Canada has much to offer would-be immigrants. It’s a modern country full of opportunity, boasts a beautiful environment and has a diverse multicultural society. The visa system is quite complicated though, and it’s recommended that you hire a specialist immigration consultant to guide you through the process. Most people who become Canadian permanent residents hope to ultimately obtain citizenship and a Canadian passport.
The most commonly used immigration route into Canada is via a skilled worker visa. However, there are other options you could consider.
If you have family members already residing in Canada or hold a job offer from a Canadian employer, you may be eligible to immigrate. Immigrants who intend to lodge a large investment with a Canadian bank may be eligible. If you intend to start a business, invest in one, or possess an in-demand skill or trade that you are intending to practice in a self-employed capacity, you may also be eligible.
Skilled worker visa
Canada operates a points system to decide whether an individual is eligible for permanent residency. Skilled workers are assessed on the basis of their skills and qualifications only. This means that you don’t need a job offer from a Canadian company to be considered for residency if you qualify via this route. Factors taken into account include:
- Your age
- The highest level of education you’ve achieved
- Your work experience and occupation
Before you submit your application you can carry out a simple online self-assessment to see if you’d qualify under the Canadian points system.
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1. Determine your visa route
The first thing you’ll need to do is determine which visa route is the most applicable for you. The system is complicated so it’s advisable to seek the advice of an immigration consultant at this stage. The most commonly used route is the skilled worker visa.
2. Complete the application form
Complete the necessary application forms and provide any accompanying documentation that is required. This usually consists of:
- Two forms of identity including photos
- Birth and marriage certificates
- Copies of your passport with at least six months’ validity remaining
- Bank statements
- Evidence of former employment
- Police clearance form
It’s extremely important that you have completed your application form accurately and that you enclose all the requested documents with it. If you have omitted anything or failed to disclose something, your application may be rejected. If you have a previous criminal conviction or are suffering from any serious health condition, your application will be refused.
Once everything is in order, submit your application package either to your immigration consultant or to the Canadian Embassy in your country.
3. Waiting time
All you can do now is wait to hear from the Canadian Embassy or your immigration consultant. Processing times vary depending on the current number of applications being handled, but can be anything up to a year. During this time it’s a good idea to start looking at whereabouts in Canada you’d like to settle, check out properties to rent, and start looking for work if you don’t already have a job offer.
4. Attend a medical examination
At some point during the visa processing time you’ll receive instructions to undergo a medical examination. This is usually a positive sign! You will be provided with a list of nominated doctors who can carry out the examination. The examination includes blood tests for communicable diseases such as aids/HIV, and you will also be required to provide authority for your medical history to be accessed. The doctor will send the requisite paperwork directly to the originating processing department.
5. Your visa is granted!
Once your application is approved and you have received your permanent resident visa, you can immigrate to Canada. You’ll be entitled to healthcare; you can buy or rent a home and can work in any Canadian province.
However, there are a number of ways in which you could have your residence status rescinded. If you are convicted of a serious offence, you could be deported. You must also meet your residency obligation. You must spend at least two years out of every five living in Canada, either with a spouse or working for a Canadian company.
Canada is an increasingly popular destination for immigrants from all over the world. The visa system is complicated, and it’s recommended that you seek the advice of a specialist immigration consultant before you submit your application.