April 8th was the day I hopped off a plane, moved to a new country, started living with a boy, and began one of the best summers of my life. Almost 6 months later, the leaves are now falling off the trees and my time in Calgary has to come to an end. Yes, I say “Has to” because I am only allowed 180 days in Canada without a work permit…
After waiting 15 weeks for my work permit, it was rejected due to “lack of evidence of how you qualify for an open work permit exempt from the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment and/or a job offer from a potential employer in Canada.”
I know what you’re thinking, “What does that even mean?” I have been asking myself that same question for weeks. All I know is I now have to leave Calgary, leave Mat and leave this amazing city I was able to explore and fall in love with.
Canada is an amazing country that is filled with friendly people, beautiful cities, the most gorgeous mountains I have ever seen, cute cowboys, awesome poutine, and a Tim Hortons on every corner….But the process of living in this country was way more challenging, confusing, and tedious than I thought. Although I might have been naive at how easy the system would be, I just thought, what country wouldn’t want a hard-working college graduate that speaks English and is willing to pay taxes and contribute to society. Apparently Canada….However, I came to realize that part of the problem was that I was from the United States. Canada welcomes Australians, New Zealanders, and Syrian Refugees with open arms, but an American girl just trying to be happy and be with her best friend is shit out of luck.
Coming to Calgary I had a plan to apply to countless jobs, go on interviews and hope to find a company that would see my potential and sponsor me. I knew that I was more likely to get a work permit with a job offer from a company in Calgary. So I tried my hardest for 4 months, sending out resumes to every marketing firm and related job posting in Calgary. I had a couple phone interviews, but when asked...”Are you eligible to work in Canada?” I had to respond truthfully with a NO. Due to that response, companies were no longer interested and the interviews were cut short. I even went on a couple in-person interviews, after it all, I actually received a job offer from an e-commerce furniture company for social media management, but when I explained I would need to be sponsored, the company explained they wouldn’t sponsor me and would only hire me if I received my work permit.
I soon realized the system and work permit process was so backward and almost impossible. The Canadian government wanted me to have a job offer to get the work permit but to get a job, companies needed me to have the work permit.
Slightly defeated by the process, I came to realize that Mat and I might not be able to be together right now, but we will figure out another way. I couldn’t help but feel like I had let myself down…I jumped 2 feet into this move, even sold my bed and all my furniture only to have to repack my things and move yet again.
Although this move might not be my first choice, I have to look at it with positivity and opportunity to explore and continue to be naturally diverged. Saying goodbye to Mat (again) will be very hard, but we had an amazing summer filled with hiking, camping, road trips, stampede, concerts, family visits, and weekend getaways. I am a very lucky girl and this move has changed me for the better. Now I know a couple things…1. Mat and I can live together without killing each other 2. Calgary is a place I could one day call Home 3. Everything happens for a reason and maybe it wasn’t my time to settle down.
Moving forward, I am not too sure of my plan…I could move back to Buffalo or move home to Southern California. All I do know is I plan to work my butt off for a year, save up as much as I can and hopefully return to Calgary. I will be continuing my journey and be making a promise to myself to be happy, healthy, positive, and optimistic no matter where this road takes me.