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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings everyone! This is my first post, so you'll have to excuse me if I'm asking dumb questions. I've looked around a bit, but lots of the advice I saw was very specific to people within certain professions. Seeing that you guys are so helpful, I thought you might be able to help me out.

My fiancé and I recently moved to Oregon from Alaska (we both grew up there), and we quickly realized that proper city life wasn't for us, and that our ideals don't really conform to those of many US citizens. After visiting Canada a few times, we felt it was a civilized version of Alaska and it seemed perfect for us (specifically the Vancouver area). We want to move when our lease is up at the end of May, but we're not really sure on how to get in.

We've both read a bunch of information on various websites and we're not 100% sure what applies to us. First off, before we try for citizenship, we want to make sure we like it. I've read that one can spend 6 months in Canada pretty easily, but one is not allowed to work in this time unless one attains a work permit (or however it's called). Our plan was to move there temporarily for 6 months and live off of our savings while looking for work, and hopefully finding an employer willing to do the paperwork involved with hiring a non-Canadian resident.

Here's a bit more info before I list off my questions:

I work from home as a web developer doing contract work for US-based companies. My fiance is also a skilled technical worker (she builds Linux clusters, and is one in only a handful of people with her specific skill-set), currently working for Intel. She has no degree, but has at least 5 years of experience in this field. The lack of degree seems to prevent being allowed into Canada through NAFTA (under the field name: computer systems analyst), even though her experience more than outweighs what one would get from the ~1 extra year of college she needs to graduate.

Here are my questions:
  1. Does this seem like a solid plan?
  2. How will crossing the boarder work with all our belongings?
  3. Will we need more than just an ID-card version of a passport?
  4. Do people generally rent places for 6 months to people who aren't Canadian citizens?
  5. Since I work from home, can I still work for US-based companies while in Canada?
  6. Would it be possible to pick up Canadian clients for short 1-2 month contracts, or would this require the client to fill out all the paperwork for hiring a non-citizen?
  7. Would it be easier to make the move if we were already married, or is it fine to wait until we're in Canada (we want to be somewhere we like before we do the whole wedding thing)?
  8. What would be the best way to get into Canada for the initial six months? and
  9. What would we be required to do in order to extend our stay (assuming we like it, which we should) once we're there?

If you need more info, I'd be more than happy to provide it. Thanks in advance for all the help!
 

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You could check out Pt Roberts WA, which is in the US, but effectively a Vancouver suburb and see if you can rent there. One way to get close without actually residing in Vancouver as you check things out and see about getting permanent resident status. Blaine, WA is another option, but not a particularly attractive town and a more hassle border crossing.

There is an easier way to immigrate via the provincial nomination program. you may want to check out if it applies to you. Go to my website at Vancouver Canada Tourism and click on the immigration section. There is an immigration lawyers (a good one) banner there. Their site has a lot of info on that subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We're trying the 6-month (max) guest thing. We've already found a place to rent, and we'll be heading there in about a month.

Since we don't have access to a truck or anything of the sort, we'll be using the U-Haul Pods service to get our stuff there. Supposedly they do most everything for you, but if anyone has any insight into this service, let me know how it went for you!
 

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Well that is taking the bull by the horns. You do realize you have to apply for permanent resident status from outside Canada don't you? Mind you Portland is only 6 hours drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
From what I was able to research, you're allowed to stay for six months without permanent resident status. During this time, you cannot be employed in Canada, and after the six months is up you have to leave. I figure while we apply for permanent resident status, we'll just rent a place (assuming it takes that long) in Washington until we're accepted.

We're hoping to find a sponsor while living there.

Am I wrong? If so, it's time to panic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think you should be OK. Good luck. If you can line up a promise of employment, that will help a lot.
Understood.

As I mentioned, I'm a freelancer, so I don't think I could really qualify for a proper promise of employment (although finding Canadian clients would be relatively easy), but hopefully my fiance can find a sponsor.

If anyone happens to know any cool loopholes for freelancers, I would be most grateful for a link or two!
 
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