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Over 300,000 new immigrants “looking for greener pastures” relocate to Canada every year. If you are considering immigrating to another country, Canada is the best choice. It is a multicultural country that embraces diversity, welcomes newcomers with open arms, and gives them great opportunities for a better life.
Both businesses and the Canadian government encourage immigrants to live in Canada to enhance the country’s society and help propel its economy forward. There are plenty of Canadian job vacancies available for skilled foreign workers to fill. This means that you have endless opportunities to work in Canada, earn a good salary and achieve growth in your career.
Aside from that, you gain access to one of the world's best education systems and receive free healthcare for you and your family. In addition, you get to enjoy the natural beauty that is found all across Canada.
The nice thing about living in Canada compared to immigrating to another country is that you can enjoy most of the same benefits as a Canadian citizen if you have permanent resident status. The only significant differences are that Canadian citizens have the ability to vote, run for public office and obtain a Canadian passport (benefits immigrants can also receive later if they decide to become a Canadian citizen).
Furthermore, when you choose to immigrate to Canada, you also get the option to bring your family with you. This is especially valuable if you have young children, since they can maximize the benefits of living in Canada, including receiving a high-quality education, getting free healthcare, having Canadian job opportunities and growing up in a safe environment. After you settle down and have been living in Canada for three years, you can also apply to become a Canadian citizen!
The most significant advantage of living in Canada as a permanent resident is the opportunity to engage in work or study in the county for an extended period. Later on, you also have the option to become a Canadian citizen, given that you fulfill all the required criteria, including living in Canada at least three years during the previous five-year period.
Aside from more opportunities, having permanent resident status in Canada will also enable you to sponsor qualified family members to immigrate to Canada. You and your family, who have permanent resident status, will also have access to Canada's free healthcare system. As a Canadian permanent resident, you have the option to buy a home, start a business and you can travel to and from Canada as often as you like. These are just some of the many advantages of having permanent residency in Canada!
The total time for the Canadian immigration process depends on the requirements and the type of immigration program you are applying for. Generally, those skilled workers who qualify for Express Entry may have to wait for 8 to 12 months before they can get their Permanent Resident Visa to Canada.
There are two crucial factors that can affect the processing time of your Canadian visa application. The first factor is how quickly you are able to comply with the necessary requirements needed.
Some of the requirements for different types of Canadian economic programs need time to be complied with. For example, applying for a passport in your home country may take 15 working days to 30 working days. Requirements such as language proficiency tests may also take time to be obtained as assessment exams only happen several times a year at specific locations.
Having insufficient or questionable documents and requirements may also result in some delay in your application. This is because you may be required to submit additional documentation, and those documents will then be subject to another rigid validation process.
The second factor is how fast the Canadian immigration agency processes your application. Unlike the first factor, you would have no control over the Canadian immigration agency's speed of processing. There can be several delays on their part, such as a massive volume of applicants to evaluate, so the best thing that you can do is to wait patiently.
The ITA refers to the formal invitation of the Canadian immigration agency for skilled foreign workers with an eligible Express Entry profile to apply for a permanent residency visa to Canada. It is issued to candidates with a provincial nomination, Canadian job offer, or the highest scores on the Comprehensive Ranking System.
Foreign skilled workers who receive an ITA have 60 days to file their Canadian visa application. The decision for the application will be received within six months after the Canadian immigration agency has received it.
There are plenty of vacancies for skilled workers across different territories and provinces in Canada, which is why the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) was created. The PNP aims to provide Canadian Permanent Resident Visas to skilled foreign workers who satisfy the criteria for a specific PNP and the national Canadian immigration agency requirements.
Those who will receive a provincial nomination can apply for a permanent resident visa through the traditional pathway or by using the Express Entry System.
Please note that this program does not apply to Quebec. Instead of a PNP, they have their QSWP which is also known as the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program.
Foreign skilled workers with educational attainment outside of Canada who are applying for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) are required to get an ECA. An ECA or Education Credential Assessment is verification of educational credentials from authorized independent assessment companies.
The reason why you may need to get an ECA is to help assess the equivalence of your educational attainment from a foreign country with the standards of the Canadian education system. Although it is not always a requirement, having a favorable ECA could help increase your chances of getting an Invitation to Apply through your Express Entry profile.
Absolutely! There is a high demand for experienced foreign tradespeople throughout Canada. This is why the Federal Skilled Trades Program or FSTP was initiated.
Under the FSTP, foreign tradespeople who have a minimum of two years of paid work experience during the previous five years in a qualifying trade (such as welders, plumbers, mechanics, electricians, crane operators, chefs, carpenters, butchers, and bakers) are qualified to apply. Aside from having sufficient experience, they must also have good physical health, adequate ability to speak and read in English or French, and satisfy other criteria.
Most Canadian provinces and territories use the Provincial Nominee Program or PNP, but Quebec has its own standard called the Quebec Regular Skilled Worker Program or QSWP. It is for qualified foreign skilled workers who intend to live and work in Canada’s province of Quebec.
The QSWP uses a point system that factors in the applicant's educational attainment, age, experience, English and French language skills, and a job offer from an employer in Quebec. Those who qualify for QSWP will receive the Quebec Selection Certificate, which they can use to apply for permanent residency status with the Canadian national government.
It is essential to keep in mind that Quebec is predominantly a French-speaking province. This is why if you are planning to live there, you must know how to speak and read French adequately. Although some people do understand and speak English, having French language skills will also help your application.
You must first qualify for an eligible “economic immigrant” program to apply for Express Entry immigration to Canada. Examples of these economic programs are the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
If you are qualified, you must submit your personal information by creating an online Express Entry profile. Be truthful in your profile and continuously update the details on your profile if you gain new relevant experience or higher educational attainment.
Once the profile has been submitted, it will be evaluated by a Canadian immigration official, to determine whether you are eligible for Express Entry. The evaluation will be based partly on a points score calculated on the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Those who successfully qualify will be put in the Express Entry pool of candidates. They will have the chance to be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) once they get a qualifying offer for employment in Canada, or receive a provincial nomination for a PNP, or if they have one of the highest point scores on the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).
Applicants who have received an ITA have 60 days to formally apply for a Canadian Visa. The decision for the approval of the Canadian visa application is usually made within six months.
The FSWP is a Canadian immigration program intended for skilled foreign workers and their dependents. It follows a point system where applicants must have a minimum of 67 points out of 100 to be considered eligible.
Points can be received for the following six factors: The applicant's adaptability to Canadian society, age, offer of employment in Canada, educational attainment, English and French language skills, and relevant work experience.
Those who will apply through Express Entry under FSWP eligibility must have a minimum of one year of full-time paid experience. This experience must be relevant to the program's qualifying occupation and it must be within the past ten years.
For this Canadian immigration program, an ECA is typically required. Passing a language assessment test authorized by the Canadian government with a certain minimum score within a certain amount of time will get you extra points.
Those who successfully meet all the criteria and requirements for the FSWP can file an online Express Entry profile containing their relevant information. An official with the Canadian immigration agency will review the foreign worker’s details and if they meet the eligibility criteria, their profile will be placed in the Express Entry pool of candidates. If the foreign worker receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA), they will have up to 60 days to submit an application for Canadian permanent residency and a decision will normally be given within six months. With permanent resident status, an immigrant will receive most of the same benefits and opportunities as a Canadian citizen.
The FSTP is another type of Canadian economic immigration program. The significant difference it has with the FSWP is that it requires the applicant to accomplish two years of full-time paid work experience for a qualified skilled trade in the past five years.
Applicants under this program must file an online Express Entry profile and satisfy all the requirements for the program, including having good character, good health, and adequate English and French language skills. They must also receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) and file their Canadian visa application with all of the necessary documents and fees.
Under the FSTP, applicants who successfully receive permanent residency status can also sponsor their qualified family members for a visa to Canada. If successful, they will also receive a permanent residency status and enjoy most of the same benefits as Canadian citizens.
Unlike the FSTP, FSWP, and PNP, the CEC program is intended for those individuals who have short-term visas in Canada who wish to stay permanently. The CEC program is also included in the Express Entry immigration system.
This program aims for Canada to keep the excellent temporary foreign workers and international students who are already legally in the country. Those who have successful CEC program applications will also receive a permanent residency visa to Canada. They can use them to sponsor their immediate family members and engage in work activities in Canada for an unlimited period.
With the advent of modern technology, seeking and applying for a job in Canada is possible despite not being in the country's territory. With Internet access, you can look up different Canadian job vacancies and apply for them online or via email.
One of the best sites to look for job vacancies is Canada’s Job Bank. There are tens of thousands of job opportunities listed on the governmental website and you can search for them according to your industry, province of choice or other search categories. Once you have found a Canadian job vacancy that you think fits your qualifications, you can submit your resume, CV, and other employment-related documents online.
If companies are interested in you, job interviews can be conducted through video conferences. However, in certain cases, some companies would require you to have an in-person interview, but you can ask for considerations given your circumstances.
Getting a job offer from an employer in Canada is vital in your Canadian immigration process. It will significantly help your chances of getting an Invitation to Apply and obtaining permanent resident status.
A Canadian permanent resident is allowed to travel to and from Canada anytime. This includes trips outside Canada for business or leisure for both short-term and long-term visits.
It is essential to remember, however, that a permanent resident must have an accumulated stay in Canada for two years in a five-year period. They must also continuously comply with the requirements that come with a Canadian permanent resident visa.
A Canadian permanent resident can apply for citizenship after living in Canada for a minimum of 1,095 days or three years. That time must be within the five-year period prior to filing the application and must satisfy all the criteria needed to become a Canadian citizen.
Having Canadian citizenship will give you the privilege of voting during the national and local elections. It will also allow you to apply for a Canadian passport and gain entry to many countries without extensive visa applications.
Processing an application for a permanent resident visa to Canada requires specific fees to be paid by the applicant at different stages of the procedure. The cost of these fees depends on the requirements that you have to comply with for a particular Canadian immigration program. For example, you have to pay to get an English or French language proficiency evaluation. You also need to pay to get an authorized medical exam and police clearances. There is a fee for the Educational Credential Assessment (ECA), Canadian Visa Application Fee, Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF), and a fee to receive your Canadian Permanent Residence Card.
Some documents from your home country may need to be translated into English or French to be accepted by the Canadian immigration agency, and this will also cost you. Aside from that, receiving professional services from Canadian immigration specialists will also be another set of expenses during the application process, but these are usually paid in installments to make them more affordable.
The Canadian visa application fee will only be paid towards the last part of the process. If you have been approved for permanent resident status, you need to pay for the individual application of your spouse/partner and children (if relevant).
To give you a clearer idea of the cost, in 2019, the processing fee for the Canadian Permanent Resident Visa Application process was CAD 550. You would need to pay CAD 85 for the Biometrics Fee and CAD 500 (2020) for the Right of Permanent Residence Fee or RPRF. For the Permanent Resident Card itself, you will only have to pay CAD 50 as a fee.
The fees mentioned above are only applicable to an individual Canadian immigration visa application. They are also subject to change according to the discretion of the Canadian government.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this webpage is not and should not be considered as expert or professional advice.