Serendipity sometimes serendips
I went to the local offices of the HRDC to enquire about applying for a Canadian Social Insurance Number, only to be told I didn't need to apply if I was only going to do freelance work for an English company while I'm here and simply paid my taxes back home. Mrs S was to get a bigger surprise. Just in passing, I asked the clerk about how long a Canadian SIN lasts. "All your life." Responded the clerk.
"Really?" Quoth I.
"You aren't eligible at present. Does your wife have one?" She asked.
"Yes she does." I responded. "Would it still be valid?"
"I can't tell you that." Said the clerk. "But I can tell your wife if you bring her."
"Stay right there." I said and dashed off in search of Mrs S.
Half an hour later I crossed paths with Mrs S and we returned to the HRDC Pensions Office after an anxious call to Bathurst, Ottawa, confirmed that we had to go back to the local office. Two hours and four puzzled pensions clerks later, we were told that the SIN card my wife had been issued with at age 15 was still valid, as was her "Landed Migrant" status. All this after being turned down flat by another clerk at the Canadian High Commission in London three years before.
As we left, we were assured that the SIN card, which had been 'Dormant' would now be updated and reactivated, and provided the local HRDC Offices decision was upheld, my wife wouldn't need a work permit at all as she was already entitled to work legally in Canada (So we were told).
This means (All being well and provided the respective decisions are upheld) that we can both work without falling foul of officialdom and get deported for being naughty. I'm feeling happy about this already, although I'm having a lot of trouble walking properly with my fingers, toes, nostrils and eyes crossed for luck.
Just in case.