How do I apply for jobs I can’t take for the next ten months?
August 3, 2009 10:01 AM   Subscribe

For immigration purposes, I need to apply for jobs ten months before I move. How to do this productively?

First AskMe, please be gentle!

Backstory: I am a dual Canadian/US citizen, born and raised in Toronto, doing an MFA in the States. I also did my undergrad in the US, and met my wonderful boyfriend of five years (US citizen only) there. I will graduate in May 2010 and at that point would like to move back to Canada permanently, particularly before my school health plan runs out and my Ontario health plan gets cancelled. I would also like to take my boyfriend with me, also permanently. The problem here is not proving our common-law relationship, that’s easy. The problem is that, though I pay resident taxes in Canada, Canada does not see me as a resident for immigration purposes, and thus I need to prove I intend to cut ties with the US and move to Canada. Immigration lawyer, when consulted, told me that the best way to “prove” this is to apply for jobs in Toronto. We need to submit the application by the end of August to give ourselves as much processing time as possible so that we have a chance of being able to move cross-border when we get kicked out of grad housing at the end of May 2010. Thus, I need to apply for jobs NOW. Problem is, I can’t start work until June 2010.

How do I apply for jobs that are available now while I am currently unable to take them without looking like a lunatic? I don’t want to apply for jobs in bad faith, and conceivably I’d like the many cover letters I’m going to write to have some chance of being useful. I recognize there may be no chance of this, and particularly in these trying economic times I certainly don’t expect any company to bend over backwards for me, but it’s the ideal. At very least, I don’t want to make a horrible impression on companies I would enjoy working for - just ten months from now, not immediately!

I know where to go to look for jobs that are currently being offered, and how to apply for specific positions. (Though if someone knows a great Toronto-area job site, feel free to toss it into the mix! Ivy League degrees in English and Dramaturgy, interested in writing, theatre, communications, archival, PR jobs – anything geared towards that?) I just don’t know how to do the job application version of a cold call, particularly a cold call for a service that’s not available for almost a year! How do I go about this? How do I phrase this quirk in a cover letter? Is this insanely abnormal? Do I apply for currently-advertised positions and just tweak the cover letter somehow, or send a general letter to a company? There is a chance I could finish my thesis early and start working in January while my boyfriend stays in our New York apartment; we were hoping to avoid a long separation, but should I mention this? Please advise, and thank you very much.
posted by ilana to Work & Money (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As a thought, my brother is currently finishing up his studies and applying for jobs now that don't start until next year through corporate graduate recruitment. It is understood that jobs don't start for many months from now. Perhaps give your university's careers centre a call?
posted by wingless_angel at 10:15 AM on August 3, 2009

One thing that might work is asking people for informational interviews. That is, you talk with them about their jobs, their company, and so on. It sometimes leads to jobs, and is a common and good idea for people in their last year of school. Your first letters out to these targeted people could say just that: You want to know more about their careers, advice they may give someone first starting out, information about working in their industry and for their company.

You can do these over the phone, or in person, whichever is more convenient for the person you are meeting with. This article gives some suggested questions you can ask during the interview; googling "informational interview" gives a lot of other links.

Perhaps ask your immigration lawyer if these will work to prove your intent to move.
posted by Houstonian at 10:18 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

This is bizarre. You're a citizen, why do you need to immigrate? My (Canadian) wife and I spent nine years in the US, nine years where she was most definitely not paying Canadian resident taxes because, well, she wasn't a resident. No healthcare, no nothing. We moved to Canada in 2007, and I had to deal with immigration and permits and etc. etc. etc, and she just, well, just showed up. Because she was a citizen, you see.

Are you sure you're getting this right? I'm sorry if this sounds patronizing or if I'm missing something, but I really think your immigration lawyer is wrong or you presented information wrongly to the immigration lawyer or somehow communications between you and the Canadian immigration folks left them with the impression that you were not a citizen.
posted by the dief at 10:29 AM on August 3, 2009

Response by poster: the dief, I don't have to immigrate, but I have to prove I'm a viable sponsor. I can move back to Canada at any time, but because I'm a dual citizen, I can also stay in the States indefinitely. Because we're doing an outside application, and I "reside outside Canada," I have to prove I intend to resume residence in Canada.
posted by ilana at 10:49 AM on August 3, 2009

(Though if someone knows a great Toronto-area job site, feel free to toss it into the mix! Ivy League degrees in English and Dramaturgy, interested in writing, theatre, communications, archival, PR jobs – anything geared towards that?)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:50 AM on August 3, 2009

I have to prove I intend to resume residence in Canada.

Why not just come up by yourself for awhile, grab a driver's license and a health card, and then try it?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:53 AM on August 3, 2009

We applied common law outside spousal. My partner is a dual citizen who had been living in the States for 8 years. All he had to do to move back was tell the customs agent he was returning to Canada to live and get his household goods custom forms stamped.

You'll want to look at the CIC's Guide to Sponsorship.

On the Application to Sponsor and Undertaking one of the questions in the eligibility assessment is "do you reside in Canada and in no other country?" If the answer is no, you are instructed to see Who Can Sponsor in the Guide for information which says "Canadian citizens not residing in Canada may sponsor their spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner and/or dependent children who have no dependent children of their own. Canadians travelling abroad as tourists are not considered to be residing outside Canada.

Sponsors not residing in Canada must provide evidence that they reside exclusively outside Canada on the date of giving the undertaking and will reside in Canada at the time their sponsored spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner and/or children become permanent residents of Canada. Evidence that they will reside in Canada may include one or more of the following:

* letter from an employer;
* letter of acceptance to a Canadian educational institution;
* proof of having rented/bought a dwelling in Canada;
* reasonable plans for re-establishing in Canada or severing ties to the other country."

It sounds like you have a pretty straightforward immigration case so you should be able to simply show that you have a plan for finding a job, an apartment, have Canadian bank accounts, etc.

I would also recommend printing out the guide and the entire application and reading over everything about 20 times.

If your partner is an American citizen and has nothing like a felony arrest to complicate the issue, it should be fairly easy for him to apply for PR.

We just went through all of this so feel free to contact me.
posted by betsybetsy at 11:03 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I have a friend who was turned down for this very reason - because the government decided that her plans to move back were not solid enough, and that she might not move back at all. This indicates that it may be a relationship that was formed just to get the partner into Canada, or that they may end up with a sponsored immigrant with no sponsor. For that reason informational interviews are not enough, nor is simply having a plan (or a health card and driver's license).

If you sign a lease, that works as well - it's also a problem to do so far out, but might be more feasible than finding a job.

I've had to do this the (emotionally) difficult way, moving back without my SO, then filing the application. It means that we will be apart for an indeterminate number of months, but it was the only way we could do it successfully, and will be worth it in the long run. But seeing that your partner is American, can you not get him an extended visa here (very easy if he goes to school) and then apply once you are both in Canada? You might need to support both of you while the permanent residency is sorted out, but at least you'll be together. This wasn't an option for me since my husband comes from a country where it is almost impossible to get a visitor's visa, but I doubt that it would be so difficult for an American.

Good luck with all this, I'm in the middle of it so I know how tough it can be to sort out.
posted by scrute at 11:27 AM on August 3, 2009

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