IMMIGRATION TO CANADA
Canada has long been seen as a country of immigrants. From the French and English who were the first Europeans to settle in the northern half of the North American continent, to the most recent arrivals who have come from almost every country in the world, Canada has a long tradition of welcoming immigrants. Canada is a multicultural society with two official languages. However, almost 17% of the population has a mother tongue other than English or French, with Chinese being the third most prevalent language spoken by Canadians. Through good times and bad Canada's commitment to immigration has never weakened. Throughout the 1990's Canada received between 200,000 and 250,000 immigrants per year, and this trend continues during the 2000's.
The UN says Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live!
There are a number of reasons why Canada is such a popular destination for immigrants. Perhaps the most common is that over the past few years the United Nations has rated Canada one of the top countries in the world for overall quality of life. Canadians enjoy a comfortable standard of living, good health care, social security, a high level of education, and a relatively safe and clean environment. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms entrenched in the Canadian Constitution guarantees such fundamental rights as equality, mobility and legal rights, as well as freedom of expression, assembly and association. Most consider Canada a generous, peaceful and compassionate nation, while they see Canadians as honest, friendly and polite.
Who Can Be An Immigrant to Canada?
NOTICE: Please note that the Entrepreneur and Investor programs are suspended until program redesign is announced, but no timetable has been set. Parental sponsorships have been suspended while backlog reduction efforts are underway and consultations on the future of the program are held.
Family Class immigrants
These include spouses (by marriage, common law, or conjugal partners) and dependent children under 22 years of age. This class of immigrants also includes parents and grandparents, however, they can be sponsored only if a permanent resident or citizen son or daughter has sufficient qualifying income. Such applications are not subject to the point system. Spouses and dependent children receive first priority processing.
Federal Skilled Workers, Skilled Trades and Canada Experience Classes
Skilled Workers are subject to a point system and to compliance with current minimum eligibility requirements. To be eligible for permanent residence, the applicant must receive the minimum required points, meet minimum education and age requiremtns, have experience in a qualifying occupation, have an offer of employment and meet minimum language requirements. The candidate must also have work experience in an occupation listed in Skill Level 0, A, or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Bonus points are awarded for adaptability, or if the applicant currently holds a Work Permit, studied in Canada, or has worked legally in Canada for a minimum period of time set by regulation.
Candidates who have graduated from Canadian educational institutions and have worked in Canada after graduation, or those who have worked in Canada for a minimum period of time at a specified occupational level, may qualify for the Canada Experience Class, which is based on a pass/fail model and not on a point system.
In addition, many provinces have Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) for qualifying occupations, but they generally require job offers by employers located in that province.
For those who are in trades, a Federal Skilled Trades program is available, but limited by the number of applications set by the Minister annually.
Business class immigrants
a) self-employed persons
a) The self-employed applicant is one who:
• has relevant experience; and
• has the intention and ability to be self–employed in Canada; and
• intends to make a significant contribution in specified economic activities as defined in the regulations through either: self-employment in cultural activities or in athletics, participation at a world-class level in cultural activities or athletics, or farm management experience.
b) An entrepreneur is a foreign national who:
• has business experience;
• has a legally obtained net worth of at least CDN $300,000;
• provides a written statement to an officer that they intend and will be able to meet the conditions in the regulations, specifically, that for a period of at least one year within three years after he or she becomes a permanent resident they intend and will be able to control a percentage of the equity of a qualifying Canadian business equal to or greater than 33 1/3 %, provide active and ongoing management of the qualifying Canadian business; and create at least one incremental full-time job equivalent in that business for Canadian citizens or permanent residents, other than the entrepreneur and their family members.
c) An investor is a foreign national who:
• has business experience as prescribed by the Regulations;
• has a legally obtained net worth of at least $1.6 millon and indicates in writing to an officer that they intend to or have made an investment of CDN $800,000 in an approved venture capital fund administered by a financial institution.