

Other people have done it. I have to find them. Sometimes I’m tempted
to just throw my hands up in the air and take the easy way out. I can
build a life in the Philippines. It will be a pretty good one. It
might even be easier. I can’t fully explain my reasons for wanting to
explore to build this life bridging Canada and the US, but I *want* to
have that kind of life, so let’s make that happen.

So here’s what I need to sort out:

  • Post-graduate work permit: that’s the first thing I need
  • Temporary resident visa: good to have
  • Permanent residency application: as soon as the ink dries on my IBM onboarding papers
  • Renewal of work permit (two years)
  • US visa: good to have

Okay. I can do this.

Random Emacs symbol: strokes-describe-stroke – Command: Displays the command which STROKE maps to, reading STROKE interactively.