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Frequently asked questions.
  • What does Canadian permanent resident status confer?

    Pursuant to the provisions of Canada's constitutional laws, the holder of a Canadian permanent resident visa and his/her accompanying dependents are permitted to permanently reside in Canada and earn a livelihood in any one of the ten provinces or three territories within Canada. In addition, individuals with Canadian permanent residence may attend primary and secondary education institutions in the various provincially administered public school systems, tuition exempt. Permanent residents also qualify for provincially administered universal health care coverage.

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  • How are applications assessed under the skilled worker class?

    Skilled Workers are persons with suitable education, work experience, age and language abilities under one of Canada’s official languages and who are selected as permanent residents under six selection factors which demonstrate their likelihood to become economically settled in Canada. Applicants are assessed under 6 factors and numerous sub factors of assessment providing for 100 points. Individuals with at least one year of continuous full-time employment experience, or the equivalent in part-time employment in one or more “open” occupations, within the 10 years preceding the date of their application and who possess the required settlement funding, may qualify for assessment. Applications submitted under the Federal skilled worker class undergo a two-stage assessment process. To qualify under the First-Stage, skilled worker applicants must meet the following conditions:

    1. Eliminatory condition:
      • Possess at least one year of applicable experience in one of 38 major high demand occupations (health, skilled trades and finance) listed here; OR
      • Possess an approved offer of employment “Arranged Employment”; OR
      • Legally living in Canada for a minimum of one year either as a temporary foreign worker or an international student.
    Applicants who meet one of the above eliminatory conditions will be eligible for continued processing as a skilled worker under a Second-Stage at which time they must also meet each of the following essential selection conditions:
    1. Essential selection conditions:
      • Possess one-year, within the previous 10 years, of suitable continuous full-time paid work experience or the equivalent in part-time continuous employment; AND
      • The work experience must be classified within Skill Type 0 (Managerial Occupations), Skill Level A (Professional Occupations), or Skill Level B (Technical Occupations and Skilled Trades) within the meaning of the National Occupational Classification system; AND
      • Score sufficient points under the skilled worker point grid comprising of six selection factors. The current pass mark is 67 points; AND
      • Possess suitable settlement funding; AND
      • Undergo a successful security background and medical examination.
    The Regulations enumerates the factors and allocates the maximum number of units as follows:
    EDUCATIONMax. 25
    LANGUAGEMaxMax. 28
    EXPERIENCEMaxMax. 15
    AGEMaxMax. 12
    In summary, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations under the skilled worker class features a selection process that:
    • Implements a selection regime that places emphasis on higher education, language abilities and flexible transferable skills.
    • Favours married (or common-law partners, conjugal partners) applicants with university education at the graduate level.
    • Rewards applicants with government approved job offers in Canada.
    • Provides the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration with authority to set and amend the pass mark at any time during the process with no lock-in protection for an application under assessment. This gives rise to a highly unpredictable selection regime.
    • Preserves the discretionary powers of a visa officer to assess an applicant’s overall settlement potential, irrespective of the point total and approve an application under the positive discretion (or refuse an application under the negative discretion) provisions of the regulations. This mechanism is used to accept a number of applicants who will be able to successfully settle in Canada yet who do meet the applicable pass mark.
    • Follows a processing system based on an applicant’s nationality or current place of legal residence.
    • Establishes a continuing conformity principle requiring applicants to meet applicable selection criteria at the time an application for a permanent resident visa is made as well as at the time the visa is issued. This gives rise to a highly unpredictable selection regime.

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  • How long does it take to obtain a permanent resident visa under the Federal Skilled Worker Class?

    On November 28, 2008, the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism, provided assurances that new federal skilled worker applications should receive a selection decision within 6-12 months from submission. This contrasts substantially with applications submitted under the old regime where, depending upon the time of year, the immigration program and the office in question and other factors, the processing time for an application for permanent residence filed under the economic class can vary from between 12 months and 40 months. This is the time generally needed to demonstrate compliance under one of the applicable categories; a clean bill of health for the applicant and accompanying dependents; sufficient assets to successfully establish the family in Canada; and a confirmation of no criminal inadmissibility’s for the applicant and the overage accompanying dependents. (The immigration offices in New Delhi, Islamabad, Beijing, Manila and Accra historically attract the most applications and therefore have the longest processing times).

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  • Who is included in the application for permanent residence?

    The application for permanent residence generally includes the applicant, spouse or common-law partner or conjugal partner 16 years of age or older and any unmarried children under the age of 22 years. Children over the age of 22 may in prescribed circumstances, be included as accompanying family members.

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  • What about the interview process?

    Generally, an interview would be conducted to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the documentation submitted; to clarify issues relating to the applicant’s background; to confirm an applicant possesses the necessary means to settle in Canada; to verify the absence of security inadmissibility’s; to ensure the applicant is intending to enter the Canadian labour market; to verify whether there are sufficient grounds to exercise positive discretion; etc. The interview cannot be conducted to verify an applicant’s language abilities.
    Applicants are advised to bring to the interview, all original documentation supporting the application; certificates of non-criminal conviction; evidence of settlement funds.

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  • Who must attend the selection interview?

    The applicant and spouse (where applicable), will generally be required to travel to the processing immigration office and attend a selection interview. In many cases, the requirement for a spouse to attend the selection interview can be waived.
    As well, certain posts require that accompanying dependent children over the age of 22 years attend the immigration selection interview.

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  • Is full-time employment experience a necessary requirement under the Skilled Worker Class?

    Yes. During the First-Stage evaluation process, applicants must:

    • Possess at least one year of applicable full-time experience in one of 38 major high demand occupations (health, skilled trades and finance); OR
    • Possess an approved offer of employment “Arranged Employment”; OR
    • Legally living in Canada for a minimum of one year either as a temporary foreign worker or an international student.

    During the Second-Stage evaluation process, applicants must possess:
    At least one year of experience within the past 10 years in one of the occupations listed in either Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (the “NOC”) is a necessary preliminary requisite to qualifying for permanent resident status.
    A number of graduate students and post-doctoral candidates may not possess so called "full time" employment experience within the traditional sense other than faculty related internships, teaching positions, etc. In many cases, such experience may prove sufficient.
    The number of units of assessment awarded under the experience factor will depend upon reasoned presentations and supporting documentation on the part of the applicant demonstrating that the applicant meets the requirements of NOC and would ultimately be left to the appreciation of the interviewing visa officer.

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  • What if the intended occupation differs from past employment positions?

    There is no requirement for an applicant to become employed in Canada in an occupation that is consistent with past employment experience.

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  • Is there a requirement for the applicant to obtain a government approved offer of employment in order to qualify for permanent residence under the Skilled Worker Class?

    No. Under current rules, an applicant can qualify for admission under the Federal Skilled Workers program without an approved offer of employment on the basis of possessing at least one year of applicable full-time experience in one of 38 major high demand occupations (health, skilled trades and finance.
    However, applicants who do not meet the above requirement must obtain a suitable offer of employment which must be approved by Human Resources and Social Development Canada “HRSDC”). This is referred to as “arranged employment” This will also provide a prospective applicant with an additional 15 units of assessment.
    The current selection rules favour applicants with government approved job offers in Canada.

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  • What if the intended occupation requires registration/licensing?

    There are a number of occupations in Canada requiring registration and/or licensing, as a condition of employment, a process that varies from province to province. However, the employment requirements including occupational licensing is not a requirement that must be met as a condition of immigration approval.

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  • Are assets/personal net worth determining factors in the selection process?

    Under the skilled worker class, applicants must provide evidence of sufficient funds for the family to travel and settle in Canada as measured against the current annual Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) published by Statistics Canada.
    A sum of approximately $21,000 would satisfy the requirements for a family comprising of the applicant, spouse and two. Such evidence may be furnished immediately prior to visa issuance.
    Exempt from this financial requirement would be applicants who have received an approved job offer in Canada.

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  • Does it help to have a relative in Canada?

    The principal applicant receives five points for adaptability if they or their accompanying spouse or common-law partner, have a close relative in Canada such as a parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, spouse, common-law partner, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is physically residing in Canada.

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  • Must an individual reside in Canada in order to maintain permanent resident status?

    Current legislation provides that permanent resident status is maintained if a person is physically resident in Canada for at least 730 days (2 years) within any period of 5 years, or if other circumstances are met.
    If not physically present in Canada, permanent resident status can be maintained while abroad where the Canadian resident is abroad with a Canadian citizen spouse or parent; with a Canadian employer, or with a Canadian permanent resident who works for a Canadian employer.
    It is sufficient for a permanent resident to demonstrate at examination, if they have been a permanent resident for less than five years, that they can potentially meet the 730-day residency obligation in respect of the five-year period immediately after their arrival in Canada. An officer is not permitted to exclude the possibility that an applicant who has resided abroad for three years, may still be able to comply with the residency obligation during the remaining two years of the five-year period.
    Canadian residency rules are among the most flexible. In effect one who is recently admitted as a permanent resident can theoretically leave Canada for up to three years after activating their resident visa to pursue their existing obligations while preserving Canadian permanent residence throughout this initial period.

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  • Can foreign nationals who have applied for Canadian permanent residence under the skilled worker class obtain a temporary non-immigrant (visitor's) visa to Canada?

    Traditionally, visa officers have viewed concurrent applications for permanent residence and temporary entry as being incompatible with each other.
    Current law attempts to clarify the issue and provides that immigration officers must assess the present intention of the applicant when a person applies to visit Canada and verify the question of whether the applicant has the ability and the intention to enter Canada for a temporary purpose and thereafter leave Canada at the expiry of the visitor status, regardless if the long-term goal is to secure permanent residence in Canada. Visitor’s (work, study or visit) with pending immigrant applications may be subject to the issue of Dual Intent if they cannot demonstrate that they will leave Canada by the end of the period authorized for their stay.
    Under current immigration policy, applicants are encouraged to become familiar with Canada's landscape, which will augment the applicant's likelihood of successfully integrating into Canadian society. Applicants are discouraged however from "waiting" inside Canada during the permanent residence application process. Applicants who wish to procure temporary entry into Canada and who have a pending application for permanent residence will be required to demonstrate sufficient ties to their current country of residence prior to the issuing of a temporary visitor's visa by the Canadian visa office.

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  • Can foreign nationals who have applied for Canadian permanent residence under the Skilled Worker Class concurrently apply for a temporary non-immigrant work permit?

    The issues raised above should be reiterated here as well. In addition, applicants who wish to procure a temporary work permit must generally initiate the process with the assistance of the prospective employer who must file an application with the Canada Employment authorities inside Canada. It is only after the employment authorities have confirmed that the hiring in question will have a neutral affect on the local labour market that the application would be approved and forwarded to the appropriate visa office outside Canada for immigration assessment and processing. This is known as obtaining a positive "labour market opinion". As the average processing time for permanent residence applications currently exceeds 12 months at most immigration offices, it may be advantageous in many cases, for the applicant to apply for a temporary work permit either prior to or during the processing of an application for permanent residence.

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  • What are the current prospects for employment in Canada?

    Employers in the Canadian Health Care, Engineering, Financial Services sectors, Construction and Skilled Trades, Machining and Heavy Equipment Operators, Automotive and Agriculture are recruiting qualified individuals who are lawfully permitted to take up employment in Canada on a temporary or permanent basis. Many of these firms are currently advertising available positions in Canada's leading newspapers, trade journals and or through the Internet.

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  • What are the general tax implications of acquiring Canadian permanent residence?

    The Canadian Government imposes income tax on the basis of residency rather than citizenship. It is therefore possible to become a Canadian citizen and a non-resident for tax purposes. After becoming a permanent resident and prior to attaining citizenship, an individual would be required to pay Canadian taxes on worldwide income. However, the tax legislation allows for newly arriving permanent residents to establish an offshore trust into which may flow all of the non-Canadian sourced income, except employment income. The trust avails for a maximum period of five years and it is therefore possible to become a Canadian citizen and a non-resident within the life span of the trust. The assets of a newly arriving immigrant are not taxed under Canadian law.

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  • What if a prospective applicant is destined to the Province of Quebec?

    Pursuant to the provisions of the Quebec/Canada Accord, the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and the Quebec Act Respecting the Selection of Foreign Nationals, the Quebec Government is currently the only provincial government in Canada to have concluded a comprehensive agreement for the purpose of facilitating the formulation, coordination and implementation of immigration policies and programs with respect to the admission of foreign nationals to the province.
    However, the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration authorities maintain exclusive jurisdiction in the areas of visa issuance, and medical and criminal inadmissibility.
    Applicants, who are intent on settling in Quebec after acquiring Canadian permanent residence, are encouraged to file their applications for a Quebec Certificate of Selection with the appropriate Quebec Delegation outside Canada. Once this undertaking is completed and approved, the appropriate Canadian visa office would review the appropriate applications for Canadian permanent residence.
    Applicants destined to Quebec or who attempt landing in Quebec without prior approval from the Quebec authorities will likely experience difficulties at a Port Of Entry. This is a sensitive issue and must be addressed by experienced counsel.

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  • How does Canadian citizenship assist the visa holder in temporarily entering the United States?

    Canadian permanent residence does not confer any particular US immigration benefits. Canadian citizens may travel to the US without a visa, and may seek employment in one year increments under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA provides a list of eligible classes of employment most of which are executive, managerial, professional or scientific in nature. The US does not offer Canadians a fast track to permanent residence or employment outside of the NAFTA list.

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  • Why Take IELTS Test For Canadian Immigration?

    Visa officers want that Canadian immigration applicants take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) for better settlement in Canada. IELTS outcome help visa officers decide whether the applicant has enough English language ability for proper mixing into Canadian culture and the Canadian labor force. To show language aptitude, lots of immigration applicants present a written English document with their application. Yet, an application that relies exclusively on a written submission may acquire longer to be practice than one that is submitted with IELTS results. For the reason that the IELTS results are self-governing and demonstrable, the visa officer will recognize these results as determinate and will be capable of concluding language ability more rapidly. For CIC i.e. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, IELTS results are measured the only decisive proof of English language proficiency. If the visa officer requires you to win the IELTS, you will require making contact with your local IELTS test centre to discover the dates when you will be capable of taking your test and what the expenditure will be. Then, download and complete the submission form, and send it the local IELTS centre, together with your photos, a copy of your ID, and your payment proof.

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  • What is TEF test?

    French Language Test for Canada Immigration
    The officially recognized French Language proficiency test for Canadian Immigration is TEF: Test d’évaluation de français The Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry administers these tests. Like British Council administers IELTS. You can either opt this as your first language or second language. French Test will give you extra points for Canadian Immigration. Note: You must put forward results from the following TEF tests as evidence of your French language skills:

    1. Compréhension écrite
    2. Compréhension orale
    3. Expression écrite
    4. Expression orale

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