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Pre-arrival Service : Planning for Canada – COA

There are two pre-arrival services available here in the Philippines for those people migrating to Canada, the Planning for Canada and Pathways to Canada. As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, we already attended the Pathways to Canada on February 19, 2018 at their Davao branch office. The Planning for Canada sessions are only available in their Manila Office except for special sessions in Davao and Cebu. But for those people coming from provinces, they can avail the online sessions.

How To Register in Planning For Canada

We grab the opportunity to attend the Planning for Canada orientation on February 27 and 28, 2018 since we will be going to Manila. At first we thought that the Planning for Canada orientation is only conducted by Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP). But as we signed up for an orientation, we were assigned to Canadian Orientation Abroad (COA) an affiliate of International Organization for Migration (IOM).  We found out that CIIP schedule is every Monday and Tuesday while for COA is every Tuesdays and Wednesday.

We registered online at Planning for Canada on January 25, 2018. Fritz and I registered separately. We provide our UCI numbers and a screenshot of our Permanent Residence application profile where the UCI was found.  In less than five minutes after the registration, we received the registration confirmation and informed us that a regional office staff will contact us within five business days to confirm the date and location of the Group Orientation (GO) and My Action Plan (MAP) sessions. And within the day we received the session confirmation email from COA- Manila with the place, date and time of the session, things to bring, what to expect and a map of their office.

Location of Planning For Canada – COA

Come February 27, 2018. We arrived at the IOM office located on the 24th floor of the Citibank Tower around 7:30 am. At the building lobby we need to log in and secured a visitor pass in exchange of our valid IDs. Then log in again at the guard of the IOM office before we proceeded to the front desk.  From this point you are as if in the land of Maple Leaf since all the people you came in contact only speak in English even some of them are Filipinos.

At the front desk our passports were checked. Notepads, pens and reading materials as well as our name tags were provided. Supposed to be we were 15 participants for the Group Orientation (GO) but only 13 showed up. Out of 13, only three were under PNP stream, the rest were under Family Sponsorship.

Planning-For-Canada-COA-Office

The Sessions

Our speaker for the group Orientation is Ms. Mary from Toronto.  We started at 8am and ended at 5pm. Snacks and lunch were provided during the session. It was quite a long day but it passes so quickly. During the session we had individual and group activities. We even had a short quiz about Canada’s provinces and territories.  We ended our session with a group picture of the attendees.

Planning-For-Canada-COA-Lunch
Our FREE Lunch!

Our My Action Plan (MAP) session was on February 28, 2018 at 9am. It was a one on one session with a Canadian – trained orientation officer for an hour. During MAP we create an individualized action plan based on our employment background as well as our short term and long term goals which we provided during the GO session. We also received feedback on how to improve our resume. Our facilitator during the MAP is Ms Julie from Quebec.  According to Ms Julie our MAP will be forwarded to their partner organizations in Canada to further assist us with our preparations.

The following day, Fritz received an email from the Go Talent Team of Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC). While a Pre-arrival Settlement Worker from New Brunswick contacted us after two days.

I’m really grateful for the opportunity to attend both the Group Orientation (GO) and My Action Plan (MAP) sessions of Planning to Canada by COA-Manila. The things we learned during the sessions and the support we received after help us with our preparations. With the uncertainty with no family in a new place ahead of us is a bit scary.  But during the session we had a little bit picture of what to expect on our life will be in the land of Maple Leaf.

Planning-For-Canada-COA

What struck me the most during the session was the advised of Ms. Mary. Moving to a new place with new people and culture won’t be easy. There will be hardships and stumbling blocks. But we should learn to get out of our comfort zone. We should adapt the Canadian culture and become familiar and comfortable with the surroundings. We should make new friends. Above all, if we feel discourage we should always remember our purpose why we migrate to Canada.

Planning-For-Canada-COA-Group-Picture
Group Picture after the Session 🙂

Our Application Timeline

NBPNP EOI September 7, 2017
NBPNP ITA October 13, 2017
Full Docs SentOctober 18, 2017
Docs ReceivedOctober 24, 2017
NBPNP AOROctober 27, 2017
NominationDecember 4, 2017
Upfront MedicalDecember 6, 2017
CIC ITADecember 6, 2017
CIC Full ApplicationDecember 11, 2017
CIC AORDecember 11, 2017
Medical PassedJanuary 5, 2018
IP2February 27, 2018
Passport Request Letter (PPR)May 1, 2018
Passport SubmissionMay 2, 2018
Visa On HandMay 10, 2018
Landed in New BrunswickSoon
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