Thursday, December 15, 2011

My first job in Canada or start of Canadian experience



So, looks like it is a time of writing how I managed to find my first job in Canada. After one and half month of unemployment now I am financial analyst at Alberta Health Services. Actually I started looking for a job from 25th of November. When I was in Azerbaijan I promised not to work for at least two months after moving to Canada. However, I could not keep my promise. At that time my spouse warned me that I won't be able to stay too long without working. Looks like she was right...

For easy following I have divided my job hunting here into several steps:


Step 1: Before moving preparations
I believe that it is the most important step in job hunting in new country. You should be aware which qualifications is needed there and try to adjust you skills under the needs of new market. For me as an accountant it was important to became certified in Canada. In Canada there are three type of certication for accountants; CA, CGA and CMA. However, costs of the certifications was too high. Therefore, I started looking for alternative ways. I decided to get US CPA license as the costs may be compensated by E&Y. Of course, having great US financial authority in the world US CPA license might also assist me in being recognized as an accountant in Canada. So, I talked to partner of our department in E&Y and started my CPA preparation in early summer of 2010. As you are already aware from my previous postings I passed the final exam in May, 2011. After taking ethic course and applying to Alaska's Board of Accountancy I was licensed in November 03, 2011. And this date was the end of the first step.

Step 2: Job Hunting techniques
Before the immigration I read a lot from blogs how to search a job in Canada. Most of them was suggesting networking. It means have contacts with the right people it is easier to be referred and employed. Most of the bloggers writing that sending resume through internet does not help. However, taking into account that I was not in rush for a work I started applying for a job through internet. Tried www.jobbank.gc.ca, www.monster.ca and etc. And guess what happened... I was invited to six interview during two weeks. Most of them were seriously interested in my experience. In some cases I was invited to take some exams and have next level of the interview. However, in most cases lack of Canadian experience blocked my way. At the end of the two weeks I had ongoing serious discussions with two companies, a local public accounting firm and local recruiter Accountemp which is subsidiary of Robert Half Recruiting Company. The hardest one was the latter. I have been asked to take online exam on financial analyses, financial accounting, excel knowledge and typing. And a week after exams and interview I was an offer to be employed by Accountemps for assignment to Alberta Health Services as financial analyst.

Step 3. Interview
I believe that one of the major roles in getting employed is your behavior during interview. I am going to be honest and say that skills gained in E&Y helped me a lot during the interviews. Under skills I mean dressing, talking, behavior during the interview. In most cases I was asked who I managed to have such good business English being educated and employed in Azerbaijan. Again thanks to E&Y...

As a summary I would like to indicate that there is no exact rule in job hunting. Efficiency of the technique depends on how you were ready for the immigration. If you are aware of needs of the local market and is prepared any rule may be efficient!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meeting with my famous blogger-mmw


Today I am going to write here how we met with my famous blogger mmw here in Edmonton.

So, on November 30, 2011 I was waked up by cries of my daughter. As usually she was getting up early in the morning. Unwillingly I watched to my phone, it was almost 8 am. I have also noticed that I received an e-mail from Michael Maltsev, also known as mmw from his blog at www.mmw-canada.blogspot.com. He and his spouse Sveta immigrated to Calgary from Belarus in June, 2009. Potential immigrants can learn a lot from his blog, as I did. In his e-mail he was writing that he is going to be in Edmonton on November 30th and if I am available we can meet with him at 10 am at South part of Edmonton. As me he used to work as an accountant in home country. So we have some intersections, both are accountant and both immigrated to Calgary. Therefore, I was really exited that I have a chance to meet with him. I sent him a confirmation e-mail and was at Costco at 10 as agreed. Taking into account that he was being late we agreed to meet closest Tim Horton (this local cafe).

After waiting couple of meeting Michael entered to the cafe. So, I could not imagine that my words written in his blog may realize. I wrote him that "for sure we will meet in Canada". It happened. As I predicted Michael very interesting and polite person. I learned a lot from him regarding local accountancy jobs, how to adopt to the local life, where to find famous fish "seledka" and lots of interesting things. Was also able to take his photo.


Great thanks to him for meeting and tons of useful information!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How I purchased my first car in Canada.


After request of some of the readers I have decided to write in more details how I managed purchasing the car. So, the story was as following...:
After living a week without a car in Edmonton I understood that a car is not sign of wellness here. It is necessity of living in Edmonton. In Baku I used to visit food stores right in front of the home. So, if I had no car in Baku it did not affect my basic life needs at all. However, in Edmonton where distance between two point are in kilometers it does. I was really suffering when visited nearest superstore at -10 degree in C. I had a limited budget and I was advised by "local guys" not to look at sedans, american cars and two wheel drive cars. So, pool of search was Japan made SUVs. Of course Toyota was the leader in the market. However, their prices are not less than CAD 14,000. The next best options were Honda and Nissan. Again prices were above my budget. I spent almost three week for search. The first suitable option was Nissan Murano of 2003. It's price was CAD 8,900 firm. Rovshan assisted me in my searches. We looked at the car evening when it was dark. The car had some minor problems like, crack on the windshield, front sit lift was not working  and so on. However, for the price it was the best car. It was cheaper from the market for CAD 1,500. I liked the car and was ready to purchase it. However, Rovshan insisted to look at it during a daylight. So, we agreed to visit it again next morning. So, what you think we discovered when we looked upper of the car??? Yeah, oil liquidity... It was not good sign and I understood why it was so cheap... The owner said that the liquidity started two month ago and he is adding new oil periodically. Therefore, I have rejected this car and started my searches again. The next best car was Toyota Highlander of 2001 for 9000. I was suffering without car and it was not easy to find location of this car on grounds. In Google Maps everything was OK. However, not in reality. After an hour walking I was successful to find the car. Looked around, drove and liked it. As I was alone without Rovshan, I agreed with the owner to look at it next afternoon. I left the car with the hope in my heart. However, when I arrived to the bus stop I got a message from the owner that the car was sold to others... It was like end of the world for me. Cold long distances were unusual for me. I started thinking that I will never find a car. And at that time was very close to depression. Thanks to my spouse for supporting me and with her help I started the searches again.

At home I have decided to visit used car dealerships in order to find something. Started from the dealership which was close to my location. There I said that I have a budget of CAD 8,000 and looking for a car or SUV made in Japan with the mileage less than 150,000 km. They were not able to offer me anything. However, one of the sales persons passed me phone number of his brother who works in other location of the same dealership. We agree with him to meet next morning at 9:00 am. Additionally, at home I found a Nissan Xterra of 2002 with the mileage of 158,000 km for CAD 8,500. Called the owner and agreed to look at the car at 11:00.  So, next morning at 9 I was at the dealership. They offered me Toyota Corolla of 2004. I drove it. It was a good car, but when I was looking around of it I noticed that it was in an accident. The next option was Nissan Versa of 2007. Oleeee, my lovely Tiida called Versa here. The price was unknown as it was a just arrived. I was asked to drive it and then we can talk on the price. The car was good and I liked it as it was a Tiida. However, when we were back at the office I was told that the price of this car is CAD 9,700. It was not within my budget so, I rejected it. Afterwards they told me that they have another option for me Toyota Matrix of 2004. But it is under technical check for now and it will be available after two days, for now they can give me the Versa to drive until they get the Toyota. So, it was the best option for me. I had no local driving license, however, photocopy of the valid Azerbaijani driving license was available. I took the car and visited the Xterra as agreed. I was late for half an hour. I drove the car, looked around and liked it. It has some minor problems, like crack of the windshield (looks like it is usual for all Alberta cars), some minor rust and that's all. It has new winter tires. The owner said that in case of purchase they can fix all of the problems. I talked to Rovshan and agreed to bargain with the owner. I offered for the "as is" CAD 7,000. And what was the reaction??? They agreed!!! However, I asked them to visit Rovshan as he is more experienced in cars. They said OK, however, the next potential buyer should come withing couple of the minutes. So, they must wait for them as they are on the way. I parked my car nearby and was waiting in it. The new buyers were a couple with Arabian origins. They looked at the car and started discussions. Then a lady who was an owner of the car came to me and informed me that this couple are ready to pay for the car CAD 7,200 and pick it up now... I was in shock!!! I disagreed with them and said that we have already agreed and I am ready to buy it now, too. I have also invited her spouse for the discussion. I said that I am suffering without car with two kids and I need this car very urgently!!! They looked at me and asked a minute for decision. Returned their home. After a minute the spouse of the owner was back saying that they are going to sell the car to me for 7,000. So, I did it!!!. My new car is black Nissan Xterra of 2002. Thanks to the owners of the car. They also agreed to drive to my garage.



As regards the Tiida, I have returned it to the dealership after two days. The Toyota they were offering we was in an accident, too. So, it was a good reason to reject it. However, I wanna thank them for their assistance and the car they have provided me. GREAT THANKS GUYS!!!

P.S. Great thanks to Rovshan for his assistance in my searches.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

First three weeks in Canada

Looks like its a time to write down what we faced, we loved, we hated in this county. It is a time of reporting for first three weeks. Beforehand I wanna note that first week I was not able to understand the reality. I mean I was not able to recognize that I did it. It was unbelievable for me...

So, let's start. For sake of clarity I have added dates before the actions:
October 27th
We arrived to Edmonton, AB at 18:00. Passed all immigration and customs procedures smoothly. My friend Farhad and his sister's husband Toghrul picked us up from Edmonton International Airport. First of all we visited Farhad's home. He fed us and took us to our new apartment which is going to be our home for next year. Unpacked some of our belongings and we went to bed. By the way before our arrival Farhad purchased for us most of furniture.
Some photos of our neighborhood:





October 28th
It was not so easy to sleep all night as our bodies were living by its' natural hours. Kids waked up at 3 am and we do the same. Early in the morning Farhad drove us to Canada Services we applied for SIN (Social Insurance Number), we applied for health insurance and then opened a bank account at RBC. We had our lunch at Farhad and went back to our home after lunch close to 3-4 pm. Kids fall asleep immediately. We were trying to keep us awake until sunset. In the evening Farhad and me visited Future Shop and purchased TV LG LED 42" which is also smart TV. What does it means? We are able to connect our TV to internet through Wi-Fi and watch youtube (not only) on it.

October 29th
Spend most of the day in the shops. Purchased food, TV stand, vacuum, iron, ironing board, floor lamp, 134 pc toolkit, 2 rugs, sofa and loveseat. The latter were purchased after 2 days.

October 30&31th
Nothing serious was done. Tried to match our natural hours to Canadian one. Visited some shops around our neighborhood.

November 01st
Visited Northtown Registry for a driving license. Failed first knowledge exam.

November 02nd-09th
This period was full of small purchases. Most of them are small home appliances and food. By the way I was looking for a car in kijiji. Met with recruiters from Aplin Recruiting with referral of Farhad. And next day visited "Big Four" and distributed my CV to them. By the way the recruiters were impressed by me behavior, English and speaking. I learned about it after seeing their e-mail sent to Farhad. So, thanks to E&Y for some of this skills.
Last days found a car from kijiji. It was Nissan Murano of 2003.

November 10th
Passed from knowledge test and got 7 class driving license. Made an appointment for a road test. Visited owner of the Nissan Murano with Rovshan. Was disappointed when we noticed oil liquidity from engine.

November 11-13
Was busy with the car search. Nothing serious happened.

November 14th
Failed the road test. Drove Farhad's father's car during the exam. It was really strange. The examiner was an Indian man. His name Alex. Remember his name and do not appoint an exam with him. He was quite and easy going during our trip. However, at the end he failed me and put me too much points. I disagreed with most of them and was disappointed. But when I left the registry everything was clear for me. Me and Farhad's father were discussing the results in front of the registry and another Indian man asked us to show him the results. Then he said that, he is a licensed driving trainer and offered me to train me. So, it was clear that there is an Indian business between them. One fails and the other trains... I rejected his offer and made an appointment for the next road test. At this time Farhad's father advised me to take Jim as examiner. Remeber his name too. He is honest and very good examiner.
At this day I have also found very good car, Toyota Highlander. Visited the owner, took a drive test, liked the car and agreed to take the to a mechanic next day. However, when I left them, at the bus stop received a message from the owner, saying that the car is already sold.


November 15th
Was looking for a car. Decided visit dealership. Was nothing suitable for me. However, one of the sales persons provided a phone number of his brother who can help me. Agreed to meet with him next day. Evening found a Nissan Xterra of 2002 from kijiji. Agreed to meet with them next day.

November 16th
Visited other dealership as agreed. Again, was nothing suitable for me. However, they provided me with Nissan Versa (Tiida in Azerbaijan) to drive until they find something for me. Tiida, the car that I used to drive in Azerbaijan. Was so happy for driving Tiida again. Using Tiida visited the Xterra as agreed. Took a drive test and purchased it.

November 17th 
It was heavily snowing. Took a driving a test at Farhad's father's car with Jim. Passed it. At the same day purchased an insurance for the new car and registered it. My car's plate is BFM6912.
This is my new SUV:



So, looks like that is all. After three weeks in Canada I have an accommodation, all required documents, a bank account, a driving license and a car here. Yeah, it is cold here. And first days without car was difficult for me. I was really suffering. Edmonton is not walking friendly city. And without a car you are nothing... Just imagine you need to walk to nearest shop for 2 km in -22. Awful..

However, I like local lifestyle.

P.S. Great thanks to Farhad, his family and Rovshan for their sipport!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

First post from Edmonton

So, I have decided to start writing here. I cannot understand what's happening with me here. For the reader who does not know we are in Edmonton, AB, Canada starting October 27. I have became less social here. I am not writing in blog, in FB... Can not identify the reason. Anyway, within couple of days going to put down day by day report. Wait for me, wait for me...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #1

Looks like I was not able to write down last page of my posts on feeling. However, I am back... Currently I am in Edmonton, Canada. Yeah we did it!!! Will provide more information later. Tired up with the home stuff.

So, my last day in Baku was full of questions like:
Am I doing right?
Is it best choice?
May be I can live here? and so on....

However, we did it! Now we are here and feel that we did good choice!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #2

Packaging, packaging and packaging.... Spending most of the free time on packaging. Do not think on our future in Canada. Pleasantly surprised when got an invitation from Farhad to the NHL game on Sunday. ;))) Normal Canadian life.
Feel tired... Need to sleep. However, I am not upset. I feel happy!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #3&4

Sorry for not writing yesterday. Could not reach to the computer. Visited my friend, Zaur and his family, packed most of the belongings. Great thanks to Zaur's mom for the set-out and tasty dishes. Was pleasantly surprised when she said I feel like one of my sons leaving the country.
Today morning Farhad made for me an online broadcast from our newly rented apartment. He and other Azerbaijani guys arranged movement of the furniture. GREAT THANKS to them!!!
Again, I cannot identify category of my feelings. Sometimes I feel happy, sometimes I am sad... Looks like I am becoming sentimental...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #5

Today have visited native village, Alpan in Guba region. Amazing... Said goodbye to aunts and uncle. Tired. Waiting for the "holly day". Very difficult to identifie category of the feeling. But, completely sure I doing nothing wrong!!!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #6

Yesterday evening visited my aunt to say goodbye. Packaged one more baggage. Tired, very tired... Need to sleep. However, taking into account that full salary for October, 2011 has been paid to me, should work until 25th. Last day did not think about moving or my future life in Canada. Busy with the organization job and very happy!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #7

Today started thinking on whether I am happy or I wanna feel happy or I make myself to look happy??? Strange, very strange... Cannot decide which is relevant to me... Will update the post later today if I decide.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #8

Yesterday celebrated 10th anniversary of our first meeting with my spouse. Last time walked through downtown of Baku.

Feelings have not changed. I am happy that moving away from Azerbaijan.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #9

Yeah, nine days left to the "holly day". Yesterday met with the friends from university. Elshan's (university mate) last words cut my heart. When he was saying goodbye, he asked Khalid (also university mate) "what we will do in future? only we both left here, in Azerbaijan. How we will meet?". :(((

With the help of Rovshan (he is also from Edmonton) I have arranged installation of internet+TV line from Telus.

Currently, I have mixed feelings. Cannot phrase them by words. However, I am happy that in 9 days I will leave this hell.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Feelings of prospective immigrant #10

Today I am going to start new style of writing here. Ten days left to the "holly day". And I am going to write down my each day feeling before leaving. So, I decided to start from the 10th day:

#10. Still dealing with the acquiring of home appliances. Farhad (friend from Edmonton) already purchased bedroom suite, dining room suite, toddler bed and crib. He also rented an apartment for me. Currently trying to find a TV and clearing a baggage issue with BMI. When I have purchased the tickets form BMI I have been informed that they are allowing to carry 2 pieces of baggage up to 23 kg toward Edmonton. Now I am clearing whether 23 kg is total or is per piece. Already finalized our visits to a dentist and eye specialist. Repaired my glasses and obtained new pair of glasses. Some of the belongings have been packaged.

Currently, I feel happy!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Dealing with the packaging

Last days I am fully occupied with the finding accommodation and effectively packaging our belongings. Just purchased vacuum bags from store "Bizim Market" for AZN 1,7/per bag. It makes approximately CAD 2.3. Additionally I have purchased suitcases and bags for the packaging. Will write about steps of our moving in details as soon as I finalize everything.

Again GREAT THANKS to my friend from the university Farhad for his support!!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Canada is the best country for business

In accordance with the analyses performed by Forbes Canada is the best country for the business. Below I have enclosed the article published Forbes's web-site:




The Best Countries For Business




During the run-up to every U.S. presidential election, countless Americans threaten to move to Canada if their preferred candidate does not emerge victorious. Of course, few follow through with a move north. Maybe it is time to reconsider.


Canada ranks No. 1 in our annual look at the Best Countries for Business. While the U.S. is paralyzed by fears of a double-dip recession and Europe struggles with sovereign debt issues, Canada’s economy has held up better than most. The $1.6 trillion economy is the ninth biggest in the world and grew 3.1% last year. It is expected to expand 2.4% in 2011, according to the Royal Bank of Canada.
Canada is the only country that ranks in the top 20 in 10 metrics that we considered to determine the Best Countries for Business (we factored in 11 overall). It ranks in the top five for both investor protection as well as lack of red tape, which measures how easy it is to start a business.
Canada moves up from No. 4 in last year’s ranking thanks to its improved tax standing. It ranks ninth overall for tax burden compared to No. 23 in 2010. Credit a reformed tax structure with a Harmonized Sales Tax introduced in Ontario and British Columbia in 2010. The goal is to make Canadian businesses more competitive. Canada’s tax status also improved thanks to reduced corporate and employee tax rates.
Canada leans on the U.S. economy heavily: it’s the biggest oil supplier to Uncle Sam and three-quarters of its exports end up in the U.S. each year. Yet while U.S. unemployment has stayed above 9%, it’s only 7.3% in Canada compared to the 25-year average of 8.5%. The eurozone unemployment rate is 10%.
We determined the Best Countries for Business by looking at 11 different factors for 134 countries. We considered property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.
Forbes leaned on research and published reports from the Central Intelligence Agency, Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, the World Bank and World Economic Forum to compile the rankings.
Denmark dropped from the top spot in 2010 to No. 5 this year as its relative monetary freedom declined as measured by the Heritage Foundation. Denmark’s stock market also fell 14%, which was the worst performance of any of our top 10 countries. Four other European countries in last year’s top 20 also dropped in the rankings, with Finland sliding to No. 13, the Netherlands to No. 15 Netherlands, Germany to No. 21 and Iceland to No. 23.
The U.S. ranked No. 10, down from No. 9 in 2010. The world’s largest economy at $14.7 trillion continues to be one of the most innovative, ranking sixth in patents per capita among all countries (No.7 overall Sweden ranks tops for innovation).
What hurts the U.S. is its heavy tax burden. This year it surpassed Japan to have the highest corporate tax rate among developed countries. The U.S. also gets dinged for a poor showing on monetary freedom as measured by the Heritage Foundation. Heritage gauges price stability and price controls and the U.S. ranks No. 50 out of 134 countries.
Bringing up the rear are three countries where the economies are smaller than $10 billion. No. 132 Burundi, No. 133 Zimbabwe and No. 134 Chad all fare poorly when it comes to trade and monetary freedom as well as innovation and technology. Chad has the highest GDP per capita of the three at $1,600, but scores last among all countries on both corruption and red tape.
Here is the original of the article.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Moving to Canada

So the holy day is near at hand. We are moving to Canada on November 27, 2011. I have already purchased the tickets. The tickets for Baku-London-Edmonton-London-Baku cost AZN 4,331 for 2 adults, one child and one infant. Currently trying to open a bank account at RBC, to find an accommodation, furniture distantly. Great thanks to my friend from university Farhad for his tremendous help!!! Will write in more details as soon as finalize all preparation process. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

New stadium in Baku

Our government come up with the new project to steal. They are going to build new Olympic Stadium which is going to cost AZN 300 million (app. US$ 380 million). The construction has already been started. As usually they will extend the budget at the middle of the project. Below added a video about the project.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Distracted Driving Legislation

Government of Alberta, Canada approved new driving rule effective from September 01, 2o11. So, effective September 1, 2011, the legislation restricts drivers from:
- using hand-held cell phones
- texting or e-mailing
- using electronic devices like laptop computers, video games, cameras, video entertainment displays and programming portable audio players (e.g., MP3 players)
- entering information on GPS units
- reading printed materials in the vehicle
- writing, printing or sketching, and
- personal grooming

Complements the current driving without due care and attention legislation
Applies to all vehicles as defined by the Traffic Safety Act, including bicycles
Applies to all roads in both urban and rural areas of the province
The fine for this new offence is $172.

Cell phone use
- A driver must not hold, view or manipulate an electronic communication device that can send or receive phone calls, electronic data, electronic mail or text messages.
- A driver may use a cell phone in hands-free mode - this means the device is not held in the driver's hand and is activated by voice or a single touch to the device.

Use of personal digital assistant (PDA) devices
- A driver must not hold, view or manipulate an electronic communication device that can send or receive phone calls, electronic data, electronic mail or text messages.
- A driver may use the cell phone function of a PDA in hands-free mode - this means the device is not held in the driver's hand and is activated by voice or a single touch to the device.

Hand-held or wireless or electronic devices
- A driver must not hold, view or manipulate a hand-held or wireless electronic device.

Use of radio communication devices (e.g. CB radios, “Mike” technology)
- Drivers may only use hand-held radio communication devices if:     
* they are drivers of escort, pilot or trail vehicles and are using a radio communication device for the purpose set out in the regulation.     
* using the radio communication device to contact their employer, where that employee is required to maintain radio contact with his or her employer.     
* using the radio communication device for the purpose of participating in a search, rescue or emergency management situation.
- Drivers may use radio communication devices in hands-free mode - this means the device is not held in the driver's hand and is activated by voice or a single touch to the device.

Contacting emergency response units (e.g. 911)
- Drivers may use a hand held phone to contact an emergency response unit.

Portable audio players (e.g., Mp3 and other Music/Audio Players)
- A driver may use a music/audio player but it must be programmed or set up in advance of driving so that drivers are not manually typing or inputting information while driving.
- If the audio player is connected to the vehicle sound system, drivers may use the vehicle controls to operate the MP3 audio player.

GPS navigation systems
- A driver may use a GPS system but it must be programmed or set up in advance of driving so that drivers are not manually typing or inputting information while driving.
- GPS units must be secured to the vehicle and may only be controlled in a voice-activated manner while driving.

Video display screens
- A driver may not permit a video display screen to be activated and within view of that driver unless the screen is:  
a GPS navigation device being used to obtain navigation information,  
a cellular telephone being used in hands-free mode,  
a logistical transportation tracking system device used to track vehicle location, driver status or the delivery of packages or other goods for commercial purposes,  
a dispatch system used for the transportation of passengers,  
a collision avoidance system device when used to provide collision avoidance information, or  
an instrument, gauge, device or system that is used to provide information to the individual regarding the status of various systems and position of the vehicle.

Logistical Transportation Tracking Systems and Dispatch Systems
- Drivers are restricted from holding, viewing or manipulating these systems while driving. Drivers must program them before they begin driving.
- However, the display screens of these systems are permitted in vehicles that require them for commercial purposes.

Reading
- Drivers are restricted from reading printed materials inside the vehicle while driving (e.g. newspapers, novels etc.).

Writing
- Drivers are restricted from writing, drawing or sketching while driving.

Grooming
- Drivers are restricted from attending to personal hygiene or grooming while driving.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Canada's new banknotes

Canada is going to start using new polymer banknotes. Below is the timeline when they are going to start implementing them:
C$ 100 starting from November, 2011;
C$ 50 starting from March, 2012;
C$ 20, 10 & 5 end of 2013.

Here is a video presentation of the C$100 banknote.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Visa period for parents and grandparents with sponsorships in process prolonged up to 10 years

On July 20, 2011 Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced prolongation of the period of a multiple-entry visa provided to parents and grandparents with sponsorships in process up to ten years. Currently, the maximum validity period of a multiple-entry visa is five years. I believe that it will lessen the bureaucracy. The original of the news is here.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Current and old Calgary

Just found a video about Calgary of 1962. It was interesting for me to compare old and current Calgary. Lots of changes can be noticed. Posting this videos here.
Calgary of 1962:

And current Calgary:
So, you can feel the difference and development.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cost of immigration for my family (before the holy day)

Being an accountant I have pernicious habits to keep recording of my capital expenses. Thus, I have recorded all my costs related to the immigration process. Hope it will be helpful for potential immigrants. Please see below list of expenses I have already incurred for the immigration process. Please note that these fees are for a family with two infants and relates to the period before moving (e.g. no airfare, accommodation are included).

Police certificates       43 CAD
Application fee           1,235 CAD
English tuitor              293 CAD
University charges      42 CAD
Translation of doc.s    149 CAD
IELTS                       172 CAD
Medical exam            542 CAD
Visas                        1,137 CAD
Courier expenses       173 CAD
TOTAL                     3,786 CAD

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We got the visas


As a final stage of the formal immigration process our visas are already glued to our passports. So, we need just to enter to Canada. After long suffers now happy days for me and my family. Hope to survive until April, 2012 here.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Finally we got the POVL!!!

Today morning I have received a mail from Embassy of Canada. In the mail I have received long-expected POVL (Promise of Visa Letter). It means that the government of Canada is ready to provide us permanent resident status. We need to pay visa fees and send them our passports.

I AM HAPPY!!! I love u CANADA!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Passed final CPA exam!!!


I have passed final CPA exam which is BEC (business ensnarement and concepts). So, I am almost CPA. Remains only passing through formal registration process and easy exam on ethics...
I am open for the congratulations...

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My third trip to the US

Last period I am in a crazy busy season and additionally I had an exam for CPA licensing. Thus, I was not able to write anything in the blog. So, after long and boring preparation process finally I have flown to the US for the last (hopefully) BEC (Business Environment and Concepts) exam. Last time I failed this exam due to unpleasant events in my personal life. My grandma paid her debt to nature in November, 2010 right before my exams.
First time in my life I used Aeroflot. I flew to New York City, NY by Aeroflot's connection through Moscow. Taking into account that E&Y is covering only two flights to the US for CPA, all costs rest on my shoulders for this trip. Therefore, I chose the cheapest flight ticket to New York. It was Aeroflot’s tickets. It was $400 cheaper than its competitors. But the problem was with the gap between the flights, 6 hours to and 8 hours back. Six hours was not a case as I had tons of materials to be reviewed. But when I flew back I strongly tested strength of my will, 8 hours of doing nothing…
The plane landed in NY at 5 pm and unusually for me in spite of using taxi and tried light train which cost me $ 12. Yes it costed $50 less than a taxi. The train station which was close to the hotel where I stayed called Penn Station. Yes, I stayed in downtown-Manhattan. Unfortunately…!!! First of all I should note that I have not liked NY. It’s too noisy, too crowded, too polluted place. I do not like such places. What I liked there, was food, shopping center and free internet. By the way I did huge shopping for me and my family there. Great thanks to Macy’s Store for this opportunity.
The hotel I stayed was four star hotel in Manhattan which is called The New Yorker Hotel. It is clean, visitor friendly, but an expensive hotel. I paid $703 for three nights. A café placed in the hotel which called Tick-Tock Diner was great! I recommend it to the visitors.
During my trip it was raining there, but as I have not liked NY it was not a case for me. I was so tired that I have not visited most of NY’s sight-seeings. But as usual Azerbaijanian I was in Macy’s and Apple Stores.  Thanks to Macy’s for its visitor discount at 10%. It’s applicable to most of the products. I made huge shopping. And it made me to pay extra $100 for overweight luggage during my flight back.
As I noted I liked food there. It is yummy, cheap and had a well-serving pieces. Also I found my favorite Au Bon Pai there in Macy’s Store. I felt like was in heaven of food there.
The exam passed as usually. I was too tired after it. They prolonged duration of the exam and added three essays to the exam. As I am an advisor, the essays were not too hard for me. Hope to pass BEC exam and to get a license during 2011. I promised myself to become a CPA until I reach 30 years. Thus wish me good Luck in this hard way to CPA carrier.
And here is a video I have taken in NYC.
video
Additionally, I am posting some photos here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Finally we have won at Eurovision song contest!!!

Today night we win at Eurovision song contest. We were waiting for it for several years. And finally we achieved it after three years of hard breathing. Yeah we are proud of it! Go, Azerbaijan GO!!!
Here is official video of our song:
And here is the moment of winning from BBC:
P.S.: Doeas our Nikki looks like Jenifer Lopez...??? 

Friday, May 13, 2011

1000 visitors achived!!!


Today 1000th visitor visited my blog! I wanna thank everybody who has visited my blog. When I started writing this blog, I had never imagined than 1000 person can interest in what I write. Most surprising fact for is that my blog visited internationally. Here is the statistics of the visitors:

Azerbaijan 389
Russia 292
Canada 112
United States 76
Ukraine 61
Australia 9
Switzerland 9
United Kingdom 8
Kuwait 8
Germany 4

Again GREAT THANKS to all of you!!!

We passed the medical examination!



Today me, my spouse, son and daughter passed medical examination required for the immigration. According to the feedback I read it had to be hard process. However, it was not. At the entrance we have been met by assistant of the doctor. He welcomed us and followed us during all procedure. Great thanks to him for his assistance! First of all we visited X-ray and blood test room, they are required for adults. Then we were examined by a doctor. The Designated Medical Practitioner in Baku is Ibrahim. He is quite pleasant person. After interviewing us he observed us filled the medical forms. Based on his preliminary report we are healthy. Thus, we are waiting for a POVL as a next step!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Vancouver, BC - Eden on the Earth

I call Vancouver, BC "Eden on the Earth". I do not remember when and how I started loving this city. By the way Vancouver has been ranked one of the most livable cities in the world for more than a decade. As of 2010, Vancouver has been ranked as having the 4th highest quality of living of any city on Earth. In contrast, according to Forbes, Vancouver had the 6th most overpriced real estate market in the world and was second-highest in North America after Los Angeles in 2007. Along with Toronto, Vancouver has also been ranked among Canada's most expensive cities in which to live. May be that's why I'm not planning to move to Vancouver. I'm an accountant, what can I do?! Forbes has also ranked Vancouver as the tenth cleanest city in the world. Sharing also a video on Vancouver. I love it! Great job!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Baku in Discovery Channel

Viewing stats of my blog I see that there are people visiting my blog from Russia, Canada and other foreign countries. Therefore, decided to share TV program prepared by Discovery Channel regarding constructions in Baku, Azerbaijan. Here is the vidoes
Hope you will find our city beautiful. 

Relaxation...

Last days I feel so tired that, can not write anything. 5 days working, on Saturday organized a training on Financial Accounting, on Sunday tried to study CPA materials...

Today I have seen promo video in Youtube. That is what desire currently. Hope you find it useful!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My thoughts on Canada...

I have seen my Canadian life in my dreams tonight. Some of my friends advices stop thinking on Canada or I'll go mad. In my case taking into account that I'm earning money using my brain, it may result in crisis in family economy and my health. But I cannot. Thoughts related to Canada keeps me moving ahead. Therefore, I do not think stop thinking, I'll continue thinking, seeing dreams!
Thus, sharing Paul Brandt's Alberta bound music with you. Helps thinking. Please, enjoy!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

We received the medical forms


I am pleased to write that finally we have received the medical forms for the immigration process. For me its 90% of the immigration process. Now we can visit a doctor to be checked and next steps are just formality...
The forms was very important for us. Me and my spouse are happy. It was very important for us!
We are ready to accept your congrats...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Canada's oilpatch faces severe labour crunch


Again Calgary Herald writes that the Canadian oilpatch faces severe and chronic labour shortages in the next decade as experienced workers move to other sectors and retire, according to an industry council.

Looks like it may be a good chance for our professionals working in oil sector who want to immigrate to Canada.

Here is full story published by Calgary Herald.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Radiation from Japan nuclear reactor reached to B.C

Calgary Herald writes that radiation from Japan nuclear reactor reached west side of Canada. In BC level of radiation is  0.0000005 millisieverts. I'm not an expert but, Health Canada says that "These amounts are negligible and do not pose a health risk to British Columbians". Are they calming people or it's reality?
Hope it will not reach Alberta at least...
Here is full story published by Calgary Herald.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Remembering Knut...


Polar bear Knut who became an international star after his mother rejected him and he was raised by his Berlin Zoo keeper died Saturday at zoo. Knut collapsed and was found dead in a pool of water.
Me and my wife visited him when we have been in Berlin in 2008.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Expected changes to the FSW program.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) recently announced they are consulting with relevant stakeholders about changing various aspects of the Federal Skilled Worker Program. CIC is considering changing the number of points awarded in three of the six selection factors. CIC is also proposing changes to educational requirements and stricter rules for assessing the validity of Canadian job offers. According to CIC, these suggested changes are meant to reflect the current needs of the Canadian economy and enable immigrants to better integrate into the Canadian economy.

Points Changes in Selection Factors

Applicants will still be required to attain at least 67 points out of 100, in addition to meeting eligibility requirements, in order to qualify for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. CIC is proposing to change the maximum number of points applicants can receive in the following three selection factors: language, age, and work experience. Currently, applicants can receive a maximum of 24 points for their first and second official Canadian language, a maximum of 10 points for age if an applicant is between the ages of 21 and 49, and a maximum of 21 points for paid skilled work experience within the past 10 years.

i. Language

One proposed change would increase the number of points applicants can receive for a first official Canadian language (English or French) to 20 points, rather than the current 16. CIC is also considering establishing minimum language requirements for certain occupational skill levels. A higher minimum language requirement would be required for applicants with work experience in professional occupations, such as doctors, nurses, and engineers. Applicants with work experience in skilled trades would have a lower minimum language requirement.

ii. Age

CIC is proposing to increase the number of points in the age factor from 10 to a maximum of 12 points. Rather than maximum points being awarded until age 49, the suggested change will only allow applicants to gain maximum age points until the age of 35.

iii. Work Experience

CIC is proposing to lower the maximum points for work experience from 21 to 15 points and increase the years of experience required to obtain maximum points. CIC has noted that foreign work experience is not a strong indicator of success in the Canadian labour market and the additional points would be more beneficial in the language and age factor.

Other proposed changes

In order to make the Federal Skilled Worker Program more accessible to applicants with trade skills, CIC is proposing to reduce the number of years associated with education for those with a trade or non-university certificate. Currently, applicants who have a one year trade diploma must have also completed 13 years of full-time education in order to claim maximum points for that diploma under the education factor. Applicants who have a two year trade diploma must have completed 14 years and those with a three year trade diploma must have completed 15 years of education. If the proposed change is accepted, applicants with trade diplomas would be able to claim maximum points for their education with fewer years of full-time education.

CIC is also considering requiring applicants to prove their credentials are recognized by the appropriate Canadian authorities if their profession is regulated in Canada. For example, engineering is a regulated profession in Canada. Under the proposed change, any applicant who has work experience as an engineer would be required to have their credentials recognized by a Canadian professional licensing body before they submit their application for Canadian permanent residency.

Finally, CIC is proposing to establish clearer regulations for assessing employers and assessing whether a job offer is genuine. The Arranged Employment factor is an important aspect of the Federal Skilled Worker Program and CIC has noted that applicants who have Arranged Employment fare better upon arrival in Canada compared to those who do not have Arranged Employment. There have been numerous cases of fraudulent job offers from employers looking to exploit immigrants for money. With clearer guidelines for assessing job offers and employers, CIC is hoping to deter potential fraud.

Attorney David Cohen warns of a potential challenge with the proposed changes, “CIC will not be giving advanced warning of when these proposed changes will come into effect. If these changes are made to the program, applicants who are over the age of 35 and have lower language proficiency levels could have difficulties qualifying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program. If you qualify now for immigration under the current Federal Skilled Worker Program, you should submit your application as soon as possible as you may not qualify once the changes have been implemented.”

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Why some immigrants fail

Here is a good topic on why some immigrants fail. I believe that each of potential immigrants should consider the facts described in the topic before making a decision on immigration.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I wanna wish to everyone HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011!
Hope to meet 2012 in Canada...