Thu | Sep 24, 2020

Immigration Corner | Can I apply to live in Canada as an accountant?

Published:Tuesday | June 30, 2020 | 12:14 AM
Deidre S. Powell Contributed
Deidre S. Powell Contributed

Dear Miss Powell,

I am interested in moving to Canada as a chartered accountant. I know that you have helped some of my friends, but they had a degree in accounting from The University of the West Indies. I do not have a degree, but I have an ACCA certification. Would I still qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme? I know that the United States has stopped taking applications, but is Canada accepting immigration applications? Would I get a job as an accountant if I get to go to Canada? My half-sister lives in Canada. Does that help my application? I look forward to your response.

– K.A.

Dear K.A.,

The Canadian government is still accepting online applications for all the immigration programmes. This includes applications for visitor, study and work permits, as well as applications which fall under the Express Entry System, such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trade Programme and Canadian Experienced Class.

The express entry online system manages all applications for economic immigrants such as the federal skilled workers. Many professionals such as accountants, social workers, financial advisers, public relations officers and other related professionals have a good chance of being selected to get permanent residence to live in Canada, and this confirmation could be given within a matter of months.

Anyone looking to apply as a federal skilled worker will need to have all the relevant documents to prove that you have the education, skill, work experience and language ability to integrate successfully in the Canadian society and contribute to the economy. Applications should be submitted via the express entry portal.

PROOF OF EDUCATION

You are required to demonstrate that you have the equivalent of a Canadian certification to perform in a similar position in Canada. In your case, you indicated that you are a chartered accountant in your home country. Although you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you could still qualify under the Express Entry System if you get your ACCA accreditation assessed by one of the authorised organisations. The report will be evidence that you have the equivalent to a bachelor’s degree or a three-four year post-secondary certification.

You should submit your transcripts for verification to one of the designated organisations or a professional body accepted by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The report will indicate your level of education and its equivalent in Canada.

The IRCC-approved organisations are Comparative Education Service – University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, International Credential Assessment Service of Canada, World Education Services, International Qualifications Assessment Service, and International Credential Evaluation Service. A quick online search will lead you to their official website, where you may sign up to have your credentials assessed. Once you have your online account and pay the required fee, you will be given information on where to send your transcripts, or where to tell ACCA to send your transcript for assessment. You should let the organisation know that you are doing the assessment for Canadian immigration purposes and authorise them to revel your results to IRCC.

In essence, an Educational Credential Assessment report (ECA) will be used to verify that your foreign education is valid and equal to a Canadian certification. You will need your ECA reference numbers to apply under the Express Entry System.

If your ECA indicate that you have the equivalent to a Canadian certification, you should note that this does not guarantee that if you are granted permanent residence status, you will automatically be given a job as a chartered accountant. Chartered accountants, doctors, lawyers and pharmacist all fall under the category of regulated professions, and so you will need to apply to become certified as a chartered professional accountant in the province that you intend to live and practise.

You must get a licence to practise as a chartered accountant in the province or territory that you plan to settle in. You should examine the CPA Canada website for information on how to become a chartered accountant in Canada. Their website is: www.cpacanada.ca/en/become-a-cpa . Since your half-sister is in Ontario, you should consider applying to get accredited as a CPA in Ontario.

OTHER FACTORS

Under the Express Entry System, other qualifying factors are your age, your language skills, and your adaptability into the Canadian society. You indicated that you have a half-sister living in Ontario, that could be a good indication that you could be a strong candidate and even qualify for a provincial nominee, if you are able to satisfy the requirements. I recommend that you book a telephone meeting with an authorised Canadian immigration lawyer and provide more details to assess your eligibility and advise you of your options.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada Bars. Her office is in Ottawa. Submit your questions to info@deidrepowell.com or Call 613.695.8777. Find out if you qualify by completing fee assessment at www.deidrepowell.com Find her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.