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Hey, Thanks to everyone who replied with their best wishes. While Amsterdam may still be in my future, I'm beginning to explore other options, first and foremost, Vancouver. I'm a lifelong nature lover who enjoys hiking, climbing, paddling, and snowboarding, so in many ways, Vancouver would be a perfect fit. I've heard it has a very laid back and welcoming attitude, as well as a vibrant arts community.
Here's the only problem...it seems that if I want to stay for an extended period of time (which I do), I'll need a temporary residency permit and a temporary work permit as well. From what I could understand from consulate websites and such, to get a temporary work permit you need extensive skills and experience for a company or employer to be willing to "sponsor" you, which means they will ensure that you get the necessary temporary work and residency permits. Being a recent college grad with an English degree (no, I don't want to teach, or do anything related to that degree as a matter of fact), I have limited skills and experience.
But here's what I'm thinking...I'll fly out to Vancouver with enough money to support myself for a few months. I'll stay in hostels for around $15 a night (around $450 a month) and I'll look for jobs while I'm there. I figure I can't get sponsored/hired by a company based on my resume or email correspondance alone, and that if I meet with an employer face to face, I have a much better chance of getting hired and then sponsored, and once that is accomplished, getting a temporary residency permit should be easy.
In any case, I would want to meet my potential boss and check out the vibe in my potential workplace before committing, and I would hope that my boss/company would rely more on a person-to-person converstaion, rather than a piece of paper describing my accomplishments. Then I can go to the consulate and tell them I came to Vancouver on vacation, fell in love with the city and Canadians as a whole, have a job set up, and would like to live there for an extended period of time. This seems like a better bet than trying to break through all the beaurocratic red tape from a computer screen half a world away.
While I would take a professional job if I could find one, I would also be happy to wait tables in a restaurant, or something of the sort (I have restaurant and retail sales experience). So, how does this sound to everyone, esecially those who live in Canada and may have some first hand experience (or know someone who has) of this process? I figure that if I want to live and work in a foreign country, if it doesn't work out in Canada, then it probably wouldn't work anywhere else either. If I can't find work or get a temporary residency permit, I could always take a Greyhound bus down into Washington, or even northern California, as I've heard the West coast is pretty chill too.
But I really have my heart set on Vancouver. Oh, and by the way, all my internet research on living and working in Canada leads to the same damn Canadian consulate website which takes me around in circles and offers little to no practical information, which is why I was hoping to get the inside scoop from one of you. And I'm still looking for that same lifestyle- to make just enough money to support myself so I can spend all my free time playing guitar and drawing in the streets...and smoking that B.C. weed I've heard a thing or two about.
-------------------- Truth is the daughter of time, time doesn't exist...
Truth cannot exist within the human convention of time- The Goat Hath Spoken
go for Vancouver!, Amsterdam is gross I seen a show about it on PBS, it looked nasty, who cares if weed is legal there, it is legal there because you need to be high to deal with how boring it is, I like the mountains myself, always have, always will!
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