The Emigration Art Of Digging Up Documents - Part 1

Monday, June 18, 2012
Before we even sent off our initial application to Canada, about six months before that, hubby and I were both already busy gathering all the long-lost documents required for the application.

I was not deceived by the 120-day grace period given to compile the requirements once your initial application was approved. I knew that gathering documents in itself was time-consuming, and there were so many things that could go wrong. It was really better to be prepared for things to go wrong outside of the grace period, rather than pressurise yourself into fixing the problems within.

For my documents, it was relatively easy to compile. Most of my certificates and whatnots were South African based.

The first things I worked on were:

*Certificates of service* - I contacted all my old employers and asked for a certificate of service to be mailed. I was lucky enough to have had contacts in most of the places, and where I did not have, I spoke to somebody at the HR department and confirmed my employment with them. Once I got the confirmation telephonically, I asked the person nicely if they could put that in some sort of letterhead and mail to me.

*Reference letters* - Again, I personally contacted all my old bosses/supervisors. I think it works best when it is personal and heartfelt. It gave me a bit of time to catch up with them and their lives. The only issue that I found was that most of them did not really know what to say or did not want to say anything bad about me (haha). I ended up having to write my own reference letters. I used Google for some reference letter templates to describe how impeccable and brilliant I was. I then emailed the letters and asked my old employers to put in on their letterheads and sign off. Of course, they have to agree with what was written. I think I may have left them dumbstruck at how highly I thought of myself. LOL.

*Unabridged birth certificates of children* and *Unabridged marriage certificate* - Since both of my kids were born in South Africa, and hubby and I were married here as well, a trip to the local Department of Home Affairs was all we needed. I was quite concerned as the Department was going through an overhaul at that time. The media was all over the Department after a man had killed himself out of despair that he could not get the identity document that he needed for a job. It was a sad incident but I am thankful that it served as a wake-up call for the Department to improve its service to the masses. I got all the certificates back in 4 months.

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