So far, everything Silas and I had planned – which to be honest wasn’t too much – had worked out greatly and we were at the point where we expected to get the visa in a few weeks, then book our flights and let our journey begin.
We both had new passports and an international driver’s license, I had already looked into travel insurances and we knew which flight we would book the moment we would get our visas. We also knew where to apply for a job over the winter, but at the end, none of that would work out, at least for now.
But first of all, let me give you a quick overlook on the progress of getting the visa:
Since we plan to travel through Canada and from time to time work to finance our travels, we will need a Work Permit with the visa with which we can apply for any job just like a Canadian citizen. The only way to get that is with a Working Holiday Visa via the International Experience Canada program from the Canadian government.
For each country in the program, there is one pool of applicants for a Working Holiday Visa which you can write yourself into as soon as you turn 18. So within a week from my birthday, I joined the pool on September 13th by simply answering a handful of questions to confirm that I could apply for the visa and giving my personal information. Silas had already been in the pool for two weeks and waiting to be invited to apply for the visa.
That’s all we could do now: Wait for the government to randomly pick us from all the applicants without an idea when that was going to happen. Or if that was going to happenat all, but at that time, we were still very optimistic. Still, I think that I really don’t have to mention how frustrating that is, also given the fact that beside gathering some documents we couldn’t really do anything.
The only information we would get from the website of the IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada – was that within the past 12 months, an applicant would stay in the pool for an average of five weeks. So when Silas wasn’t invited for a little over six weeks, we contacted the IRCC over a webform which they replied to – one day late of course – by only sending him a link where they would say that the 2019 season would be over and there would not be any more visas for the rest of the year.
Ironically, I was just sitting at my desk watching yet another vanlife youtuber when Silas sent me the link that basically destroyed all of our plans. We were both so devastated and kept on raging about those stupid visa regulations for the rest of the day. The worst part for me is that I didn’t even have the chance to get the visa this year since Silas was in the pool a week before my birthday and still didn’t make it.
Anyway, we gave our best to leave the bad news behind and look forward.
On that same night, I – or rather my parents – came up with the idea of working in Scandinavia over the winter where we would still have a long and cold winter, just like in Canada. But after discussing all possibilities, a couple of days later, Silas and I decided to stay in Germany for the rest of the year saving some more money to then apply for the visa again in the new year.
Although in that moment it seemed like a huge setback, that was definitely the wisest thing to do. My boss at the drug store as well as the guys from the market stand seemed very glad to have me working with them for two more months and while still living at home, I would be able to save quite a lot more money.
In the moment I am writing the second half of this post, it is December 26th, both of my work contracts have run out and Silas and I do not have a clue yet when we will get our visas in the new year or if we will get them at all. But that is as far as this post goes, see you next time!