Woohoo! Been keeping it as a secret until I get my passport back! I know some of you are wondering why I went to Colombia and not posting anything.. well, this is for my wellness break and at the same time on a week-long "waiting game"...
I FINALLY GOT MY CANADA TOURIST VISA AND IT'S VALID UNTIL 2028 - 9 years validity! Now, I have a USA Visa valid until 2025, a UK visa valid until 2027 and a Canada visa until 2028 on my Philippines Passport.. the next goal is to get a permanent residence in an EU country! HAHA! 😍
Yes, it's my first time to get my Canadian visa but I've been writing about it and coaching people before because I already researched the process for myself.. I only had to wait to get it this year because of our sailing life and I also wanted to wait until I renew my Philippines passport to have the 10 years validity (I renewed in New York last August 2018) since Canada visa would give you a tourist visa until the expiration date of your passport! 🤟🙏
How did it go? I knew we'd have to go to Canada at some point this year but just never got the chance to apply but on February 15, I decided to do it online while coaching another client and have nothing else to do on our boat then the next day I received a request to do my biometrics (photos and fingerprint) in the VAC(Visa Applications Center) near me since it's a requirement now!
Jonathan was still in Japan that time so I had to wait for his arrival from Japan on February 21 so I can go to the office in San Juan, Puerto Rico which is an hour drive from where we are.
The next day, I got the confirmation that they received my biometrics and my application is under review. I'm confident that I will get the visa since I have all the requirements organized properly with my cover letter, I was not sure if they will grant me a single entry valid for 6 months or the multiple entry long-term visa that I requested on my cover letter! I only submitted a 4 day itinerary + hotel booking with flights reservation (rent-a-flight) for one time visit but I wrote on my letter that I want to keep coming back in the future.
I already knew that my next step would be to send my passport to the nearest VFS Global office to get the visa stamp.. there's no VFS in Puerto Rico so I would need to go to New York, Miami or in Latin America and I found the cheapest flight to Cartagena, Colombia ($360 return ticket) which is the reason why I booked my flight (but I already had plans of going for personal reasons) immediately.
I flew to Colombia on February 23 and on February 25, I received the notification to send my passport to the nearest VFS office which means the visa is approved (if rejected, they'll not ask for your passport). Feb 26 when they stamped my passport but had to wait until today (March 04) to get it delivered to my hotel here in Cartagena which is on time as I'm leaving on Friday (March 08) to go home! Now, I can relax and explore 🤟💋 Always grateful to God for the blessings and wisdom! 🙏
So my takeaway lessons here:
1. Yes, you can get a Canadian visa anywhere in the world (outside the Philippines) as long as you have a valid visa in the country where you're applying for the Biometrics & Passport Submission.
2. Online application is the easiest and fastest to do compared to VFS/ Canadian Embassy paper application- just make sure you fill up the forms and scan all the documents.
3. You don't need a sponsor in Canada to get a visa, you can use a hotel address (like what I did!).
4. Write a cover letter if you want a Multiple Entry Visa esp if you want the longer validity (up to 10 years)! If you don't know how, Jonathan can help you, check here
5. Renew your Philippines passport first with the 10 years validity because Canada can give you a multiple entry visa until the expiration date of your passport.
and now, I can double prove that I can help you get a Canadian visa as a legit visa coach! #PracticeWhatYouPreach