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General Immigration Questions

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01. What is a Canada Immigration Visa?

A Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa is a document which allows a person to live and work anywhere in Canada, and confers upon that person Permanent Resident status. It comes with certain responsibilities and may be revoked if the holder does not meet Canadian residency obligations, or is found guilty of serious criminal activity. A person who is a Canadian Permanent Resident may apply for Canadian Citizenship after 3 years.

02. How is a Work Permit different from a Canada Immigration Visa?

A Work Permit allows an eligible visitor to reside and work in Canada for a limited period of time, and restrictions are usually placed on the type of employment which can be pursued. It will not, by itself, lead to Canadian Permanent Resident status. By contrast, a Canada Immigration Visa entitles its holder to live and work anywhere in Canada, enjoy many of the privileges of Canadian Citizenship, apply for Canadian Citizenship after 3 years and sponsor family members for Canadian Permanent Resident status.

03. Can I apply for Permanent Resident status and Temporary status at the same time?

You can apply for Permanent Resident status and Temporary status at the same time. Canadian Immigration pocliy recognizes the concept of dual intent.

04. Is my current immigration status relevant for Canadian Immigration purposes?

Yes and no. As a general rule, you must submit your Canada Immigration Visa Application (Application for Permanent Residence in Canada) to the Canadian Immigration Visa Office responsible for the country of your citizenship or to the visa office responsible for the country you are currently residing in if you have been legally admitted to that country for at least one year. An exception to the general rule exists in the filing of certain applications under the Federal Skilled Worker category of Canadian immigration. Applicants in this category must submit their initial application to the Central Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia, wherever they may be physically located.

05. I have heard that Canada Immigration Regulations have changed. How will I be affected?

Canada immigration regulations, laws and policies are constantly subject to change. The effect of these changes will vary considerably from one applicant to another, depending on the particular circumstances. The last significant change took place on June 26, 2010, at which time the Canadian Minister of Immigration announced important modifications to the Federal Skilled Worker category of Canadian immigration.

Federal Skilled Workers Questions

01. Do I qualify for a Canada Immigration Visa under the Federal Skilled Worker category?

To be eligible for a Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa under the Skilled Worker category, you must: • have worked continuously for a period of at least one year, within the last ten years, in a full-time (or part-time equivalent) paid position in one of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's 29 qualifying occupations; or have Arranged Employment. • have sufficient funds for settlement in Canada, unless you have Arranged Employment in Canada; • earn sufficient points (currently 67) in the six selection factors to meet the pass mark under the Skilled Worker category. In addition, all applicants for a Canada Immigration Visa and their accompanying and non-accompanying dependents, under all categories of Canadian Immigration, must satisfy Canadian health and security/criminality requirements.

02.Can I still qualify as a Federal Skilled Worker if I do not have work experience in the 29 qualifying occupations?

You may also qualify if you have Arranged Employment in Canada and meet the 67-point pass mark.

03. May I qualify under the Skilled Worker category even if I score less than 67 points?

Yes, Canada accepts Skilled Workers based upon their ability to become economically established in Canada. If the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer believes that the point total does not accurately reflect your ability to become economically established in Canada, the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer may use his or her positive discretion (referred to as substituted evaluation) and approve your application even though you score less than 67 points. However, at a minimum, you must have worked continuously for a period of at least one year, within the last ten years, in a full-time (or part-time equivalent) paid position at a skill level recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Additionally, you must meet CIC requirements to have either one continuous paid full-time year of work experience in the 29 qualifying occupations in the past 10 years; OR Arranged Employment.

04. May I be refused under the Skilled Worker category even if I score more than 67 points and have the appropriate work experience?

Yes, Canada accepts Skilled Workers based upon their ability to become economically established in Canada. If the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer concludes that you will not become economically established in Canada, the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer may use his or her negative discretion (referred to as substituted evaluation) and refuse your application even though you score at least 67 points. Moreover, an applicant may be inadmissable to Canada due to health or security issues, no matter how many point are rewarded under the Skilled Worker Category.

05. Can the Skilled Worker category pass mark change?

Currently, the pass mark under the Skilled Worker category is 67 points. Citizenship and Immigration Canada may raise or lower the pass mark without any advance notice. If you currently score at least 67 points, and otherwise qualify for a permanent resident visa, you would be well advised to submit your Canadian Immigration Application at the earliest.

06. What happens if the pass mark changes before I receive my Canada Immigration Visa?

Canadian Immigration law and regulations permit the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada to change the pass mark and even to implement the change retroactively. Whether or not Citizenship and Immigration Canada will impose a pass mark change retroactively is a separate issue. The Federal Court of Canada has signaled its disfavour with the practice of retroactivity in Canadian Immigration matters.

07. Under the Skilled Worker category, what does an Application for Permanent Residence in Canada consist of?

Under the Skilled Worker category, an application is considered complete if it contains the following: • appropriate application forms, signed and completed; • appropriate Canadian government processing fees; • proof of English and/or French language proficiency; • all information and documentation required for the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer to make a selection decision; It is important to note that many Canadian Immigration Visa Offices have their own specific requirements that must be respected in order to avoid having your application returned or delayed.

08. What documents must be included in support of my Application under the Skilled Worker category?

Generally, under the Skilled Worker category, you must submit the following, in support of your application: • identity and civil status documents; • travel documents and passports; • evidence of education training/professional qualifications; • evidence of work experience; • the IELTS and/or TEF results; • evidence of Arranged Employment, if applicable; • evidence of points claimed, if any, under the adaptability factor; • police certificates and clearances; • proof of settlement funds. It is important to note that many Canadian Immigration Visa Offices have their own specific document requirements that must be respected in order to avoid having your application returned, delayed or even refused.

09. Under the Skilled Worker category, when must I submit my supporting documents?

Under the Skilled Worker category of Canadian Immigration, your initial submission to the Central Intake Office (CIO) in Sydney, Nova Scotia must include application forms, copy of your passport bio-data page, appropriate Canadian government processing fees in Canadian dollars payable to the Receiver General for Canada, as well as additional documents in relation to your civil status, education, work experience and language proficiency as well as proof of sufficient settlement funds. Failure to include all of the aforementioned may result in a returned application. If you are in Canada on a Work Permit and claiming points for Arranged Employment, you must also include a copy of your Work Permit and a letter from your employer indicating that you will be employed indeterminately upon receiving your Canada Immigration (Permanent Resident) Visa or alternatively you should include a photocopy of the Arranged Employment Opinion (AEO) issued by Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) in relation to a permanent job offer that you have received from a genuine Canadian employer. If you are an international student in Canada you must also include a copy of your Study Permit or other proof of your student status. 

10. Under the Skilled Worker category, who may be included in my Application?

Under the Skilled Worker category, the following family members may be included in your application: • your spouse or common-law partner; • your dependent children and the dependent children of your spouse or common-law partner; • the dependent children of your dependent children and the dependent children of the dependent children of your spouse or common-law partner.

11. Can my file be transferred from one Canadian Immigration Visa Office to another?

Qualified applications submitted to the Centralized Intake Office (CIO) at CPC-Sydney in Nova Scotia will be automatically transferred to the Canadian Immigration Visa Office outside Canada that is responsible for the country where you are residing (if you have been lawfully admitted  to that country for a period of at least one year) or the country of your nationality. A request to transfer your application to another Canadian Immigration Visa Office may be made to the Canadian Immigration Visa Office processing your file. The Canadian Immigration Visa Office will decide, based upon “program integrity”, whether or not to transfer your application. In certain circumstances, the Canadian Immigration Visa Office processing your file may decide on its own to transfer your file to a different, more appropriate Canadian Immigration Visa Office, even without a request.

12. Is work experience a requirement?

Work experience is a critical requirement for a Skilled Worker applicant. At a minimum, you must have one year of full-time (or the part-time equivalent) of continuous work experience in an occupation at a skill level recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Accumulated part-time work experience is acceptable. Currently, applicants without Arranged Employment must also have the minimum of one year of work experience in one of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's 29 qualifying occupations in order to qualify under the Skilled Worker category of Canadian immigration. Applicants destined to the Province of Quebec need only demonstrate six months of relevant work experience and meet the other requirements set out by the Quebec Immigration authorities. Likewise, the other provinces and territories of Canada have their specific requirements under the various Provincial Nomination Programs. 

13. Does my work experience have to be related to my education in order to be recognized?

Your work experience does not have to be related to your education, as long as you are performing or have performed the duties of the occupation for which you are claiming points.

14. Is credit given for experience gained during post-secondary studies?

Yes, as long as you were paid for the work done and the duties performed were in an occupation whose skill level is recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

15. Must I have a Canadian offer of employment to qualify as a Skilled Worker?

You are not required to obtain an offer of employment to qualify under the Skilled Worker category of Canadian immigration. However, Arranged Employment will afford you additional points and at some Canadian Immigration Visa Offices, significantly speed-up the processing of your Canada Immigration Visa Application.

16. Must my work experience have been accumulated continuously on a full-time basis?

At a minimum, you must have one year of full-time (or the part-time equivalent) of continuous work experience in an occupation at a skill level recognized by Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Part-time work experience is acceptable. If you have experience in one of Citizenship and Immigration Canada's 29 qualifying occupations, it also must be one year of full-time (or the part-time equivalent) of continuous work.  It is assessed in proportion to a standard full-time working week of 37.5 hours. For example, a two-year part-time position requiring approximately 20 hours of work each week, will be counted as approximately one year of full-time experience.

17. Will my application benefit if I have a close relative in Canada?

Yes, you will be awarded points under the Adaptability Factor if you or your accompanying spouse or common-law partner has a close relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and who is currently residing in Canada. To qualify as a close relative, the Canadian citizen or permanent resident must be a child, mother or father, brother or sister, aunt or uncle, niece or nephew, grandchild or grandparent.

18. Will I be interviewed by a Canadian Immigration Visa Officer?

Applicants for a Canada Immigration Visa under the Skilled Worker category may be required to attend a personal interview with a Canadian Immigration Visa Officer. Such interviews are held to ensure the information in the application is accurate, to clear-up any uncertainties and to verify. Canadian Immigration Visa Officers may, under all categories of immigration, grant an interview waiver, depending on the qualifications of the applicant, the quality of the supporting documentation, and the overall credibility of the applicant. The likelihood of an interview waiver varies from one Canadian Immigration Visa Office to another.

19. What is a security interview?

In a small percentage of applications, an interview is held to evaluate security issues such as criminality, espionage, subversion or terrorism.

20. Is there anything I can do to obtain an interview waiver?

Applications which are complete in every detail increase the chances of an interview waiver. However, interview waivers are granted at the discretion of the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer in charge of your file. It is not possible to apply specifically for a waiver. Even if an interview is waived, the Canadian Immigration Visa Officer reserves the right to call you to an interview at a later date.


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