Immigration and Visas to Canada
Immigration to Canada can be further subdivided into two broad categories:
Temporary OR Non-Immigrant Visa
1. Visitor Visa
The purpose of the visitor / tourist visa under the Canadian Immigration Act is to:
- Allow the entry of an individual who wishes to visit Canada for the purpose of doing trade with Canadian companies, for tourism and allow other foreigners to foster scientific and international understanding.
- At the same time controlling entry of those who wish to involve in criminal activities in Canada or who are likely to put in danger the health and safety of the Canadian society.
Who is a visitor?
A definition of visitor is given under Sec. 2 (1) of The Immigration Act (Act) as a person who is lawfully in Canada as a visitor or who wishes to come into Canada for temporary purpose and who is not:
- A holder of minister’s permit
- A Canadian permanent resident and citizen
- An immigrant who is admitted into Canada as his/her examination cannot be concluded at the port of entry by the officer
What is a visitor visa?
A visitor visa is a document or stamp on the passport (in most cases) which allows entry of a person in Canada as that person meets the requirements of the Act for the purpose of visiting Canada. This visa is issued by a visa officer at the Canadian post abroad.
However there are residents and citizens of certain countries who do not require a visitor visa or it may be issued at the port of entry in canada.
2. Students Visa
There are more than 85 universities in Canada which provide high level of education to students coming from around the world. Canada has some of the finest private English schools from grade 1-12 for local as well as international students. The Canadian government spends 9.5 % of their GDP in the education system. Many Canadian education institutions are funded by the government and therefore they have some of the best facilities.
Basic process for obtaining student authorization is as follows:
- Foreign students must apply to a Canadian educational institute and obtain admission in such an institute. This institute must be certified by the immigration authority for the issuance of the student authorization / visa. This is generally mentioned in the prospectus of the school. If is not mentioned, students must ask the institute directly whether admission in that particular institute will qualify him / her for student authorization.
- Once the admission is secured, the student is required to make application to the Canadian immigration office for student authorization and visa.
- The student can make this application, while in Canada or outside of Canada.
There are also many student exchange programs, student working visa programs, and such other programs for students of certain countries.
Our kit will also include, apart from our regular forms and instructions, a list of Canadian educational institutions and a list of special student exchange and student working visa programs.
3. Work permit
Any person who is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada needs employment authorization (work permit) to work in Canada.
Basic process for obtaining employment authorization:
- The applicant must have a job offer from a Canadian employer who is ready to sponsor him / her.
- The employer must apply to the Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) for job validation (labor certification). However, there are certain cases where labor certification is not necessary such as hiring software programmers and their spouses, \corporate executives, etc.
- Once the labor certification is obtained, the applicant may make an application to a Canadian immigration office for obtaining employment authorization.
- This application may be made, while the applicant is in Canada or from outside Canada.
As per latest regulation (Oct. 1998) spouses of Executives, Professionals, and Software Programmers on work permit are eligible to work in Canada. Such spouses need to have a job offer and no job validation is necessary
Permanent Immigration to Canada
Under this class one can make an application for PERMANENT IMMIGRATION TO CANADA under the following three categories when he/she is OUTSIDE of Canada:
Applying for immigrant visa of Canada under the independent class
Canada is a country of immigrants and the government has identified that liberalized immigration process for skilled workers and professionals is essential for the economic and cultural development of Canada.
To serve this objective and facilitate the entry of skilled workers and professionals into Canada, Human Resources Development Canada (Labor Department of Canada) has produced a list of occupations known as National Occupation Classification (NOC).
Based on this list, Immigration Department of Canada has formulated immigration regulations for issuing immigrant visa to skilled workers, professionals and their families.
Before one makes an application under this class the applicant must make sure that your occupation / profession is on this NOC list with skill St of O, A, and B.
Application under this class is decided on the basis of points system on the following criteria:
- Education = 25 points
- Work Experience = 21 points
- Age = 10 points
- Arrange Employment = 10 points
- Knowledge of English and/or French language = 16+8 points
- Close relative in Canada, job offer from Canada, Canadian Education for 2 years at graduate/master level, One year full time Canadian legal experience OR spouse’ education = 10 points (5 points for each factor)
If you score 67 points out of 100 then you are eligible for getting PR visa of Canada. For calculation of your points you need to submit your resume. This regulation came in to effect on 28th Sep. 2003.
Express Entry – Federal Skilled Workers
Canada grants express entry immigration to skilled workers under the federal skilled workers category. The criteria for getting selected as a federal skilled worker is to score a minimum of 67 points.
The selection factors for express entry are as follows:
English and/or French Skills
French and English are the official languages of Canada and it is necessary to be proficient in at least one of the two languages. The language skills are tested for speaking, reading, writing, and listening. The test for any or both these languages should be taken from an agency which has been approved by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). A maximum of 28 points can be scored in this category.
The applicant must prove that he/she has earned a certificate or Diploma from Canada. In case of foreign education, the certificates earned need to be assessed by an agency approved by CIC. This is to show that the foreign degree/certificate is valid and equal to a Credential obtained in Canada. A maximum of 25 points can be earned in this category.
NOC or National Occupational Classification is a system used to group jobs in the Canadian economy. It defines the skills, duties, etc for every job. A maximum of 15 points can be obtained in this category.
The Age category defines the points earned by the applicant based on his/her age. A maximum of 12 points can be earned in this category.
Arranged Employment in Canada
This category is applicable if the applicant has a valid employment offer for a full-time job from a Canadian employer. This category helps earn a maximum of 12 points.
If the applicant has common-law partner or spouse immigrating with him/her to Canada, he/she can earn extra points for adaptability. The total number of points in this category are 10 points.
If an applicant meets all the above criteria, an application for immigration can be filed. Initially when the application is submitted, it is placed in a pool of applications. All the applications in the pool are eligible for immigration through express entry. Ranking is then done to find out the top entries from the pool. If an applicant’s entry is selected, he will be invited to apply to be a permanent resident of Canada.
Source of Information: www.uscis.gov