Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Immigration to Canada

Coming to Canada as an immigrant is an exciting opportunity, but also offers great challenges.
If you are interested in immigrating to Canada, you have a number of options when applying for permanent residence status. Read about these programs and decide which class suits you and your family best.

Every year the Canadian government approves permanent resident visas to members of the Independant Class, Family Class and Business Class.

The Independant Class consists mainly of professionals and skilled workers under the skilled worker class, and the provincial nominee class as well as business immigrants.
Applicants under the Federal Skilled Worker Class are assessed according to various factors that will indicate whether there is a strong likelihood that the applicant and dependents will successfully establish themselves in Canada. Ideal applicants under the skilled worker class will possess employment skills and experience compatible with occupations "open" to prospective immigrants to Canada. The selection rules generally favour applicants with government approved job offers in Canada.

In the Independent/Skilled Worker Class, a skilled worker is someone who has:
at least one (1) year of full-time (37.5 hours per week or more) work experience within the past ten (10) years
Which work falls within one of the occupations listed in either Skill Type 0 or Skill Level A or B of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).
The NOC was developed by Human Resources Development Canada to be a systematic cataloging of occupations in the Canadian labour market.
The NOC is divided into five (5) bands:

Skill Type 0 - Management Occupations;
Skill Level A - which is primarily comprised of professional occupations;
Skill Level B - which consists of technical, skilled trades and paraprofessional occupations;
Skill Level C - which comprises occupations that mainly consist of intermediate level, clerical or supportive functions;
Skill Level D - which consists of elemental sales or service and primary labourer occupations.
Only experience in Skill Type 0 or Skill Levels A and B are considered relevant for applicants in the Independent/Skilled Worker Class.

Applicants in the Provincial Nominee class, may be approved for permanent residence on the basis of their proven ability to become economically established in Canada, in accordance with immigration programs and selection criteria administered by Quebec or the provinces.

Various provincial governments are currently in the process of concluding agreements with the Government of Canada (such as the Canada-Manitoba Agreement, 1996) thereby providing a framework for federal and provincial cooperation in the field of immigration. The Provincial Nominee Agreement, 1998 for example, provides Manitoba , with shared authority to identify and nominate prospective individuals destined to that Province. The Provincial Nominee Program of each participating province outlines current guidelines for the promotion, recruitment and nomination of skilled individuals who can provide significant industrial and economic benefits to the particular province.

The Canadian Federal Government continues to maintain exclusive jurisdiction over matters such as health, security and settlement funding.

Participating provincial governments are currently issuing Nomination Certificates to qualified professionals/skilled workers and assisted relatives who possess employment skills and experience which are compatible with occupations "open" to prospective immigrants to that province. An applicant is assessed under various factors which will indicate whether there is a strong likelihood that the applicant will successfully establish himself/herself in the respective province.

Within the Federal Family Class, current sponsorship programs typically promote the reunification in Canada of Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their close relatives including a spouse, common-law partner or conjugal partner 16 years of age or older, an unmarried dependent child under the age of 22, a parent or grandparent, and a brother, sister, nephew, niece, grandchild who is an orphan, unmarried and under 18 years of age or any other relative where the sponsor has none of the above relatives or family members, in Canada or abroad.


To qualify as a member of a Family Class the principal applicant must be a sponsor's:
Spouse 16 years of age or older;
Dependent child(ren) including a child adopted before age of 22, who are:
under age 19 and unmarried; or
have been continuously enrolled and in attendance as a full time student in educational institution and financially supported by their parents since turning 22 (or from the date of marriage if married before the age of 22);
unable to support themselves due to a medical conditions and are financially supported by their parents.
Parent or grandparent
Brother, sister, nephew, niece, or grandchild who is an orphan, under age 22 and unmarried;
Child under age of 22 who will be adopted in Canada and who is an orphan, or an abandoned;
Child whose parents cannot be identified, or child who has been placed with a child welfare authority for adoption because:
a child was born out of wedlock;
the child's parents are separated;
one of the child's parents is deceased.
Relative, regardless of the age or relationship to the sponsor, where the sponsor does not have any relatives (a spouse, son, daughter, mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew) but the relative which sponsor intents to sponsor.

Canada also admits immigrants under the Business Immigration program which comprises three sub-categories including Investors, Entrepreneurs and the Self-Employed.

The Investor class is point based and offers permanent residence to applicants who demonstrate an ability to become economically established in Canada on the basis of their business or management experience and personal net worth of at least $800,000. Approval is dependant on the investor undertaking to commit an irrevocable, passive, non-interest bearing five-year investment of $400,000 in a government guaranteed investment fund. Under applicable programs, applicants can obtain financing and receive legal security on their investment.

The Entrepreneur class is also point based and confers permanent residence on applicants who demonstrate an ability to become economically established in Canada based on their business experience and high personal net worth. Approval is dependant on the entrepreneur undertaking to invest and become involved in the active management of a qualifying business operated in Canada that will contribute to the economy and create employment.
The Self Employed class is also point based and refers to applicants who have relevant experience as well as the intention and the ability to create their own employment and make a significant contribution to the cultural, artistic or athletic life of Canada, or to create their own employment by purchasing and managing a farm in Canada.


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