Frequently Asked Questions
What is the procedure for immigrating to Canada?
There are several pathways a person can take to settle in Canada permanently. No one way is more or less complicated than the other. It all depends on the qualifications and situation of the person applying. Apart from being sponsored by a family member or certain provincial investment programs, a foreign national can apply for permanent residence through Express Entry. To do so, the applicant must qualify for one of three programs that allow them to create an Express Entry profile, and they must be selected by Immigration Canada to become a permanent resident of Canada. Applicants who get the most points in the system will receive an invitation from Immigration Canada to apply for permanent residence. Immigration Canada awards points for certain selection criteria such as the applicant’s age, education, professional experience (within and outside Canada), knowledge of French and English, etc.
I would like to work in Canada. How can I go about doing this?
In most cases, if you want to come to Canada to work, you need to have an employment offer from a Canadian company. There are two main programs that allow people to get a work permit once they have received an employment offer: the Foreign Worker Program and the International Mobility Program. Depending on your country of citizenship, your Canadian employer will have to apply to one of these two programs. The Foreign Worker Program requires that the Canadian employer demonstrate that they were unable to find a candidate with your qualifications in Canada and that they must therefore hire you. The International Mobility Program allows Canadian employers to take advantage of agreements between Canada and other countries, such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement).
How long can I stay in Canada as a visitor?
The maximum time allowed for a person to stay in Canada as a visitor is 6 months. In most cases, the Canadian Consulate issuing the visitor visa for Canada will approve it for multiple entries, which may add up to a period of several years (e.g., the visa is valid for 5 years). However, even though the visa is valid for more than 6 months, the total length of time a person is allowed to remain on Canadian soil is still six months. If you want to stay in Canada longer, you’ll have to apply to have your status extended or get another visa allowing you to stay in Canada more than 6 months.
How can I become a Canadian citizen?
There are only certain specific cases under which a person can gain Canadian citizenship directly. An example of one of these cases is a person born outside Canada who has at least one parent with Canadian citizenship. This person can apply for their certificate of Canadian citizenship, proving that they are a Canadian citizen. Apart from such cases, to become a Canadian citizen, you first have to become a permanent resident. Once you have permanent residence and you’ve met the eligibility criteria for Canadian citizenship (e.g., be physically in Canada as a permanent resident for a period of 1095 days during the five years prior to your application for Canadian citizenship), you will become eligible to file your application to gain Canadian citizenship.
I have family in Canada. Can they sponsor me so that I can come live in Canada?
Yes and no. Under the family reunification program, a family member can sponsor an applicant for permanent residence but only in certain specific cases. For example, if you have a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner, they can sponsor you for permanent residence. Also, a parent can sponsor a child and a child can sponsor a parent. However, you cannot sponsor or be sponsored by a cousin, a friend, an uncle, aunt, brother or sister unless the person sponsored is an orphan. In addition, in order to be eligible for sponsorship, the person that sponsors you must be at least 18 years old and either a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada.
I would like to study in Canada. How can I become a student in Canada?
To come study in Canada, you have to be accepted by a designated learning institution (DLI). A DLI is a school approved by a provincial or territorial government to host international students. Once you have been accepted, you will be able to apply for a student visa. You will have to show, among other things, that you have sufficient funds to pay for your tuition and living expenses for the duration of your studies.