I could have applied for a visitor extension and work permit back in May when we applied for permanent residence. We didn't do it because our lawyer said it didn't matter and i could easily cross the border for both the extension and the work permit. What she failed to mention is that to apply for the work permit at the border i'd still need to pay the same $150 fee that i would have had we sent it in the application originally. She also failed to mention that border agents issue visitor extensions and work permits at their own discretion. So really if we'd submitted everything to start with, not only would i have saved money and been comfortable in my status right now, but i would also receive an immediate work permit on getting my permanent residence application "approved in principle" come November.
In our meeting earlier in the week she suggested if she processed a visitor extension or work permit application herself (as opposed to letting me do it at the border) it would cost more in legal fees. Now hold on just a second... She's saying if i go through her she will charge me legal fees, but if i do it at the border on her legal recommendation then there's no guarantee of success and in fact i might be refused entry to the country altogether, thereby voiding my original permanent residence application! So why shouldn't i just apply inland myself and only pay the government fees? If i don't get any legal backup anyway why the fuck would i put my status at risk by crossing the border??? Jesus fucking Christ!!!
Unfortunately it's Sunday and i already sent her a "wtf!" email on Friday, so i will wait for her response before bitching her out a little more. My current plan is to complete the work permit application right now and send it off independently, asking immigration to attach it to my current-in-process permanent residence application. Then i don't need to leave the country to get my work permit, and i will stay this side of the border right up till the week of November 16 hoping for approval before then.
Of course she also didn't mention that a work permit only lasts as long as your passport, and mine expires May next year, so if i don't have my "full" permanent residence by then (it's granted in two stages) i'll have to fork out $150 again - plus the $250 for a new passport. So basically, i'm not going to be taking the Culinary Skills class i wanted to this term. I just can't afford to put myself in debt (or close to it) when all this immigration stuff is still up in the air. Fuck, fuck, fuck everything.
I fucking hate Canadian immigration, their laws are more relaxed than the US but their border agents make the Americans look downright accommodating. Though i think i am beginning to hate lawyers even more than immigration.