FAQs About Immigration to Canada

QUESTION:   What is a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada?

ANSWER:   A Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada is an official document issued by the Canadian national government which authorizes a qualified foreign national to live in Canada long-term and gives them the right to apply for jobs in Canada, attend educational programs, receive free basic healthcare (after a waiting period), sponsor eligible family members for a PR Visa to Canada, among other benefits. Another great benefit is having the option to apply for Canadian citizenship after living in Canada as a permanent resident at least three years during the past five years prior to applying to become a citizen of Canada.

 

QUESTION:   How can I know if I qualify to apply for a Permanent Resident Visa to Canada?

ANSWER:   Our ICCRC-registered Immigration Consultants that we work with can use their many years of experience in this field to evaluate which of several Canadian immigration programs you may be best-suited to apply for.

 

QUESTION:   What are the different Canadian immigration programs?

ANSWER:   Canada’s government has created several Canadian immigration programs, including the:

 

  • Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)
  • Provincial Nominees Program (PNP)
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)
  • Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program (QSWP)
  • Family Sponsorship Program
  • Caregiver Program

 

QUESTION:   What does it mean that your Immigration Consultants are registered with the ICCRC?

ANSWER:  Since we work with Immigration Consultants who are registered members in good-standing with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC), this means that they are authorized to offer Canadian immigration services to the public for a fee and according to high professional and ethical standards.

 

QUESTION:  What is the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP)?

ANSWER:   The Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP) is a points-based Canadian immigration program established by Canada’s government for qualified skilled foreign workers who have at least one year of full-time paid work experience in the past 10 years in one of dozens of eligible high-demand occupations which often require a college or university degree or other specialized training and are listed by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) system as Level 0, Level A or Level B occupations. Applicants are given points for various factors (e.g., age, English and/or French language abilities, education, work experience, arranged Canadian employment and “adaptability” factors) and their total score is used in deciding whether to issue an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada. Health, character, proof of funds and other requirements must also be met. As of January 1, 2015, application for immigration to Canada through the FSWP is done through the Express Entry system. Applicants who are approved for the FSWP are issued a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada.

 

QUESTION:  What is the Provincial Nominees Program (PNP)?

ANSWER:  The Provincial Nominees Program (PNP) is a two-step Canadian immigration program in which a skilled foreign worker first applies for immigration to a particular province or territory in Canada where their occupation is needed. Applicants who are “nominated” by a certain province or territory for the PNP may then apply to the Canadian national government for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada. As with all Canadian immigration programs, applicants must meet all of the criteria established by Canada’s national government, including health and character requirements.

 

QUESTION:   What is the Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP)?

ANSWER:   The Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) is a Canadian immigration program which offers a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to eligible skilled foreign tradespeople who have at least two years of full-time paid work experience in the past five years in one of dozens of qualifying high-demand skilled trades and meet other criteria (such as language, health and character requirements). The occupation must be listed as Level 0, Level A or Level B by the National Occupational Classification (NOC) to be eligible for the FSTP. As of January 1, 2015, application for immigration to Canada through the FSTP is done through the Express Entry system. Applicants who are approved for the FSTP are issued a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada.

 

QUESTION:   What is the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program?

ANSWER:  The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program offers a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada to qualified skilled foreign workers already employed in Canada with a Temporary Work Permit/Visa, as well as to eligible international students attending educational programs in Canada on a Study Permit who have the education, work experience, job skills, and other desired characteristics. One of the main goals of the CEC Program is to keep skilled foreign workers and international students in Canada whose education, work experience and job skills are in high-demand by Canadian businesses so they can contribute to the economy of Canada. As of January 1, 2015, application for immigration to Canada through the CEC Program is done using the Express Entry system. Applicants who are approved for the CEC Program are issued a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada.

 

QUESTION:   What is the Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program (QSWP)?

ANSWER:   The Quebec-Selected Skilled Workers Program (QSWP) is a unique Canadian immigration program designed for skilled foreign workers who want to live and work in the French-speaking province of Quebec. Applicants must first apply to Quebec’s provincial government for this points-based Canadian immigration program and if they are issued a Quebec Selection Certificate, they may then apply to the national government for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada. As with all Canadian immigration programs, applicants must meet all of the criteria established by Canada’s national government, including health and character requirements.

 

QUESTION:   What is the Family Sponsorship Program?

ANSWER:   The Family Sponsorship Program is a Canadian immigration program that allows citizens and permanent residents of Canada who are at least 18-years-old to sponsor eligible family members for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada. Family members who may be eligible for the Family Sponsorship Program include: spouses, common-law partners, conjugal partners, dependent children, parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, grandchildren, or other relatives (e.g., an orphaned niece or nephew). As with all Canadian immigration programs, applicants must meet all of the criteria established by Canada’s national government, including health and character requirements.

 

QUESTION:   What is the Caregiver Program?

ANSWER:   The Caregiver Program is a Canadian immigration program that offers a Temporary Resident Visa and/or Work Permit to eligible foreign caregivers who will take care of children, the elderly, the disabled or others needing care in a home setting and it also offers a pathway to a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada. There are three routes for those who want to work in Canada through the Caregiver Program: (1) Caring For Children Pathway; (2) Caring For People With High Medical Needs Pathway; and (3) Live-in Caregiver Program. Each of these Caregiver programs has its own eligibility criteria which generally include having the required training and work experience as a caregiver; adequate English or French language skills; and meeting the health and character criteria, among other requirements. Our ICCRC-registered Immigration Consultants can evaluate whether you are likely to meet the eligibility requirements to apply for Canada’s Caregiver Program.

 

QUESTION: Does Canada’s government charge a fee for apply for Canadian immigration?

ANSWER:   Yes – The Canadian government charges a fee to apply for a visa to Canada. The cost can vary, depending on the type of Canadian visa, the number of family members on the application and other factors, but the visa processing fees are usually hundreds of Canadian dollars (CAD) and are non-refundable. In addition to the Application Fee for the Visa to Canada, there are other fees, such as the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (discussed below) which is paid after the Visa Application Fee prior to the visa(s) being issued.

 

QUESTION:  What is the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF)?

ANSWER: The Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) is another Canadian governmental fee and is separate from the Application Fee for a PR Visa to Canada which is paid prior to the RPRF. The cost of the RPRF is $490 CAD (as of 2018) and must be paid by the principal applicant and also their spouse/partner (if appropriate) before they are issued a PR Visa to Canada. There is no Right of Permanent Residence Fee charged for the dependent children of the principal applicant. The amount of the RPRF fee is subject to change by the Canadian government at any time.

 

QUESTION:  When do I pay the Canadian governmental fees?

ANSWER:   This will depend on various factors, such as the requirements of the Canadian governmental office that you apply through, the particular type of visa that you apply for, the type of fee that is being paid (e.g., Visa Application Fee, Right of Permanent Residence Fee), etc. In general, you normally will pay the Canadian governmental fees (via credit card, money order, certified check or bank draft) when you submit your documents to Canada’s government during the final stage of the visa application procedure. The Application Fee for the Visa to Canada is normally paid before the Right of Permanent Residence Fee (RPRF) which is paid after the Canadian Visa Application has been approved and must be paid before the visas are issued. In other words, you first pay the Visa Application Fee and then, if you are approved for the Canadian visa, you will need to pay the RPRF before the visa to Canada will be issued to you. There is also a $50 governmental fee that is paid for the Canadian Permanent Resident Card (this is paid after being approved for a PR Visa to Canada).

 

QUESTION: How long does the Canadian immigration process take?

ANSWER:  In general, the Canadian immigration procedure can range from about six months to approximately 24 months, depending on several factors, such as the type of Canadian immigration program one is applying for and how much time it takes one to prepare and submit a complete application with all of the required documents to Canada’s government. Many skilled foreign workers and their family members who are approved for Canadian immigration through the Express Entry system complete the process in about 8-12 months, but this can vary depending on unique factors.

 

QUESTION: What is the “Express Entry” system?

ANSWER:  Launched on January 1, 2015, “Express Entry” is a new Canadian immigration system for applying for a Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada through certain Canadian “economic immigration programs (i.e., Federal Skilled Workers Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Canadian Experience Class Program). In some cases, applications for a PR Visa to Canada through the Provincial Nominees Program (PNP) may also be processed through the “Express Entry” Canadian immigration system. The “Express Entry” system was designed to more efficiently meet the needs of Canadian businesses for qualified skilled foreign workers, while also improving the procedure of applying for a PR Visa to Canada through certain “economic immigration” programs.

 

QUESTION:  What is the procedure for “Express Entry” to Canada?

ANSWER:  First, a skilled foreign worker provides the Canadian government with their relevant details by submitting an online Express Entry” profile. They should also register at that time with Canada’s Job Bank so that employers looking for skilled workers for particular jobs in Canada will have the ability to review their details. A Canadian government official will then review their information and if they determine that the skilled foreign worker appears to meet the criteria for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program, they may then place the applicant’s “Express Entry” profile into the “pool” of potential Canadian immigration candidates. In order to leave the “pool” by receiving an official “Invitation to Apply” (ITA) for a PR Visa to Canada, the skilled foreign worker will need to (1) receive a qualifying Canadian job offer OR (2) be nominated by a Canadian province or territory for the Provincial Nominees Program (PNP) OR (3) receive a high enough score on the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), AND they will also need to be among the highest-ranked candidates in the pool when the ITA selection process is periodically made during the year. Once a skilled foreign worker receives an ITA, they will have 90 days to submit a complete Application for a PR Visa to Canada, along with all of the required documents (including the medical and character checks), to the Canadian government, plus pay the necessary fees. After submitting a complete Application for the PR Visa to Canada and paying the necessary fee(s), the skilled foreign worker should receive a decision on their Canadian visa application within about six months.

 

QUESTION:  What happens if I am not selected from the candidate “pool” under the “Express Entry” system?

ANSWER:  If a skilled foreign worker remains in the “Express Entry” candidate “pool” for 12 months without being issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for the Permanent Resident (PR) Visa to Canada, they will have an extra 60 days to update (if necessary) and re-submit their Express Entry profile; otherwise, their profile will be purged/removed from the “pool” at the end of the 60-day period. After the applicant’s profile is removed from the Express Entry system, they may still re-submit a new online “Express Entry” profile, however, they will need to fill in all of their information again. Once an “Express Entry” profile has been re-submitted, a Canadian government official will again review the profile and if they determine at that time that the skilled foreign worker seems to meet the eligibility criteria for the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) or Canadian Experience Class (CEC) Program, they may once more be placed into the pool of candidates for up to 12 additional months.