Immigrating to Canada
Citizenship and Immigration Canada is the federal department that controls who will be permitted to immigrate to Canada. There are various immigration categories which are open to applicants for Permanent Residence, including the Skilled Workers Class, the Canadian Experience Class and the Business Class. As well as these categories, a person could qualify through the Provincial Nominee Program, or be sponsored by a Family Member.
Skilled Worker Class
Skilled workers are selected as permanent residents based on their education, work experience, knowledge of English and/or French, and other criteria that have been shown to help them become economically established in Canada.
Canadian Experience Class
If you are a temporary foreign worker or a foreign student who graduated in Canada, you often have the qualities to make a successful transition from temporary to permanent residence. You are familiar with Canadian society and can contribute to the Canadian economy. You should have knowledge of English or French and qualifying work experience. You can apply to stay in Canada permanently under the Canadian Experience Class.
The Business Immigration Program seeks to attract experienced business people to Canada who will contribute to the development of a strong Canadian economy. There are three sub-categories:
- show that they have business experience;
- have a minimum net worth of C$1,600,000 that was obtained legally; and
- make a C$800,000 investment.
- show that they have business experience;
- have a minimum net worth of C$300,000 that was obtained legally; and
- respect the conditions for entrepreneurs after they arrive in Canada.
Self-employed persons are required to have either:
- relevant experience that will make a significant contribution to the cultural or athletic life of Canada; or
- experience in farm management and the intention and ability to purchase and manage a farm in Canada.
Provincial Nominee Program
The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) allows nominees to apply for Permanent Resident status through Citizenship and Immigration Canada under the fast-tracked Provincial Nominee stream, which can be faster than applying through many federal immigration streams. There are two categories under which a person can apply:
Nominee applicants under the Strategic Occupations component must either have a job offer of indeterminate length from a BC employer or have completed a masters or doctorate degree at a BC post-secondary institution in either the natural, applied or health sciences.
The Business Immigrants component of British Columbia’s PNP considers applications from experienced business entrepreneurs who plan to invest in and actively manage an eligible business in BC.
If you are a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, the federal government allows you to sponsor your spouse, common-law partner, conjugal partner, dependent child (including adopted child) or other eligible relative (such as a parent or grandparent) to become a permanent resident.
If you sponsor a relative to come to Canada as a permanent resident, you are responsible for supporting your relative financially when he or she arrives. As a sponsor, you must make sure your spouse or relative does not need to seek financial assistance from the government.
Immigration and Refugee Board
The Immigration and Refugee Board is responsible for making decisions on immigration and refugee matters, in accordance with the law. The Board is comprised of 4 divisions, or tribunals.
Refugee Protection Division
Makes decisions on claims for refugee protection made within Canada.
Refugee Appeal Division
Hears appeals of refugee claims refused.
Conducts immigration admissibility hearings for certain categories of people believed to be inadmissible to, or removable from, Canada. Conducts detention reviews for those being detained under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, for various reasons.
Immigration Appeal Division
Hears appeals of sponsorship applications refused by officials of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, among other things.
Legal Services offered by Focus Law
Legal representation on either a full service or limited-services basis on the following:
- immigration inquiries;
- work permit inquiries;
- spousal sponsorship;
- skilled worker application;
- humanitarian & compassionate cases;
- Canadian permanent residence and citizenship applications.
Page last updated on: July 27, 2011.