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Tel: (403) 590-8224
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How the Canada Immigration Process Works

Please select the statement that best describes your plans for entering Canada:

I want to work or live in Canada temporarily

I want to work or live in Canada permanently

I want to know about 'fast-tracking' my application

I have family or a spouse in Canada

I want to visit or study in Canada

I have Canadian work or study experience and I want to stay


Working in Canada Temporarily

There are two ways to work in Canada on a temporary basis: arranging employment before you arrive, or arranging employment after you arrive.

Living in Canada Permanently

As a permanent resident, you will be able to live or work anywhere in Canada, enjoy privileges of Canadian citizenship, and sponsor family members to immigrate as well. You can obtain a Permanent Resident Visa if you are: a skilled worker or professional, a business person, or a family member of a permanent resident or citizen.

Skilled Worker or Professional - Permanent Resident

Canada uses a point system to determine if you will be able to establish yourself economically once you arrive. You require at least 67 points in order to obtain a Visa. Points are awarded for the following factors:

  • Education - up to 25 points, the higher your education, the more points you get.
  • Language Skills - up to 24 points, the better you are with English and/or French, the more points you get.
  • Work Experience - up to 21 points, the more impressive your work experience, the more points you get.
  • Age - up to 10 points if you are under the age factor.
  • Arranged Employment - up to 10 points if you have already arranged employment. Adaptability - up to 10 points under the adaptability factor.
  • If you are planning on living in Quebec, there are further factors to consider.

If you do not meet the 67 point requirement, Visa officers can exercise discretion and grant you a visa if your case complies with the discretionary rules and if you present your case in a persuasive manner.

Please note that as of February 2008, in order to qualify within the federal skilled worker class, an applicant must have at least one of the the following (in addition to all the other requirements of the skilled worker class):

Business Immigration - Permanent Resident

Canada seeks to promote economic growth and opportunity by attracting individuals who can contribute financially to our economy. You may qualify as a business class immigrant in three ways: as an investor, as an entrepreneur, or if you are self-employed. Each of these categories are discussed below.

Investor category

You and your immediate family may obtain Permanent Resident Visas by investing CAD $800,000 for five years. You are guaranteed to be reimbursed the full amount (without interest) after five years. You may live anywhere in Canada (although Quebec has slightly different rules). Additional requirements include:

•minimum net worth of CAD $1.6 M  as of 1st Dec 2010
vice and representation in relation to:

Separation and divorce
Custody and access
Child support and spousal support
Prenuptial agreements

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Entrepreneur category

You and your immediate family may obtain Permanent Resident Visas by acquiring at least a one-third share in equity in a qualifying Canadian business that you must manage. Your business must create at least one new job for a Canadian or permanent resident. You may live anywhere in Canada (though Quebec has slightly different rules). Additional requirements include:

  • minimum net worth of CAD $300,000 (approx US $227,500)
  • experience in management and ownership of a qualifying business
  • medical examination and security check
Self-Employed category

The self-employed immigration category requires that you have an intention and ability to create your own employment in Canada, and you must make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic, or athletic life in Canada, or purchase and manage a farm in Canada.

You must have been self-employed in cultural activities (such as acting, music, writing, art and so forth) or in athletics, or have competed at the world level in athletics.

If you are interested in farming, you must have prior farm management experience.

In all cases, you must be able to support yourself and any of your dependents. You must have sufficient net worth, experience and/or artistic qualifications.

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Family class category

If you have a relative who is either a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, he or she may sponsor you for a permanent resident visa. The applicant must be known to, and related to the sponsor in the following ways:

  • spouse, common-law or conjugal partner 16 years of age or older;
  • parent and grandparent;
  • dependent children, including adopted children;
  • children under 18 years of age whom you intend to adopt;
  • children under guardianship;
  • brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces or grandchildren who are orphans; under the age of 18 and not married or in a common-law relationship; or
  • you may also sponsor one relative of any age if you do not have an aunt, uncle or family member from the list above.

A son or daughter is dependent when the child:

  • is under the age of 22 and does not have a spouse or common-law partner;
  • is a full time student and is substantially dependent on a parent for financial support since before the age of 22, or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner (if this happened before age 22); or
  • is financially dependent on a parent since before the age of 22 because of a disability.

A sponsor must demonstrate financial ability to provide for the essential needs of the immigrant and any dependents. A sponsor will have to sign an agreement with the government to provide for the essential needs of the immigrant for a period between 3 and 10 years (depending on their age and relationship to the sponsor). Legal action can be taken against the sponsor if he or she fails to meet his or her obligations to support the immigrant.

A sponsor must be at least 18 years of age, a Canadian citizen or permanent resident.

Study in Canada

Canada is a popular place to study. Over 130,000 students come to Canada to study every year, and many more come to study English or French. Canadian schools are first class and the environment is welcoming and safe. You can join individuals from all over the world for a unique educational experience.

A study permit is only required for educational programs lasting 6 months or more. However, you should consider obtaining a study permit anyway, in case you want to continue to study past 6 months. A study permit will also let you work part-time on campus if you wish.

In order to obtain a study permit, you must provide an original letter (not a copy) of acceptance from the educational institution where you will study. The letter must include details of the courses you will be taking and must specify the length of the educational program.

Citizens of these countries will also require a Temporary Resident Visa, in addition to a study permit in order to study in Canada.

In Canada, educational institutions set all entrance and fee requirements. Click here for a comprehensive list of universities, colleges, private training institutions and English language training in Canada.

Visit Canada

Every year more than 35 million people visit Canada. Canada welcomes these visitors as tourists, students or temporary workers. In order to visit Canada, you may need a medical examination if you plan to stay over 6 months. You will need a valid passport, and you will need a temporary resident visa if you are from one of these countries. If you are not from one of the previous countries, you will not need a visa to visit Canada.

Canadian work or study experience and permanent residence

If you have worked or studied in Canada, you may qualify for the Canadian Experience Class. In order to apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class, you must:

  • plan to live outside the province of Quebec
  • be either:
    • a temporary foreign worker with at least two years of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada, or
    • a foreign graduate from a Canadian post-secondary institution with at least one year of full-time (or equivalent) skilled work experience in Canada
  • have gained your experience in Canada with the proper work or study authorization
  • apply while working in Canada – or – within one year of leaving your job in Canada

According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means:

  • Skill Type 0 (managerial occupations) or
  • Skill Level A (professional occupations) or
  • Skill Level B (technical occupations and skilled trades)

Your application will be assessed on two requirements if you apply as a temporary foreign worker:

  • your work experience and
  • your ability in English or French.

If you apply as a graduate of a Canadian post-secondary educational institution with Canadian work experience, it will be assessed using the above requirements, as well as your education.

Contact us for assistance.

Provincial fast-tracking programs

In order to address highly-skilled labour needs in different provinces, there are special provincial programs designed to bring foreign individuals with specific skills into the province quickly, often within a few months (versus two years or more through the normal immigration process). Depending on the province in which you wish to reside, you may or may not need a job offer from an employer in advance. You may qualify if you have advanced skills and training in information technology, the aerospace sector, skilled trades, and other areas, or if you have considerable experience and net worth operating your own business. Currently, the following provinces offer special ‘fast-track’ programs for skilled immigrants:

Contact us for assistance if you would like to apply through one of these provincial programs.

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