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 program has been suspended until program redesign is announced, but no timetable has been set. The Federal Investor program has been cancelled.

Family Class immigrants
These include spouses (by marriage, common law, or conjugal partners) and dependent children under 19 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
These categories form part of the Express Entry system and are selected on the basis of their ranking in the pool of candidates. The federal government holds selection draws on a regular basis, and the score necessary for selection changes in each draw. To be allowed to enter the pool, candidates must first meet the minimum requirements for each immigration selection program below.

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, 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), or have a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to support his application.

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. An annual quota applies and varies from province to 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.

Candidates increase their chances of selection by having arranged employment confirmed with a positive LMIA.

Business Class immigrants
These include:
a) self-employed persons
b) Start-up designated individuals
c) Investors in some provinces (the Federal investor program has been discontinued as  of February 2014).

For further information about these programs, contact us for a confidential consultation, as the program selection criteria changes often and without notice.