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By Johnson Babalola
There are processes available to immigrate to Canada. Individuals must know about these processes in order to make informed decisions when they are making decisions to relocate from their countries of origin or residence. What you are about to read are general information on some immigration programmes. The general rule is that every person that wises to make Canada his/her home must obtain the appropriate visa for that purpose. Generally, permanent residence visas must be applied for from outside of Canada. There are of course, exceptions to that general rule. I will address the applications that can be made from within and outside of Canada herein and online. Like the UK, USA , Australia, etc, Canada has a number of immigration programmes in place. Here are some of them:
•Skilled Worker programme: This programme is in place for certain professionals that intend to live in Canada. There are some criteria with respect to age, education, occupation, years of experience, language ability that must be met.
•Skilled Trades Stream programme: To address the shortage of certain skilled trade professionals in Canada, the government recently put this programme in place. In general, an applicant must have an offer of employment or obtain a certificate of competence from a Canadian province. There are other criteria to be met including language ability, experience etc.
•Business Applicants: Canada has in place, the investor programme, the self-employed programme and the start-up entrepreneur programme. Each of these has its unique criteria and it is suggested applicants take the time to be familiar with the requirements before applying.
•Sponsorships: Individuals with blood relations in Canada (parents, spouses, etc) may be sponsored if their relations in Canada are Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Both the sponsor and the sponsored person must meet certain criteria. Sponsored spouses will not be issued permanent resident status right away unless some conditions are met.
•Work Authorization: Those with offers of employment (Live-in Caregivers inclusive) can apply for work authorizations before entering Canada. Among other criteria, they must satisfy the interviewing visa officer that they are genuinely heading to Canada to work and not for permanent residence.
•Study Authorization: Those with offers of admission into recognized Canadian institutions of learning can apply for study authorizations before entering Canada. Among other criteria, they must satisfy the interviewing visa officer that they are genuinely heading to Canada to study and not for permanent residence.
•Visiting Visas: Individuals can visit Canada for a number of reasons: business purpose, tourism, visit relations, attend short professional development programmes, medical reasons, etc. Applicants must satisfy interviewing officers that such visits are not for permanent residence.
•Provincial Nominee Programmes: Most provinces have some programmes in place for immigration. They include family programmes, skilled worker programmes, investor programs etc. It is important to be aware that the criteria in place must be adhered to for you to qualify.
•Quebec Programme: The province of Quebec has its unique immigration programmes: investor, skilled professionals etc. It is important to note that the process will commence in Quebec and that the criteria are different from the federal immigration programmes. Note: Please note that the foregoing are not exhaustive as there are other programmes to be discussed in subsequent articles.
•Babalola is a Toronto, Canada-based immigration and business lawyer. He is with the Law Society of Upper Canada. E-mail: [email protected]