Immigration Programs

Immigration Programs

Canada has flexible and positive migration policies and works towards maximizing the economic and social growth to accomplish the annual immigration targets.  Immigration has always been a defining characteristic of Canada, bringing together families, providing safe and secure environment to its residents and attracting business immigrants and newcomers with job skills.

Immigration programs are based on various aspects under a number of selection systems.  You may qualify in one of these categories – obtain assessment of your eligibility best suited to your situation.

Permanent Resident Visas

The permanent residents ofCanadahave the right to live, study and work anywhere inCanadafor as long as they remain permanent residents, and are entitled to most social benefits accorded to Canadian citizens. The permanent residents are entitled to apply for Canadian citizenship after 3 years of obtaining permanent residency.

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) implemented on June 28th, 2002 has brought in significant modifications to the selection grid. The Act and regulations are voluminous and complex set of rules subject to frequent changes.  There are different ways to qualify for Canadian permanent resident status: as an Economic Immigrant; as a member of the Family Class; and in certain cases, as a Refugee.

Economic Immigrant Class is further divided into Federal Program, Quebec Program, Provincial Nominee Program and the Canadian Experience Class

Federal Program constitutes of Federal Skilled Worker category and Business Immigration Program.

Federal Skilled Worker

News Release - The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) will relaunch and start accepting applications on May 4, 2013.

Canada values the skills and experiences that foreign professionals and workers bring with them and has many employment opportunities for the qualified person.  The goal of encouraging this type of immigration is to attract people with good education and employment skills who will contribute toCanada’s economic growth and development.

Skilled workers are people whose education, language ability and skilled work experience will enable them to become successfully established inCanada. They are assessed according to point system which evaluates their ability to adapt to the Canadian economy. The selection grid comprises of six main factors – Education, Experience, Language, Arranged Employment, Age and Adaptability factors.

To qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker (Professional), applicants must:

  • Have at least one year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in one of the qualifying occupations; or
  • Qualify for Arranged Employment with a full-time permanent job offer from a Canadian employer; or
  • Have completed a PhD inCanada, or have completed two years of study inCanadatowards a PhD, in both cases at a recognized institutions

In addition, Canada Federal Skilled Worker (Professional) applicants must attain at least 67 points based on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) immigration selection factors, and have at least one year continuous full-time or equivalent paid skilled work experience in the past 10 years.

Canadian Experience Class (CEC):

Canadian Experience Class (CEC) caters specifically to Temporary Foreign workers and International students as they have obtained a Canadian education and / or Canadian work experience and they have already adapted and settled into Canadian society.

For International Graduates with Canadian work experience, the highlights of the qualifying criteria are:

  • Successfully completed a program of study of at least two academic years at a Canadian post-secondary educational institution;
  • Obtained at least one year of skilled, professional or technical work experience within 24 months of the application date; and
  • Moderate or basic language skills, depending on the skill level of their occupation.

For Temporary Foreign Workers, the minimum requirements are:

  • Obtained at least two years of skilled, professional or technical work experience within 36 months of the application date; and
  • Moderate or basic language skills, depending on the skill level of their occupation.

Applicants can remain in Canadathroughout the application process.  However, the Canadian Experience Class is also open to individuals who are no longer in Canada, provided that they submit their application within one year of leaving their job in Canada.

The Canadian Experience Class requirements are based on a pass or fail model.

Temporary foreign workers and / or International student may also have options to be eligible under certain Provincial Nominee Programs.

You are welcome to contact us and know your specific qualifying options.

Business Immigration Program

The Government of Canada welcomes and encourages international business people to invest their entrepreneurial expertise, technical skills and investment capital inCanada’s economy. This class of immigrant makes a positive contribution toCanada’s economic development by applying their capital and knowledge to Canadian business ventures, which in turn creates jobs for Canadians and permanent residents.

Canada’s Business Immigration Program seeks to promote economic development and employment by attracting people with venture capital, business acumen and entrepreneurial skills. The three (3) types of business immigrants are – Investors, Entrepreneurs and Self-Employed.

Investors:

The investors are persons who have operated, controlled or directed a successful business or commercial undertaking by their own endeavors.

The Immigrant Investor Program seeks experienced business people to invest C$800,000 into Canada’s economy and become permanent residents. Investors must

  • show that they have business experience
  • have a minimum net worth of C$1,600,000 that was obtained legally and
  • make a C$800,000 investment

Note:  The annual Cap has been introduced as per the Ministerial instructions for the Federal Investor Program.

Entrepreneur:

The Entrepreneur Program seeks to attract people with business experience and they must have a net worth of at least $300,000 legally obtained.  Entrepreneurs must have the intention and ability to actively manage a business inCanada(anywhere inCanadaexceptQuebec) that will positively impact the Canadian economy and create employment opportunities for Canadian residents.

Please note:  Applications are no longer being accepted as of July 1, 2011.   This category is on hold until further notice.

Self-employed Category:

“Self-Employed” class provides an avenue for applicants who are likely to be successful inCanadaas artists, singers, musicians, actors, athletes or farmers.    The person must have the intention and ability to be self-employed inCanadaand must make a significant contribution to cultural activities or artistic life or by purchasing and managing a farm.

Although conditions are not imposed the self-employed persons must have enough money to support himself/herself and his/her family after arriving inCanada.

Applicant must have at least two years of one of the following types of experience in the period beginning five years before the date of application:

self-employment in cultural activities or athletics;

participation at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics; or

Farm management experience.

Quebec Program – Skilled Workers/Professionals and Business Immigrants to Quebec

TheQuebecand Federal governments share jurisdiction with respect to immigration toQuebec. The Canada-Quebec Accord givesQuebecthe right to approve immigration applicants using its own selection criteria, while the Federal government retains jurisdiction over medical and security requirements.

The Quebec Government selects applicants based upon factors relating to age, education, work experience, French language ability and ties to Quebec. The selection system is, in theory, designed to indicate the likelihood of succeeding in settling in the Provinceof Quebec. The Quebec Selection Criteria is quite different from the Federal criteria, as Quebecplaces more emphasis on education, employment, French language and as well as the qualifications of a spouse in order to qualify for a QuebecCertificate of Selection.

To be selected by Quebecas a business immigrant, an applicant must undertake to make an investment that will generate significant economic benefits forQuebec. There are specific eligibility requirements for each of the three programs for business immigrants: Entrepreneur Program, Investor Program and Self-employed Worker Program.

Provincial Nomination Program

Most provinces in Canada have an agreement with the Government of Canada that allows them to play a more direct role in selecting immigrants who wish to settle in that province.  The requirements and procedures for the Provincial Nominee Programs differ from Province to Province depending upon the needs and experience.  The program identifies and recruits immigrants who have specialized skills which will be of benefit to the Province in further developing the Province’s economy. The program will allow the province to recruit persons with occupational and entrepreneurial skills.

After being assessed, a Nomination Certificate will be issued to the visa office where the nominee makes an application to immigrate toCanada.  This certificate identifies the person as a nominee of the province, and will be used at a Canadian visa office overseas to process the applicant. Subsequent to this, each applicant must apply for a permanent resident visa at a Canadian overseas visa office. The Government of Canada is responsible for processing these visa requests in addition to reviewing the regular requirements for health, security background checks, etc.

Provincial Nominees are not assessed on the six selection factors of the Federal Skilled Workers Program.

Family Class Sponsorship

Family category immigration reunites families in Canadian homes.  Family Class Immigrants are sponsored for a Canadian Immigrant Visa by a close relative who is either a Canadian citizen or a Canadian permanent resident. The Canadian relative is known as the Sponsor.

To qualify as a Family Class Immigrant, an applicant must be the Canadian Sponsor’s:

spouse, common-law or conjugal partner 16 years of age or older;

parents and grand-parents;

dependent children, including adopted children;

children under 18 years of age whom you intend to adopt;

brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphans, under the age of 18 and not married or in a common-law relationship

Also included are children under 19 years of age who are either orphaned or placed with a child welfare authority for adoption and who the Sponsor intends to adopt.

The Sponsor must be able to demonstrate the financial ability to provide for the essential needs of the Family Class Immigrant and dependents. The financial ability requirements are eased when sponsoring a spouse and/or an unmarried child / children under 19 years old.

TEMPORARY VISAS

The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and Immigration Regulations not only cover persons who wish to live in Canada permanently but also those who wish to study and/or work temporarily in Canada and persons who wish to visit. A temporary resident is a person who is lawfully inCanadafor a temporary purpose. Temporary residents include students, foreign workers and visitors such as tourists

Foreign nationals wishing to come toCanadaas temporary residents must demonstrate that they will respect the conditions that apply to temporary residents. One of these conditions is that they will voluntarily leave at the end of their visit.

Work Permits

Temporary employment visas, or “work permits”, allow skilled professionals to come toCanadatemporarily for work.  ImmigrationCanadanormally requires that a firm job offer from a Canadian employer is present prior to applying for an Employment Authorization. In most cases, a job offer is required, and that job offer must be confirmed by Human Resources Development Canada.  This is called a Labour Market Opinion and a job offer validation.

The rationale behind prior HRDC Confirmation of job offers is to ensure that Employment Authorizations are granted only in circumstances where there will not be a negative impact on the Canadian job market. The HRDC Confirmation process thus entails that the Canadian employer demonstrate that a “significant” effort has been made to seek and hire a Canadian for the position in which there is a petition for validation. It is also generally necessary to establish that the temporary worker has special abilities or skills which are not easily found withinCanada. Generally, the procedure for obtaining HRDC Confirmation of job offers is demanding and time-consuming.

Work permits are available for a wide-range of skilled professions. There are exemptions to some specific occupations where HRDC confirmation may not be required and some occupations that may be exempt of work permit.

Study Permits

Citizenship and Immigration Canada requires that foreign individuals who wish to study at Canadian educational institutions must obtain Student Authorizations. A Student Authorization is a document issued by Immigration Canada officials that permits a foreign individual to study inCanada, generally at a specific Canadian educational institution and in a specific program, and always for a limited time.

ImmigrationCanadawill normally issue a Student Authorization if an applicant has received an acceptance letter from a qualified Canadian educational institution, and possesses sufficient funds to pay for tuition and living costs.  In some cases, Immigration Canada may require applicants to undergo medical examinations. In addition, holders of Student Authorizations must apply for and be granted Canadian Visitor Visas (unless they are citizens of a visa exempt country).

Applicants who wish to study inMontrealor another city in theProvinceofQuebecwill also require approval from immigration authorities of the Government of Quebec.

Live- In Caregivers

This category applies to individuals who are qualified under certain requirements to enterCanadaas a Live-in Caregiver. The Live-in Caregiver provides childcare, senior home support care or care of the disabled without supervision, in a private household inCanadain which the person resides. Participants who are selected under the Live-in Caregiver Program are allowed to apply for permanent residence within the country if they have worked fulltime for at least two years as a Live-in Caregiver in Canada.

Visitor Visa

Citizenship and Immigration Canada defines Visitors as people who wish to enterCanadafor a temporary purpose, such as tourists, temporary foreign workers and international students. All Visitors to Canada must apply for and be granted Visitor Visas by Immigration Canada unless they are citizens of visa exempt countries.  In addition, Visitors should not have a criminal record or pose a security risk, should be in good health, and should have sufficient funds to support themselves during their stay in Canada.

All Visitors must always satisfy the immigration official at the port of entry that the purpose of their visit intoCanadais of a temporary nature.