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Travel guide to visit Victoria

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Travel guide to visit Victoria

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, and the second-largest city in that province, with 350,000 inhabitants. This metropolis of Canada is located near the southern end of Vancouver Island.

Among the main tourist attractions of this Canadian island, the British Columbia Aviation Museum, Beacon Hill Park, or the leisure area in the Inner Harbour stand out.

If you plan to travel to Victoria for tourism, it is important to take into account the basic aspects that we explain below: required documentation, how to get to the city and how to get around it, what its climate is, or the most characteristic places of this Canadian island.

SEE ALSO: Travel tips for visiting Winnipeg

Documentation necessary to travel to Victoria

If you are traveling to Victoria to go sightseeing and discover the city as a foreigner, you will need a visa or a travel permit valid for Canada.

The Canadian eTA is an electronic travel authorization that can be requested easily through a short online form. Normally, the application process takes a few minutes.

To complete the eTA form online, a valid International passport from any of the eligible countries, an email account (to receive the approved Canadian eTA), and a credit or debit card are required to make the payment of the corresponding fee.

Once you have your travel permit you can visit not only the island of Victoria but any other Canadian territory such as VancouverQuebecTorontoMontreal, etc.

SEE ALSO: What is and what is the function of the CBSA?

How to get to Victoria

Here are the different ways to get to the city of Victoria:

  • By boat. The main way to get to Victoria Island is through BC Ferries, which operates from Tsawwassen (south of Vancouver) to Swartz Bay, a half hour’s drive north of Victoria.
  • By plane. Victoria International Airport is located 30 minutes north of Victoria (off the Pat Bay Highway, on the way to the ferry terminal). There are multiple flights every hour to and from Vancouver. Many tourists also come from Calgary, Seattle, San Francisco, Edmonton and Toronto.
  • By helicopter or seaplane. You can also quickly and easily enter Victoria from Vancouver by helicopter or seaplane. Helicopters to the city operate from the port of Vancouver or from Vancouver International Airport.
  • By recreational boat. Victoria is a popular destination for both U.S. and Vancouver area boaters. Many of them access Victoria through their own recreational boats or for rent.
  • By car. Although the city of Victoria is located on an island, it is accessible from the rest of the island by roads and from the peninsula taking one of the ferries available to transport vehicles.
  • By bus. Bus companies travel to Victoria from Vancouver (including Vancouver International Airport), Seattle and from other points on Vancouver Island. Buses traveling to Victoria Island also use BC Ferries.

SEE ALSO: The most visited cities in Canada

Getting around Victoria

Walking is an easy, free and fun way to explore the entire downtown area. If you have no problem walking, do not hesitate and discover the city of Victoria on foot.

If you prefer another type of transport, buses operated by BC Transit form the pillar of Victoria’s public transport network. Regular fares cost 2.50 Canadian dollars and children 5 years and younger can travel for free. In addition, daily passes are also available. Victoria, along with Kelowna, Toronto, and Ottawa, is one of the few cities in North America that use double-decker buses in their city traffic systems.

Getting around Victoria by bicycle is also a good alternative since the island is very well prepared for it. In addition, temperatures usually accompany throughout the year.

Finally, rental cars are another option. Within the city, you will find different locations where you can rent a car for one or several days.

SEE ALSO: Travel from New York to Canada

What’s the weather like in Victoria?

As far as the climate is concerned, the city of Victoria has a fairly stable temperature, since it does not stand out especially for cold or warm.

During the winter months (December, January, and February), Victoria usually has an average temperature of 6 degrees, with minimums that border on 3oC.

On the other hand, in the summer months (June, July, and August), the average is around 15 degrees, with maximums of 20oC and days that can be even hotter.

Most touristic places in Victoria

The Canadian island of Victoria has a good number of emblematic sites that are worth knowing. Below we show you some of them.

Beacon Hill Park

With more than 80 hectares (200 acres) of land, Beacon Hill Park is the main and most characteristic park of the city of Victoria.

In it, you will find natural areas, well-kept flower beds, trails, and many spaces where you can practice sports and perform outdoor activities for all audiences.

SEE ALSO: Express entry Canada: How to apply

Inner Harbor

During the summer, the Inner Harbor is full of artists, street musicians, and other people with urban talent.

Music performers cannot stay in the same place for a long time, so concerts and performances change space constantly.

Many local citizens and visitors find it fascinating to see seaplanes taking off from the Inner Harbour. During the spring, the inner port is full of beautiful flowers.

Butchart Gardens

It is a large garden planted in what was once a limestone quarry. Without a doubt a highly recommended place to spend a pleasant time, in addition to being suitable for the whole family.

During the summer, Butchart Gardens offer fireworks festivals with music and during the winter, at night, the gardens are illuminated and include exhibitions that illustrate the twelve days of Christmas.

SEE ALSO: Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): express visa exemption for Canada

British Columbia Aviation Museum

The British Columbia Aviation Museum is located inside Victoria International Airport.

Ticket prices are quite economical: 8 Canadian dollars for adults, 6 dollars for those over 65, and 4 dollars for young people aged 12 to 18 adults.

Without a doubt, a sensational place that unleashes the passions of all lovers of Canadian and international aviation.

Chinatown

It is Victoria Chinatown and is located between Fisgard Street, Store Street, and Government Street. This Canadian Chinatown is decorated with all kinds of Chinese-themed ornaments. In addition, this district has a lot of Asian restaurants and shops.

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Canada Immigration

What languages ​​are spoken in Canada

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What languages ​​are spoken in Canada

Have you thought about living or traveling to Canada? If so, most likely one of your first questions is what languages ​​are spoken in Canada and how to prepare yourself to face the linguistic challenges that this great destination presents. 

In recent years, the Canadian immigration system has been recognized as one of the friendliest with students, professionals, and expatriates from different parts of the world, who come to Canada to meet their goals, start a new life and even learn a new language. 

However, one of the commonly requested requirements to enter the country successfully, for reasons beyond tourism, is to know at least one of the languages ​​spoken in Canada, so that you can guarantee a smooth social and cultural integration. 

What languages ​​are officially spoken in Canada? Are there minority languages? How do they differ from other languages ​​we already know? Are there other countries where they are useful? All these doubts will be answered below. 

SEE ALSO: Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

Official languages ​​spoken in Canada

Canada is known around the world for being an officially bilingual country, made up of two official languages: 

English 

The Anglo-Saxon language is one of the two main languages ​​of the Canadian territory, being the mother tongue of more than 77% of the population and the language that around 86% of the inhabitants speak fluently. 

A very common question is whether the English spoken in Canada is different from English of British or American origin; However, its spelling is sometimes described as a mixture of both, the vocabulary is more similar to that of United States English, and the variations of the single-use lexicon in Canada are very specific depending on the context.

French

The next official language of Canada is, of course, French, established by statutory decree in July 1969. 

Today, French is the mother tongue of approximately 9 million Canadians, that is, 23% of the population of this country. Most of the Francophones live in the province of Quebec. 

Minority languages ​​of Canada

In addition to the official languages ​​that coexist in the country, there are a series of minority languages ​​that are spoken in the country thanks to the constant migratory movement that the nation has experienced for years. 

The minority languages ​​that are not officially recognized in Canada, but are still spoken daily by thousands of inhabitants of the Canadian territory are Spanish, Italian, German, Cantonese, Punjabi, Arabic, Dutch, and Tagalog. 

SEE ALSO: What is and what is the function of the CBSA?

In what other countries are the official languages ​​of Canada spoken?

Due to the colonizing past of countries such as France and the United Kingdom, those who master the two official languages ​​of Canada can communicate fluently in the official language of many countries on different continents. 

On the one hand, English, in addition to being a language spoken by more than 1.13 billion people in the world, has been called the official language in more than 70 countries around the world. Among these countries, the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore, the Philippines, among many others, always stand out (the list is very long!). 

On the French side, things are not far behind. The “language of love”, in addition to being the main language of France and Canada, maintains its official status in more than twenty nations and overseas territories.

Some territories where we can find French as an official language are: Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Monaco, Luxembourg, Republic of the Congo, Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger, Togo, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Benin, Gabon, Chad, Haiti, Rwanda, Comoros, Burundi, Republic of Djibouti, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, and French Guyana. 

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Canada Immigration

Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

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Traveling to Canada with a Criminal Record

The requirements to travel to Canada with Mexican nationality changed in December 2016. All Mexican citizens wishing to visit Canada for a short stay must obtain the eTA before traveling.

The eTA is an electronic travel authorization. This automated system determines the eligibility of people who want to visit Canada. As a Mexican citizen, you can apply for the eTA online by completing a form and answering a series of security questions.

SEE ALSO: What is and what is the function of the CBSA?

Necessary requirements to apply for the eTA with Mexican nationality:

Applying for the Canadian eTA is quick and easy. Among the requirements to obtain the eTA, travelers need:

  • A valid passport
  • A debit or credit card
  • An email address

Once the application has been completed with all the data, the applicant can proceed to answer a series of questions about his criminal record. To finish the process, you have to pay the eTA fee.

Do I need a Criminal Record Certificate to travel to Canada?

The Criminal Record certificate is not required to travel to Canada as a tourist. However, if you want to work in Canada, you may need to obtain a Criminal Record Certificate. In Mexico, you can complete the procedure online by completing a Request for a Certificate or Report of No Criminal History.

On the other hand, if you have a criminal record it is very important that you do not deny it when you apply for the eTA. In the Canadian travel authorization questionnaire, you must answer honestly all questions, including those about your criminal record. No matter how minor the crime, you are required to declare it on the eTA permit form.

SEE ALSO: Walmart Cart Pusher Job for Immigrants

Alternatives if eTA Canada is denied due to brush with the law

It is likely that having a criminal record the eTA will be denied as inadmissible in Canada. In this case, you can still apply for a visa through the nearest Canadian embassy or consulate.

Before the travel authorization system was implemented, travelers from visa-exempt countries did not have to go through any electronic checks. You also didn’t have to answer questions about a criminal record. Migration controls were made upon arrival in Canada. As a result, there are many people who were able to enter Canada with a criminal record and went unnoticed.

It is worth mentioning that not all criminal records are equally serious. Still, the eTA serves as a screening mechanism to weed out people who might be criminally inadmissible in Canada.

If you have had interactions with the criminal justice system, you could benefit from a legal opinion letter to be able to apply for a visa to Canada and travel without problems. The legal opinion letter is a document that explains that the person with a criminal record is a respectable person and that they are an admissible person.

In some cases it may happen that the eTA is denied, this will depend on the severity of the history of each person. In case the eTA is denied due to the applicant’s criminal record, a temporary residence permit can be applied for, which would allow legal entry into the country.

Lying when completing the eTA is not recommended as this could have very serious consequences. Not only would the eTA not be granted but it could damage future possibilities of traveling to the North American country.

SEE ALSO: How to travel by bicycle around the world staying for free

To process a Canadian visa with a criminal record it is important that:

  • Learn all the details of your conviction and the charge.
  • Gather as much information as possible about your conviction, including dates.
  • Complete the application correctly and with all the necessary documents.

Remember that the decision to grant you entry to Canada rests with the Canadian immigration agent who assists you upon arrival in the country. A serious criminal record can be a reason for denial of the Canadian eTA or entry into the country.

If you have a criminal record for crimes committed before the age of 18 you may still have the opportunity to be granted entry into Canada.

To be considered your application, despite having a criminal record, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Provide supporting documents that you comply with the legal terms to be considered rehabilitated :
    • More than 5 years have elapsed since the crime and also since his final sentence
    • Fully served his sentence
    • Not likely to incur new crimes
    • Had he committed the crime in Canada, he would have had a prison term of less than 10 years
  • Your request for rehabilitation was approved
  • You were granted a record suspension
  • You have a temporary residence permit

SEE ALSO: Walmart Cart Pusher Job for Immigrants

If you have a Mexican passport and a criminal record, it is recommended that you apply for criminal rehabilitation before submitting your eTA Canada petition. Once your confirmation of rehabilitation has been approved, you will be able to apply for a Canada eTA.

Contact an embassy or consulate for updated information and requirements. Please note that these requests can take more than a year to process.

The eTA is not a visa, it is a travel authorization to visit Canada for a certain time. The eTA is not designed for people who want to live, study or work in Canada.

Once the eTA is requested, it will be electronically linked to the passport, which is why it is essential to travel with the document with which the application was made.

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Canada Immigration

Things Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You About Moving to Canada

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Things Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You About Moving to Canada

Before I enlighten you about things immigration lawyers won’t tell you, I’d like to give you a hint of the duties of an immigration lawyer. They basically work with corporations and employers to assist with helping clients understand the steps taken before they can be employed in Canada.

Immigration Lawyers are not gods

One thing immigration lawyers won’t tell you is that they are capable of failing when it comes to moving clients to Canada. Some tend to be transparent about it but most immigration lawyers won’t come clean on this.

They appear to their clients as gods and create a great picture of them in their hearts. They actually make mistakes too and sometimes lose cases. Most clients are aware of this fact, but when meeting an immigration lawyer they tend to put all hope on them.

SEE ALSO: Canadian professionals and skilled workers program

Immigration Lawyers Have no Supreme Power Over Immigration Process

I’ve met people who think when meeting an immigration lawyer their problems are totally solved. If you have this mindset, I’ll advise you to unlearn it because immigration lawyers are no supreme body in the affairs of immigration.

They only stand-in for their clients in the process stage and convince corporations about employing their clients. Immigration lawyers won’t tell you they aren’t certain about the outcome but would assure you of total success in immigrating to Canada.

You can Process it Yourself Without the Assistance of an Immigration Lawyer

Most people know that they can actually do their immigration processing themselves. It is a known fact, but they hire immigration lawyers because of their professionalism in their field. They believe they can do more better than they are.

Immigration lawyers won’t tell you that there are some cases with a slim chance of achieving victory. They make their clients feel like they are capable of performing miracles and so encourage them to hit on the process.

Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You of Their Past Records

Some immigration lawyers have been disciplined for immoral conduct in the past but they would never tell you because you might want to look elsewhere. A major issue is that act misconduct taken by an immigration lawyer may ruin your case. Most people have gone through this experience because of a bad step taken by their lawyer.

Although some learn from their past mistakes, it is not 100% certain that he would not act in that light again. So, when going for a background check you should determine if you should work with or without the immigration lawyer.

SEE ALSO: Rural and northern communities program, and other ways to achieve permanent residency in Canada

Immigration Lawyers Won’t Tell You of the Case Load They Have on Deck

Some immigration lawyers can be extremely busy with a huge caseload on their hands. And oftentimes they do not reject cases but add more to their piles of work.

Immigration lawyers won’t tell you about this and it can cause a low commitment to your immigration process as they do not pay the necessary attention that ought to be paid to your immigration process. Every case ought to be given much attention in other to produce the best result.

While searching for an immigration lawyer ensure you take note of what to expect and also ask questions on the process in order to avoid getting an unexpected result.

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