As I mentioned below, Eric met yesterday with a potential Canadian employer. Apparently the meeting went extremely well and Eric is expecting an job offer in the next couple of days. Though final details weren't yet agreed on, the discussion more than implied that our "sticking points" for acceptance will be exceeded. Wow. Now we wait. The meeting occurred here in San Francisco. The employer is flying back to Toronto today...so we'll see what happens in the next few days.
We decided to procure a Canadian job before applying for Permanent Residence. We have debt. If one already has a job then there is no unencumbered funds requirement. We figured that could be a much faster way to go. Otherwise, it would be a year or more before the debt was paid off and at least the minimum amount of unencumbered funds could be saved so we could apply under the skilled worker program. Eric's unique work skill set is such that would attract an employer willing to involve themselves in the process to hire a non-Canadian.
That being said, his potential employer will be applying for a Labor Market Opinion which basically states that there was exhaustive attempts to employ a qualified Canadian (but to no avail) and to authorize the hiring of someone outside the Canadian labor pool. Once authorized, Eric would receive a Temporary Work Permit to be employed in Canada. For health care eligibility and other reasons his Temporary Work Permit has to be for at least six months. For me to accompany him and also be eligible for health care, etc. it has to be for at least three years. A time extension can be applied for in the future if need be. During that three plus years we would apply for Permanent Resident status. A grand scheme as all the while we will be living in Canada. That is the plan. A three year situation gives us time to evaluate our lives in Canada while actually living there. Sthuper!