A Concise Guide to Immigration to Canada
Author: Parminder Singh LL.B (Canada)
Immigration to Canada is possible in four ways
- Family class
- Skilled workers class
- Business class
- Refugee class
1. FAMILY CLASS [i]
The following members of family class are eligible to apply for Canada PR status:
- Spousal class
- Parental class
- Adoption class
- Other Relatives class
- Provincial Nominee class
1. SPOUSAL CLASS
Eligibility: An applicant is eligible for immigration to Canada under spousal class, if he/she is married to or in a common law relationship with a Canadian Citizen or PR of opposite or same sex.
Processing time: It takes 4 to 6 months in India.
2. PARENTAL CLASS
Eligibility: Parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens or PR are eligible for Canada PR under this class. This program is paused at this time. In the meantime, parents are eligible to visit their children on a visitor visa.
Processing time: 3 years in India.
3. ADOPTION CLASS
Adopted children, under the age of 18, of Canadian Citizen or PR are eligible to immigrate to Canada under this class.
Adopted children over the age of 18 are eligible for sponsorship by a Canadian citizen or PR, if the adoption conforms to the laws of both the sponsor’s country and the sponsored person’s country.
4. OTHER RELATIVES
Eligibility: A Canadian citizen or PR can sponsor his/her
- Sibling, nephew, niece, grandchild, who is orphaned, under 18 years of age and unmarried; or
- Any other relative, if the Sponsor does not have any living relative listed above and no relatives living in Canada who are Canadian citizens or PR (spouse, child, parents, grandparents, nephews, nieces, uncle and aunt). A sponsor is allowed to sponsor one relative only.
Processing time: Currently in India, it takes 61 months.
5. PROVINCIAL NOMINEE CLASS (FAMILY STREAM)
The Provincial Family class stream allows siblings, cousins, nephews, nieces, and friends, while Federal Family Class Program only allows spousal and parental sponsorship for Canada PR Status.
2. SKILLED WORKER CLASS
Skilled workers are eligible for Canada PR status in 5 ways
- Federal Skilled Worker Program
- Canadian Experience Class
- Quebec Experience Class
- Provincial Nominee Program
- Quebec Skilled Workers Program
1. FEDERAL SKILLED WORKER PROGRAM
The Federal Skilled Workers Program has two Canada Immigration programs
- Federal Skilled Worker Class
- Federal Skilled Trades Class
1) FEDERAL SKILLED WORKERS CLASS [ii]
There are currently 3 classes under this program:
- Priority Occupations
- Arranged Employment
- Ph.d stream
1. Priority Occupations
Click here for a list of 24 occupations eligible for priority processing (Total 5000 spots, with a sub CAP on each occupation
- Must be in the list of 24 eligible occupations
- Minimum one year experience in eligible occupation
- Minimum 6 bands in each of IELTS components: Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing
- Educational equivalency assessment of foreign diplomas/degrees from a designated organization designated by Immigration Canada
- Must score 67 points on the selection points grid
2. Arranged Employment
An applicant is eligible for immigration to Canada, if he meets the following conditions:
- A Canadian employer has offered him a permanent job, with a Labour Market Opinion (LMO) from Human Resources and Skill Department of Canada (HRSDC) AND
- the applicant has one year experience in his trade, which falls under skill type O, A or B under NOC of HRSDC), that, is managerial, professional or technical occupations
3. Ph.d Stream
An applicant is also eligible to apply for Immigration to Canada, if he is a PH.D student in Canada. However, he must apply after 2 years of your PH.D studies or within a year of completion of PH.D.
Processing times: Currently it takes 1 year for processing of Canada PR applications under Arranged Employment Program.
2) FEDERAL SKILLED TRADES CLASS[iii]
Currently, Canada Immigration has 43 occupations that are eligible for fast track Canada PR program.
Canada Immigration’s Criteria to qualify,
- Experience: minimum 2 years of experience.
- Job Offer: an offer of employment from one or two Canadian employers of one year duration with approved LMO from Human Resource Department of Canada.
- English: IELTS Score: listening and speaking 5 bands, reading 3.5 bands, writing 4 bands.
- Employment Requirements: an applicant must meet “Employment Requirements” of the HRSDC for his trade or be licensed in Canada.
Processing times: In India it takes under 12 months for processing of Canada PR applications.
2. CANADIAN EXPERIENCE CLASS, CEC [iv]
- CEC for Workers
- CEC for Students
1. CEC for Workers
A foreign worker can immigrate to Canada on permanent basis under Canadian Experience class.
Work experience: 1 year of work experience in Canada on a work permit
English: IELTS score 5 bands for B skill type of NOC of HRSDC and 6 bands for skill type O or A of NOC of HRSDC.
2. CEC for Students
Study: Completion of at least 2 years of post-secondary study in Canada
Experience: One year of work experience in Canada
This program is not meant for unskilled or semi-skilled workers
3. QUEBEC EXPERIENCE CLASS
Eligibility (Students): Two years of post-secondary study in Quebec and an intermediate level of French, if the applicant’s language of instruction was not French.
Eligibility (Workers): One year of work experience in last 2 years and intermediate level of French or proof that the applicant meets the language proficiency for the job.
Skilled Worker Stream
Under Federal Skilled Worker’s Program, a good level of English is required whereas in Provincial Nominee Programs, English is required only at a basic level. The total qualifying points are also less under Provincial Program than the Federal Program.
However, all provinces, except Quebec, require a job offer under skilled worker stream of provincial nominee programs.
Semi-Skilled Worker Stream
Under PNP, the workers with semi-skilled categories are also eligible for Immigrating to Canada on permanent basis. These semi-skilled categories include Food Servers, Cleaners, Hotel Front Desk staff, Long Haul Truck Drivers, Bakers and Industrial Meat cutters.
The English language requirement is low. An applicant must have a job offer in order to be eligible.
Masters and Ph.d student stream
Under provincial nominee programs of some provinces, such as Ontario, the Master’s and Ph.D degree holders from Canadian universities are eligible to apply for Canada PR status while they are in their last semesters or within two years of completion of their degrees. At the time of application, they must have legal status in Canada and be residing in the province where they apply for Canada immigration status.
No job is required to be eligible. There is a CAP of 1000 applicant per year in Ontario for this stream.
Click the above link for information on Quebec skilled worker program
3. BUSINESS CLASS [vii]
Immigration to Canada in 4 ways under business class
- Investor class
- Entrepreneur class
- Provincial Nominee class
- Quebec Business class
1. INVESTOR CLASS
Canada Immigration has closed Immigration to Canada under Federal Investor class TILL JUNE 2012 because 700 spots for the year 2010-2011 are full now. However, the provincial INVESTOR CLASSES are still open IN SOME PROVINCES.
Eligibility for Immigration to Canada under FEDERAL INVESTOR CLASS,
- Two years of business experience as an owner or manager and
- A net worth of $1.6 million.
An applicant must deposit $800,000 with the Canadian government’s investment program for 5 years. The Canadian government returns this money after 5 years without an interest.
Some government approved Canadian banks provide financing for $800,000 against an applicant’s property abroad. If an applicant is able to deposit $220,000 with the selected Canadian bank for 5 years without an interest, the bank will finance $800,000 against the applicant’s property abroad.
In other words, if an applicant has $1.6 million of net worth, he need not sell all his assets in order to pay off $800,000; rather he only pays $220,000 to the Canadian bank. Briefly, if an applicant has a cash flow of $220,000 plus two years of business experience, he and his family can qualify for Immigration to Canada.
2. ENTREPRENEUR CLASS
Entrepreneur class is divided in 2 parts
- Self-employed individuals
Immigration to Canada under entrepreneur category is possible, if an individual
- has a net worth of CAD$300,000 and
- has ability to invest in or acquire a Canadian business which will create employment in Canada.
2. Self Employed Persons
Canada PR status is granted under self-employed class, if an individual is able to support him/herself and any dependents with his self-employed income as a
- Athlete or
- Artists (Radio, TV, Stage, Film and other artisans)
Processing times: Currently, the processing times are 35 months for investor category and 84 months for entrepreneur class.
3. PROVINCIAL NOMINEE CLASS (Business/Farming/Investor Stream)
Under Federal Investor’s and farming business programs, a net worth of $1.6 million is required, but under the Provincial Nominee Program it is in the range of $300,000 to $800,000, depending upon the province. See an example of Saskatchewan Business Class Immigration.
Click the above link to know
4. REFUGEE CLASS [viii]
Canada immigration has obligation under domestic and International law to accept refugees who are fleeing their countries because of fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, gender, political beliefs or membership in a particular social group, such as being a woman, gay or lesbian.
The refugee claim can be made from within Canada as well as from outside Canada. The process for refugee claims made outside, which is described in other article, is different from the claims made from within Canada, which is the subject matter of the present article.
Once a person puts his foot in Canada and claims refugee protection, he or she cannot be deported from Canada until the resolution of his claim by the Immigration & Refugee Board (IRB).
The applicant has to show at least 3 personal incidents of persecution or incidents of persecution to persons in his situation or persons related to him.
After the acceptance of refugee claim by the IRB, the applicant is eligible to apply for Canada PR status.
If the refugee claim is rejected, the applicant can challenge in the the Federal Court of Canada. The process takes a year but in many cases may take longer.
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Regulations: Regulations R-75, 86, 87, 87.1, 87.2, 88, 90, 97, 100, 116, 138
[iii] R 87.2: Federal Skilled Trade Class
[iv] R 87.1: Canadian Experience Class
[v] R 87: Provincial Nominee Class
[vi] R86: Quebec Skilled Worker Class
[vii] R 88, 90, 97, 100: Business Class (Investors, Entrepreneurs, Self-employed persons)
[viii] R138: Refugee Class
Quebec experience class: s. 38.1, 38.2, Regulation Respecting the Selection of Foreign Nationals, RRQ, c I-0.2, r 4