Visas, dreams and some things in between

A J1 visa, and a few H1B visa applications later; I was faced with the heartbreaking reality that my life in San Francisco was soon to become a collection of memories.

It was, and still very much is my dream, to live and work on the iconic West Coast. Being able to surround myself with people that I admired was crucial in my growth as a designer. San Francisco is a city I felt forced me to never give up, accomplish goals, and reach for dreams I never thought I would reach. Designing for CircleCI during a time where we raised an $18 million Series B is just a taste of what my reality was. The Bay Area is very much a bubble; a bubble I loved consuming myself in. It’s a bubble with some of the most creative, coolest, and most forward thinking people.

Home is grand. It’s a place that goes by the name of Portlaoise, Ireland. While I was bummed leaving San Francisco, I was still granted the opportunity to continue to work (remotely) for CircleCI; which I considered to be the silver lining in the wee shite-storm that was going on.

During my time home, I was lucky enough to be offered a role with a company I admire in Canada. The idea of working there and with people on such an interesting product (as well as exploring Canada) excited me. Although, the sad truth is, life never usually goes how you plan. It pushes us as people to reevaluate, take a deep breath and keep pushing on.

I recently found out that my visa to work in Canada was refused. The reason being, I applied for the same visa in 2014, and am not eligible to participate again. Back in 2014 when I applied to work in Canada, a lot was going on. There were a few options on my plate, and I ended up choosing San Francisco. Life has really changed since I moved to the Bay Area, I’ve grown in ways I never thought I would, and I don’t regret choosing to pursue one of my biggest dreams. You can’t regret things and choices that have pushed you to grow, learn and reassess.

Although in saying that, I can’t say that I don’t feel a little bit lost — a little punished for choosing dreams over everything else. Going from one dream job, to another, to now not having a job at all.

I contacted local TDs, asking to help and speak to the Canadian embassy about reviewing my case with some compassion. I even moved my Buddha statues into different rooms just in case their good vibes were conflicting with each other! I know, right?!

As a creative, I feel I can be anxious. Anxious not working, feeling I’m falling behind those ahead of me, the very ones I want to be up alongside with someday. Anxious not doing what I love, with people doing what they love. Will recruiters look at my resume and ask why I have had a gap in between jobs? Or will they embrace the challenges I’ve faced, and come through the other side smiling?

Today, there were 1,087 candidates in the pool for the International Experience Canada visa, which has a quota of 7,700 visas.

All I need is 1.

While we look into other visa options, I’ve been doing some freelance design work, learning more about Framer and working on Dribbble Preview; an idea for a Mac app to preview your shots without having to actually upload them to Dribbble.

Cheers for reading! Hit me up, I’m @danielbeere on Twitter.

Big thanks to Marisa Sanchez-Dunning for helping with this and those who read over it. Cheers folks!