Late last year, while driving in an endless traffic along EDSA, I realized how the Philippines is not really conducive for building a family mainly due to traffic, of course, along with pollution, poor government benefits and services and political shenanigans. Then, I thought of migration. It took me a while to convince my wife to move to another country but for the sake of our kid and future kids, she agreed that we “need” to migrate.

We were choosing between New Zealand and Canada. Both have almost the same requirements and benefits but due to Canada’s Express Entry Program, processing time became the deal-breaker. We opted for Canada and started our preparation of requirements as soon as we had enough idea and details.
Migrating needs serious thinking and dedication in terms of time and effort to research. You can hire consultants but they are just there to create a checklist for you, schedule your meetings and ask large amount of money in return when everything today can be researched online.

First thing you should do when you’ve decided on migrating is to research what country is the best for you. Make a shortlist of the possible countries that you would like to live in. Things that you should take into consideration are the government benefits and services, labor market, tax rates, school system and weather (if it’s one of your preferences though this is the least of our concern). You might also want to consider the country’s proximity to your home country because most probably you’ll fly back home from time to time.

Second, you should research about the immigration process of each country – visa fee, requirements and timeline. This way, you can compare it against your budget, target dates and other objectives. Each country has their website pertaining to the immigration process. The internet is always there at your disposal so if you want to save money while learning the ins and outs of migration, then DO IT YOURSELF.

Lastly, network with other people whom you think has the expertise and experience of the process and/or living in that particular country that you are targeting. It will save you a lot of time and will ease up your decision-making.
You could hire immigration consultants if you want but if you want to save money; you can research, research and research. At the end of the day, there’s nothing much that these consultants can do if ever the visa officer decided to reject your application.

Our Canadian PR visas have been approved and we are currently in the visa printing phase. On the next entry, I’ll be detailing the process for the Express Entry Program, at least on how we did it.
Stay tuned.

EDSA aka Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue is the most busy stretch of highway in Manila, Philippines. It’s hell there during rush hour.