With today’s technology, everything is made convenient. You just need a computer, a scanner/printer and an internet connection and you are almost good to go.
We thought applying for a Canadian Visa Online would be so easy. All you need is to go to their website, www.cic.gc.ca. Fill up their application form. Submit all the needed documents online and in matter of 2 to 3 weeks, it will get approved. You send them your passport and they send it back to you. Wrong!
I started tinkering with the website last December, 2015. Little by little, I started scanning, attaching and uploading the needed documents and forms. (For the list of documents, kindly read this.) I finally completed it last January 13, 2016. I got an acknowledgment email the next day. It said that our online application was already received and that we should wait for further instructions.
I thought, WOW! This is really easy. But then, there was no message after that. I waited and waited and waited. Everytime there was an email from the CIC, I get so giddy and excited. I log in and check if there’s something. There was none.
About a month later, February 21, 2016 to be exact, I finally got a message. They are asking about my husband. You see, only me and my children applied online, my husband didn’t need to. So, CIC asked if the father of the children will be travelling with us. The portal is opened again so I could send them the documents they need. I sent them the proof (plane ticket) that my husband will be joining us and the proof of our marriage and the birth certificates of the kids. I even wrote a letter explaining why he didn’t need a Visa anymore and why we are going to Canada.
Again, I got an acknowledgment that it was received. The status of the online application – additional documents – was changed to Provided. Meaning we already provided the needed additional documents. 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks, 4 weeks, there were no messages, no updates in our application.
We are stressing out because our flight’s in less than 2 months. It’s almost the end of April and we fly by 1st week of June. We didn’t foresee that this could take more than 3 months.
Oh and let me tell you, during those 3 months, emails and follow ups were sent to almost all CIC email addresses I could see in their website. But I didn’t get any valid reply. It’s always an auto reply or an auto generated email. Or an email to say that if my inquiry was within the normal processing time, I wouldn’t get any reply.
I certainly didn’t get any. We were really losing hope and thinking that our visas wouldn’t come out.
One day, April 21, 2016, exactly 2 months from the last correspondence, we decided to try our luck in the Canadian Embassy Office located in Makati City. Fortunately, the Front Desk Officer my husband talked to accommodated and helped him. She coordinated with someone from the Visa Office about our dilemma.
Turned out that Online Visa Applications are sent directly to the Canadian Embassy in Canada! No wonder my emails don’t get any reply. The girl from the Visa Office emailed her counterpart in Canada and 30 minutes after my husband left the Canadian Embassy, we received an email requesting for our passports to be sent for stamping of Visa!!!
FINALLY! Our passports are now with VFS, the provider of Canadian Embassy, and it will be sent back to us within the week with our Visas. Thank God.
Biggest lesson learned? Apply through paper. Haha!