Want to try your luck in another country? Married couple Japoy and Jan Lizardo gave tips on how to migrate in Canada from the Philippines.
What can you read in this article?
- Why Jan and Japoy decided to move to Canada
- How to get a student visa in Canada from the Philippines
- Why it’s helpful to hire an immigration lawyer
When we become parents, our perspectives and priorities change. In every plan and decision that we make, we no longer think of what’s only convenient for us. Now, it’s all about what will be best for our children.
This is why a lot of parents, despite having comfortable lives here in the Philippines, look for greener pastures and migrate to a different country with their family. Such is the case for celebrity vloggers and married couple Jan and Japoy Lizardo.
‘Why we went to Canada’
In their YouTube vlog entry entitled “Why we went to Canada plus the processes we did,” the couple opened up about their decision to uproot their small family in the Philippines and try their luck in Canada. They also shared some details about the process of how to migrate in Canada from the Philippines and how to get a student visa in Canada from the Philippines.
In the first video, they talked about how they got to the decision to bring their family to Canada, and the process and preparations they did to reach their goal.
Make sure you’re all in
According to the couple, before getting into all the processes and requirements to apply for a residence visa in Canada, the first step that you should make as a couple, as a parent, or as a family is to decide that you really want to do it.
“You have to decide talaga kung gusto niyo pumunta dito. Kasi syempre ibang life talaga kapag lumipat ka ng ibang place o ibang country,” said Daddy Japoy.
As we always here from Pinoys in another country, “Mahirap ang buhay abroad.” So before you begin with your application, you have to decide if you’re willing to go through all the changes and the adjustments of living in a foreign place.
“Dapat naka-mindset kayo na iba young magiging buhay niyo dito,” said the leader of the Lizardo Squad.
‘Why we decided to go’
For most Pinoy families who want to live in another country, the most important question is not the “how” but the “Why.”
And like any parent who wants the best for their kids, the primary reason that Japoy and Jan decided to migrate is to provide a better future for their children, Jace and Jevi. And as most Filipinos living there say, Canada is a great place to migrate to as a family because of all the benefits and opportunities that are available to the children.
“Before, we had the opportunity na pumunta dito, pero we didn’t grab it then. Pero okay lang ‘yon kasi naisip namin ito ‘yong God’s perfect time for us to go,”shared Mommy Jan.
“Ang pinaka-reason namin is ‘yong kids. Sila ‘yong naisip namin, for their future. So they have options din when they grow up,” she added.
Image from Jan Lizardo’s Instagram account
How to migrate in Canada from the Philippines
The couple shared that they started the whole process of preparing the requirements to apply for a visa in August of last year. Once they have decided that they wanted to give it a try, they hired an immigration lawyer to help them with their application.
Here are the steps they took to put in fruition their plans of moving to Canada as a family.
1. Get an immigration lawyer or a licensed authorized representative
As mentioned, the couple hired an immigration lawyer based in Canada to help them with the entire process. Some people choose to skip this step and apply on their own. But for Jan and Japoy, this was such an important step, especially for those who are not very familiar with the guidelines and procedures in applying for a residency visa.
“When it comes to guidelines, processes, wala kaming idea kung paano. ‘Yong immigration lawyer namin, siya ang nag-asikaso ng lahat,”shared Japoy.
“We want to have a smooth process na hindi kam nagkaka-problema, and if ever man magkaproblema, may sasalo sa’min. It was actually a very smooth process because of our immigration lawyer,”added Mommy Jan.
We know that applying for a visa usually involves shelling out a big amount of money, so getting an immigration lawyer or representative is one way to protect your investment. These professionals went through proper training and certification and passed examinations and qualifications so they surely know what they are doing.
2. Start the assessment
After they got an assessment (application to Canada is via points system, the more points you acquire, the more likely you will be given an invitation to apply for residency), their lawyer helped them decide on which path to take for their visa application.
The couple decide that the best pathway for them was for Japoy to apply for a student visa and have his spouse and children as his dependents. While a student permit is considered a temporary residence permit, you can always apply for a permanent residency visa once you have already stayed in Canada for a while.
Also, take note that if you’re on a student permit, your spouse will be granted an open-work permit. Student permit holders can also work but only for 20 hours a week.
(In a separate vlog, the couple invited their immigration lawyer, Atty. Lou Janssen Dangzalan to give a few tips how to get student visa in Canada from the Philippines.)
3. Prepare the requirements
After they had decided on their pathway, their lawyer sent them a list of the requirements they would need to prepare for Japoy’s student visa application. Here are some of the documents that they mentioned:
- birth and marriage certificates (for the applicant and dependents)
- travel history
- police or NBI clearance
4. Choose a program or course
To apply for the student visa, you need to choose a program or course that you will be applying to. The immigration lawyer they hired had some tie-ups with schools in Canada, which made it easier for them to choose a school.
The couple mentioned that some ways to strengthen your application for a student visa are:
- Choose a course that is already related to what you have been doing in your country of origin (for example, if you’re into video editing, choose a course in multimedia design and arts).
- In your application letter, state why you wanted to study in Canada and how it is related to the progression of your career ( just writing “I want to live in Canada” isn’t going to cut it).
You will need a letter of acceptance from the school you are applying to for the visa application.
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5. Prepare the additional requirements
To strengthen their application, their immigration lawyer asked Japoy and Jan to prepare documents that show their proof of ties with the Philippines (if you have any properties or business in the country).
When you apply for a student permit, you will also be asked for proof of funds, to attest that you can pay for your studies and stay in Canada. In layman terms, we refer to it as “show money.” According to Atty. Dangzalan, the rate right now is 10,000 Canadian dollars for the principal applicant, exclusive of the rate for the dependents.
However, you may also present a letter of support from parents or relatives indicating that they will help you fund your education and stay in Canada.
6. Submit your application
Once you have all the necessary documents and you feel that your application is strong enough. You can submit your application, and have your biometrics taken at their embassy or immigration. Daddy Japoy submitted his application in January and got approved in April.
“Three months of waiting, it’s not so bad. It was a really smooth process for us,” said Mommy Jan.
After getting their application approved, the couple had started preparing for their big move. They also had to attend pre-departure seminars and prepare more documents for their departure. Because of the ongoing pandemic, they also had to be aware of the travel restrictions and protocols. Their immigration lawyer assisted them throughout the whole thing.
The whole process on how to migrate in Canada from the Philippines was not a walk in the park. But the couple said that it was smooth with the help of their lawyer.
They also advise those who want to try their luck in Canada to apply as early as possible and be cooperative with your immigration lawyer or authorized representative to make the whole process as fast and smooth as possible.
For more tips on applying for a student permit to Canada, you can watch their vlog featuring their immigration lawyer here.
Image from Jan Lizardo’s Instagram account