Immigration Corner | Researching information on immigration to Canada
Dear Miss Powell,
I am a 28-year-old woman, and I was looking up information on immigration to Canada and found your column in The Gleaner. I am interested in starting the process of migration to Canada and wanted advice on the steps to take to be seen as a suitable candidate. I am currently pursuing my master’s degree in business administration, and I would like to know what steps I can take to migrate to Canada. Thank you.
I am pleased that you are researching viable routes to come to Canada and that you are ensuring that you connect with an authorised immigration lawyer.
Canada has 80 different immigration programmes and is expected to accept 421,000 new immigrants in 2023, so now is the time to establish a firm plan of action.
The most popular route to permanent residence in Canada is via the Express Entry System, where professionals like yourself can apply to qualify under economic programmes such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trade, Canadian Experience Class, and the Provincial Nominee Programmes.
HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
As mentioned in many of my past articles, the Express Entry System is one in which the top-ranking individuals are selected from a general pool of candidates and granted an invitation to apply for permanent residence. Therefore, your focus should be on ensuring that you enter the pool and that you are considered one of the best candidates.
The first step is to ensure that you are admitted into the pool. This requires you to have at least one language-test result. For English, there are two tests – IELTS General Training English Examination ( www.ielts.org) or the CELPIP General ( www.celpip.ca). For French, there are the TEF Canada: Test d’évaluation de français ( www.lefrancaisdesaffaires.fr/en) and the TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du français ( www.france-education-international.fr/test/tcf-canada).
If you click on the links above or do an online search, you should be able to find a testing centre in your country. For French, you should check with your local Alliance Francaise to book the exam. The tests will not be conducted online, so you will need to attend the testing centre to be prepared to be tested on your reading, writing, listening and speaking abilities.
If you were educated outside of Canada, you will need to get your certificate/diploma or degrees certified by an organisation that has been authorised by the Canadian government to produce an Educational Credential Assessment report, or a report that indicates that your certificate is equivalent or recognised in Canada.
You should choose the organisation based on your profession. If you plan to work for a large employer or in a regulated occupation, you may need to have your assessment done by a specific designated organisation. Check with your employer or the regulatory body for your occupation for more information. So, for pharmacist, sign up at www.pebc.ca; medical doctors – www.mcc.ca.
For professions such as business, accounting, public relations, insurance, sciences – you may submit your request via any one of the following organisations: 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 – British Columbia Institute of Technology.
HOW ARE SCORES GIVEN?
Each candidate that is admitted into the Express Entry pool can get a core set of points based on factors such as age, language ability, education, skill, work experience of you and your spouse or common-law partner. You can also get additional points based on factors such as having a sibling who is a citizen or permanent resident, if you speak both English and French, have Canadian degrees, diplomas, or certificates, have a valid job offer (usually with Labour Market Impact Assessment), Canadian work experience, or a nomination from a province or territory.
Your profile in the Express Entry pool will be valid for 12 months. During that time, you can update your profile if anything changes, such as your level of education, or receipt of a provincial nominee, job offer and so forth.
One critical thing to note is that under the Express Entry System, you should have a minimum of US$13,000 in savings before embarking on this process. If you are married with children, the requirement is more. You should also ensure that you will have money for medical and police checks, when required.
There are other programmes such as the Start-up Visa, Self-Employed Programmes, to name a few. It is best to book a telephone/Zoom meeting with us to review your credentials, occupation, family background, etc, so that we can help you to establish a personal immigration plan.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public in Canada. Send your questions and comments via www.deidrepowell.com. Follow her on Facebook for immigration updates and more information about Canada.