DISCLAIMER: This guide is not and shall not be considered as professional or expert advice.
What is a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa?
A Canadian Permanent Resident (PR) Visa allows an immigrant to live, work and study in Canada long-term and grants them special rights and privileges in Canada, yet, allows them to remain a citizen of their home country. They receive health care and most social benefits just like a Canadian citizen. A permanent resident is not allowed, however, to vote or run for political office, and cannot work in a job requiring a high-level security clearance. In order to keep permanent residency, you are required to live in Canada for at least 730 days over a five-year period. If you commit a serious crime, you risk the chance of being deported and losing permanent residency. One very important additional benefit is that after living in Canada with a permanent resident visa for only three years in the past five years and meeting other criteria, an immigrant has an opportunity to apply for Canadian citizenship!
Are there different Canadian immigration programs?
Yes - There are several different Canadian immigration programs, each with its own criteria, including:
Federal Skilled Workers Program
Federal Skilled Trades Program
Provincial Nominees Program
Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program
Family Sponsorship Program
How can I find out which Canadian immigration program I may be eligible to apply for?
Our authorized immigration consultants who we work with can use their expertise to evaluate which of several Canadian immigration programs you may be best-suited to apply for, based on your personal profile.
Does the Canadian government charge a fee for submitting a Canadian Immigration Application?
Governments across the globe charge fees for immigration and visa services and Canada is no exception. Fees depend on the size of the family and which visa a person is applying for. Application processing fees can be hundreds of dollars and are non-refundable, regardless of the result of the visa application.
When do I pay Canadian government fees?
This depends on the type of visa you are applying for and the requirements of the particular Canadian office that you apply through. Generally, the fees must be paid upon submission of the documents. Payment is made by credit card or bank draft, certified check or money order.
In what currency must I pay the Canadian government fees?
All fees are payable in Canadian Dollars or the local currency as stipulated by the visa office.
What is the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)?
This fee of $500 must be paid by each principal applicant and their spouse or common-law partner before they are issued their Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada. Dependent children of the principal applicant are not required to pay. The RPRF is separate from the Application Fee for a PR Visa to Canada discussed above. Please note that this fee is subject to change by the Canadian government at any time.
How long does the Canadian Immigration application process take?
After the application has been officially submitted, the entire process is expected to take up to 18 months. Obviously, there are many factors that affect the immigration application processing time, such as the particular visa you are applying for, as well as which Canadian Immigration Visa Office is processing the application. Processing times can change without prior notice. On January 1, 2015, the Canadian government launched its "Express Entry" immigration system to speed up the process of applying for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada through certain "economic immigration" programs, such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program. The Provincial Nominees Program (PNP) will also be affected by the new "Express Entry" Canadian immigration system. Skilled foreign workers who apply for a PR Visa to Canada through the "Express Entry" system should receive a decision on their visa application within 6 months of submitting their complete PR Visa Application!
What is the "Express Entry" Canadian immigration system?
On January 1, 2015, the Canadian government launched its new "Express Entry" system for skilled foreign workers who want to apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada through certain "economic immigration" programs, such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program. The Provincial Nominees Program (PNP) is also be affected by the "Express Entry" system. A key goal of the new "Express Entry" Canadian immigration system is to speed up the approval of skilled foreign workers for a PR Visa to Canada so they can help meet the needs of Canadian businesses. Skilled foreign workers must first complete an online "Express Entry" profile containing their relevant details (e.g., education, work experience, job skills, language abilities, age, etc.). If the Canadian government assesses that the skilled foreign worker appears to meet the criteria to apply for one of the specific "economic immigration" programs (such as the FSWP or FSTP), they may move them into the "candidate pool". Skilled foreign workers in the candidate pool who receive a qualifying Canadian job offer OR who receive a nomination from a Canadian province or territory (through the Provincial Nominees Program) OR who obtain a high enough score on the new Express Entry "Comprehensive Ranking System" (CRS) may then be issued an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA) for a PR Visa to Canada, depending on their ranking compared to others in the candidate pool. Those who receive an ITA will have 60 days to submit their complete Application for a PR Visa to Canada, along with all of the required documentation (including the medical report, background check and "proof of funds"), plus pay the necessary fee(s). Under the "Express Entry" Canadian immigration system, applicants for a PR Visa to Canada will receive a decision on their visa application within only 6 months after they submit their compete PR Visa Application!
What is an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA)?
As of January 1, 2015, immigration to Canada through certain visa programs (such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program and the Federal Skilled Trades Program) is "by invitation only" under the new "Express Entry" system. Skilled foreign workers who submit an online "Express Entry" profile with their relevant details and who appear to meet the requirements for certain "economic immigration" programs (e.g., FSWP, FSTP or CEC) may be placed into a "candidate pool" for up to 12 months. In order to leave the candidate pool and receive an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA) for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada, a skilled foreign worker will need to receive a qualifying Canadian job offer OR be nominated by a province or territory in Canada (through the Provincial Nominees Program) OR obtain a high enough score on the "Express Entry" Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) AND they will also need to be among the highest ranked candidates in the pool when the ITAs are periodically issued throughout the year. Once the ITA is issued, the skilled foreign worker will have 60 days to submit their complete Canadian PR Visa Application, all the required documents and pay any necessary fee(s) and should receive a decision on their visa application within 6 months. If all goes well, they will be issued a PR Visa to Canada and be approved for Canadian immigration!
Will applications for all Canadian immigration programs be processed using the "Express Entry" system?
No - Only applications for certain Canadian "economic immigration" programs (such as the Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program and Canadian Experience Class Program) will be processed using the Express Entry system. In some cases under certain conditions, applications for the Provincial Nominees Program (PNP) may also be processed through the Express Entry system. Other Canadian immigration programs (such as the Family Sponsorship Program and Caregiver Program) will NOT be processed using the Express System and will continue to be processed as they have in the past.
If I am already in Canada, do I still have to pay the Right of Permanent Resident Fee?
Yes, all applicants are required to pay.
How long can I wait to come to Canada after my Canada Immigration Visa is issued?
Once a person is approved for an immigration visa to Canada, an expiration date will be stamped in your passport. You must enter Canada before this expiry date; this date is generally 1 year after you have completed the medical examination.
Is a job offer required to immigrate to Canada under the Skilled Worker / Professional category?
With the new "Express Entry" Canadian immigration system which launched on January 1, 2015, skilled foreign workers will submit an "Express Entry" profile with their relevant details and those who appear to meet the criteria for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), or certain other "economic immigration" programs, may then be placed in a "pool" of potential candidates. In order to leave the pool and receive an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA) for the PR Visa to Canada, a candidate will need to receive a qualifying Canadian job offer OR be nominated by a province or territory in Canada (through the Provincial Nominees Program) OR obtain a high enough score on the "Express Entry" Comprehensive Ranking System AND also be among the highest ranked candidates in the pool when the ITAs are periodically issued throughout the year. One benefit of the new "Express Entry" Canadian immigration system that launches on January 1, 2015, is that most applicants for the FSWP will already have a qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer which can help to give them a "head start" on their new life in Canada!
What is a "job offer" within the context of Canadian immigration?
In order for a 'job offer' to qualify in the context of Canadian immigration, the job must be permanent, not seasonal, and must be full time. For the federal skilled worker visa, your profession must be in the required skill type according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC) list. The job offer must have a salary and working conditions that compare to Canadians working in the same occupation.
Are there different types of job offers that a Canadian employer can make?
Yes - there are 2 types of job offers that a Canadian employer can make:
(1) A temporary job offer - An offer of employment in Canada that is offered for a specific period of time. In most cases, you will need a temporary work permit to begin working; and
(2) A permanent job offer - An offer of employment in Canada that is made for an indeterminate period of time. You can only start to work once you have your Canadian immigration visa.
Do I become a Permanent Resident of Canada as soon as my Canada Immigration Visa is issued?
No, you must be confirmed at a Canadian port-of-entry as a permanent resident. This is usually done upon your first entry into Canada with the immigration visa.
Does Permanent Residence status in Canada permit me to enter/work in the US?
You are allowed to enter America as a visitor (if you meet the US government regulations for entry), but if you would like to work in the US, you will need an American work visa or a green card.
Must I first enter Canada at the destination I indicated on my application form?
No, however, you may be asked to present proof of transportation to the province/territory designated as your destination.
What is the Canadian Permanent Resident Card?
This is a card to prove your status as a permanent resident in Canada. It is a wallet-sized plastic card which you will need to re-enter Canada if you leave.
When can Canadian Citizenship be obtained?
Once you have lived in Canada as a permanent resident for a total of 3 years (1,095 days) during the past 5 years, and after meeting other criteria, you may have the option to apply for Canadian citizenship. (If necessary, it is sometimes possible to count time you spent in Canada before you became a permanent resident).
When I arrive in Canada, are there any services to help me?
Of course, in each province and city there are numerous services and organizations that are set up to help new immigrants to Canada.
How do I obtain Health Care?
Every province and territory in Canada has a public health insurance plan for all basic medical requirements. But in some provinces, you might need to wait up to 3 months before you can start a health insurance plan. In this case you can open a plan with a private insurance company until you are able to start provincial health care.
Does Canada recognize dual citizenship?
Yes, Canada allows dual or multi citizenship. This was introduced in 1977, so Canadian citizens would not lose their citizenship if they became citizens in another country. But, of course, you must check the laws in the country of current nationality to check that they also allow dual citizenship.
Does my work experience have to be related to my education in order to be recognized?
No, it's not necessary for your work experience to be related to your education, so long as you have performed, or are performing, work in the occupation that you are claiming points for.
Must my work experience have been accumulated continuously on a full-time basis?
Yes - depending on the particular Canadian immigration program. For example, the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) requires that you have at least 1 year of paid full-time (or the full-time equivalent), continuous work experience in an eligible occupation recognized by the Canadian government within the 10-year time period prior to applying for this Canadian immigration program. One of the requirements to apply for the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is to have at least 2 years of continuous full-time paid work experience (or the full-time equivalent) in an eligible skilled trade during the five years prior to applying for this Canadian immigration program. Our legal team can evaluate your CV and other details to assess whether you meet the work experience and other requirements to apply for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada through one of the various Canadian immigration programs.
Will my application benefit if I have a close relative in Canada?
Can people of any nationality apply for the Canadian Permanent Residency Visa?
Yes, there are no restrictions on the nationality of applicants.
How do I find out if I qualify for immigration to Canada?
All you need to do is take our online assessment, which is performed by the authorized immigration consultants who Canadian Visa Expert subcontracts.
Do I qualify for a Canada Immigration Visa under the Skilled Worker category?
With our online assessment, the authorized Canadian immigration consultants we work with will be able to evaluate whether you can apply for a skilled worker visa and/or which visa options might apply for you.
Can I still qualify as a Skilled Worker if I do not have work experience in one of the qualifying occupations?
There is a possibility that you may qualify with arranged employment, or through a provincial nominee program. Our immigration consultants who we subcontract can evaluate your eligibility and give you all your options.
What is the passing score/mark?
You will need a minimum of 67 points for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP).
May I be refused under the Skilled Worker category even if I score more than 67 points?
Who can I include in my application for a Canada Immigration Visa?
You can include all of your family members, even those that might not decide to immigrate with you. This will give them the chance in the future.
Who qualifies as a "Dependent Child"?
As of October 24, 2017, children under the age of 22 years, who do not have a spouse or a common law partner at the time that the application is submitted, may qualify as a "dependent child" in terms of immigration to Canada. They must remain unmarried until they arrive in Canada in order to be considered a dependent child.
Must the dependent children accompany the principal applicant to Canada?
No, but they are still required to pass all the necessary criminal record checks and medical examinations.
Can a same-sex partner be sponsored?
Yes, but only if the same-sex marriage is recognized in the country where it took place. Same-sex marriages in Canada are valid.
When must my accompanying dependents arrive in Canada?
During the validity period of their immigration visa, with or after the principle applicant.
Who qualifies for a Canada Immigration Skilled Worker Visa?
Eligibility for those applying for the Canadian skilled worker visa must have employment experience in the occupations the Canadian government is looking for. These occupations are based upon a list that is published periodically by the government. Your application will be judged according to six criteria:
- English and/or French, Language skills
- Work experience
- Canadian employment
- Adaptability factors
What is the National Occupational Classification?
The Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC) is the authoritative resource for employment information in the country. This list is used to determine which occupations are qualified under the federal skilled worker visa.
Will I have to take a medical exam?
Yes, all immigration applicants must take a medical examination. This is in order to protect the health of the Canadian people and to prevent a burden on the Canadian medical system from an existing illness.
Does Canada recognize same-sex relationships?
After passing the Civil Marriage Act in July 2005, same-sex couples have been allowed to marry in Canada. Canada has recognized for immigration purposes same sex-marriages from other jurisdictions even before 2005. For this reason, many same-sex couples have immigrated to Canada for a better life.
How long are medical examinations valid for?
Medical examinations are valid for 1 year from the date of the examination.
Will my application be rejected if I have a certain disease or disorder?
Every case is judged individually and your full medical history will be considered. But if your disease or disorder will put the Canadian people at risk or cause an excessive burden on healthcare or social services, then it is likely that you will not be able to receive a visa.
Can my dependents undergo the medical examination in another country?
Yes, you may take the examination all over the world at a recognized DMP (designated medical practitioner). It doesn't matter which immigration visa office your application was submitted to.
What is a Police Clearance Certificate? And how do I obtain a Police Clearance Certificate?
This is required from all applicants 18 years or older, from each country that the applicant has lived in more than 6 months. Each country has different procedures in which to obtain a police clearance certificate.
Will I be interviewed by a Citizenship and Immigration Canada Officer?
This is a possibility, but not everyone is interviewed. The interviews are used to assess the truthfulness of information, including verification of the authenticity of documents.
Must I take an English or French test in order to be eligible for the Canadian skilled worker category?
Yes, your level of English and/or French will gain you points for your visa application. It is a requirement to take a standardized language test in either French or English within two years prior to applying for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada.
Being able to communicate and work in one or both of Canada's official languages is very important. Knowing English, French or both helps you in the Canadian job market. To do this, you must take a language test from an agency designated by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) before starting the immigration process. You will be awarded up to 24 points for your basic, moderate or high proficiency level in English and French. You will be given points based on your ability to:
What is the IELTS test?
IELTS is the International English Language Testing System, which tests English proficiency across the globe. This test is designed to assess the language ability of candidates who want to study or work where English is the language of communication. There are two types of IELTS tests available: Academic or General Training. These are chosen depending on your purpose - whether you want to study, work or immigrate. Both IELTS tests are made up of four parts; Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The IELTS test helps the immigration authorities and institutes in Canada to evaluate one's English level by giving the candidate a point grade that is universally understood representing his English level.
What is the TEF test?
TEF (Test d'Evaluation de Françs) is an exam conducted by the CCIP (Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Paris) which tests the candidate's proficiency in the French language. This test is also for individuals who are required to prove their level in French in order to work. It is obligatory for every person who wishes to go to Canada either to work or study. The TEF test is made up of four parts: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. The TEF test helps the immigration authorities and institutes in Canada to evaluate one's French level by giving the candidate a universally-understood point grade representing his French level.
If I am not eligible for immigration to Canada, what can I do?
There is a possibility that you might qualify for immigration to another country (for example, to the USA or Australia).