Sabine - The dreaded Visa process PART1
I will take some time talking about the visa(s). This post will be split up in two or three parts as there´s some ground work to cover. I have gone through both the process of getting a Canadian Spouse Visa, then gone through the Permanent Residence Visa for Canada and now I´ve got a L1-transfer Visa to the U.S. I expect to start up the Greencard process here as well. Please note that my experience is from a European view immigrating to Canada and USA, as well as it´s my own personal view. The rules are always slightly (or greatly) different depending on your heritage or where your citizenship is. My fiance has gone through similar processes but here in the states he´s got the O1 visa. There are so many different visas for the US it´s crazy and you really have to focus only on which one you apply to and just ignore the rest as different rules apply. It was a bit more straight forward with the Canadian one in my opinion as there were less types of Visas.

My flight from Edmonton to LA right before Christmas
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One thing to be said about all the visas are that they are a forever ongoing process. It feels like no matter what they will come back to hunt you - either as you have to renew it or there´s always some limitation you will have for not being a citizen of the country you are a resident of.

In this post I will be talking about the Spouse visa. In Canada common-law ("sambo") is recognized. With the Spouse Visa I was allowed to take on any work in Canada and live a "normal life" getting insurance, bank accounts, driver´s licence, a car etc. However, the spouse visa in the States is not nearly as flexible as the Canadian one. Should I have gone with my partner over to the States when he got his O1-visa I would not have been allowed to work or to get a credit card. I could have opened a bank account but the type of social security number I would have gotten would have been greatly limited so I can´t build credit in this country. And building credit is a huge deal here! Also coming in through a company has been of huge help as the relocation packages in this part of the world are usually really good (depending on the company)!

My partner´s work visa in Canada was tied to the company. If he would have been laid off or if he would have quit that means he would have lost his status in the country and have to get out. As my spouse visa is tied to his as he was the main applicant it would have affected me as well, but not until the expiry date had been met. Here in the States, if the one of us looses the job we will loose the visa as well with immediate effect. They are much more stern on this in the States while in Canada I could still work on Anthem even without my spouse with me anymore and the main applicant visa that mine was tied to. However, they did start the process of getting me my very own visa tied to BioWare in Canada as soon as my partner left. In the end it wasn´t necessary as I left before the expiry date on my Canadian visa expired but it was a nice safety measurement if I wouldn´t have found a job in LA before that time.

The requirements that we had to do to get the Canadian Work Visa were
  • Prove that you have enough money or will have enough money to support you (and your family) in the new country
  • Do a health inspection proving you are of good health
  • List all your travel history since you were 18 years old or 10 years into the past that are outside of you country of residence (they are asking for specific dates...)
  • List all your addresses you´ve lived at since you were 18 years old or 10 years into the past (they are asking for specific dates here too...)
  • List all your family members, their date of birth and birthplace as well as maiden names
  • List all your previous work places and which month you started/quit from them and if there´re any gaps
  • Proof of your (non) criminal records from each country you have been a residence of
  • Translated and re-evaluated education degrees from a certified translator
  • All the required legal paperwork proving you´ve got a job in the country

The industry is unforgiving as it is, and I feel getting into the games industry in the states is even more unforgiving. When you´ve finally gotten a foot in here it´s more smooth sailing and there are a lot of perks, but the competition here is crazy. I chose to stay in Canada, with this in mind as my second reason. My first reason was that I wanted to finish up Anthem and my part in it. I would never recommend anyone to work the final push on a project as well as applying for work. Just nope!

All of this has made me start doing a huge excel spreadsheet with all the information and I have it stored on dropbox so I can access it at any time. This type of information wrangling is crazy and it´s super hard to tell things like all the travels or all the addresses from and to what dates if you´re moving around a lot. Now I still need to keep that excel sheet up to date, phew.
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Chris - Deadbug entered this year's Global Game Jam
Team deadbug created the game offSpring for the 2011 Global Game Jam. Teams around the world attempt to make a prototype game in 48 hours! You can try offSpring online here :

http://deadbug.net/offspring/index.html

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Valdemar - Två texturer senare.
Okej, temp färdig med ljuset i UDK scenen nu. Jag har jobbat på två texturer, that is två highpoly modeller som sen är bakade. Normal och hight.

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Sen är de ju de här med praktik och praktik sökande. If it where closing in before, is just around the corner right now! >.< Kan ju säga att de inte är många timmar som spenderas hemma dessa dagar, har väen resulterat i att de ser ut som F*N hemma. Great! Men de gäller att lägga all av den vakna tiden på något produktivt!

Nu ska en liten lista på företag skrivas och ett personligt brev ska börja filas på.

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Hanna - Pixel art
Jag nämnde ju förut att jag funderade på vad nästa grej till portfolion skulle bli, och jag har eventuellt kommit fram till vad jag ska göra. Men, sen slog det mig, att nu är skolan stängd, så där kan jag inte jobba. Hemma kan jag heller inte jobba eftersom min dator har så dåligt grafikkort så jag inte ens kan spela spelen vi gör på PSQ :(

Så vad gör man istället? Jo, pärlplattor såklart! Min bästa länk i detta läge är http://loading.se/forum.php?thread_id=6792. Där finns hur mycket bilder och tips samlade som helst, och är toppen om man inte vill sitta och räkna pixlar själv utan kan lägga ett motiv med färdig mall (eftersom typ alla motiv finns där!)

Här är klapparna till min familj från i julas

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Soda Popinski från Punch out till vänster hittade jag i forumtråden jag länkade till, medan jag la Tintins hund Milou på fri hand.

Men detta är ju enklare figurer som går att kolla in när du pausat Nintendot. Ska du ge de dig på mer avancerade motiv som porträtt rekommenderar jag att du använder dig av ett program (som laddas ner gratis) där du laddar in bilder, fyller i vilka färger du tänker använda och vips! så har du mallen för hur du lägger en porträttplatta.

Ett sådant program för gratis nedladdning hittar du här:
http://dolkow.se/perler/

Dagens pysseltips! Perfekt att ge bort i present, som om man vore fem år igen, fast lite mer skillad. Have fun!
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