Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Canadian Immigration Visa Documentation

Probably the most time consuming – on your part – aspects of the Canadian immigration process is going to be gathering up all of the documentation that you need to submit along with you permanent resident application. This documentation will be used to determine your actual Pass-Mark score. Remember, you now only need a score of 67, not 75, to pass.
Below is a list of some documentation you may be asked to send:
· Birth certificates for you and all members of your family who will be moving with you
· Proof of your language abilities (there are various ways to prove this)
· Proof of employment and work experience
· Proof of education, such as college transcripts, for you and your partner
· Proof of arranged employment in Canada (if applicable)
· Proof of family relationships in Canada (if applicable)
· Marriage certificate for you and your spouse (if he or she is moving with you)
You need to make sure that the documentation you gather fits the requirements established by the Canada's department of immigration. Otherwise, your application will either be refused or delayed significantly.
Completing the Application
In addition to all of the documentation, you will also need to complete an application. It's important to read through the instructions very carefully and complete each section of the application correctly. If you make a mistake, your application may be delayed or refused and may have to start the entire process all over again, including paying the required fees again.
You must submit your application with all of the required documentation listed above, as well as some additional elements which we'll discuss in my next article.

Will You Be Able To Work In Canada?

If you are already planning your arrival to Canada, you must be asking yourself if you will be able to work there!
Before moving to Canada, you should learn as much as possible about working in Canada. Since there is no guarantee that you will find work in your preferred occupation, it is very important to be fully aware and prepared about the Canadian regulations and job opportunities.
First of all, I recommend updating your résumé and cover letter. You should have them ready when you arrive to Canada. As explained by CIC, you should consider the following facts before looking for a job in Canada:
- You may need to have your credentials assessed and recognized and you may have to be licensed;
- Depending on your profession, you may need to take additional courses;
- You may need to complete examinations or you may need to take a job specific test.
Even though you are not required to have these credentials for the immigration process, they will be very important when you look for a job in Canada.Remember, knowledge is power. The more you know about the Canadian immigration process


1 What immigration documents are essential for me to have while studying in
2 Which immigration documents can I apply for from within Canada?
3 What is a “TRV” and where do you apply for this?
4 Can I work in Canada as a visa student?
5 Can I work in Canada after completing my studies?
6 Can I get a Social Insurance Number (SIN)?
7 Do I have to file a Canadian Tax return?
8 Do I need to have a SIN to file my tax return?
9 Can I drive in Ontario?
10 Can my parents/family join me while I am studying?

1 You are required to have a valid study permit throughout your period of study at
University. Be sure to apply for your extension at least 3 months prior to the
expiry date of your current study permit.

2 You can apply for your study permit extension, a work permit/authorization for
yourself (if your program is Co-op, or requires work experience as part of the
degree requirement) or your accompanying spouse/common law or same sex
partner from within Canada through the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville,

3 A Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) is a travel document required by citizens from
certain countries (listed on to enter Canada. Your original TRV
would have been obtained from your home country Canadian Embassy/Mission or
the one closest to you. You only need this type of visa for entering Canada. If you
are not traveling out of Canada during your stay here, you will not need to apply
for a renewal. (Note: you may travel to the U.S. and re-enter Canada even if your
TRV has expired). If you are leaving Canada for any other world destination you
will need to renew your TRV and this may be done through the Buffalo office or
the Canadian Embassy/Mission in your destination country. Be sure to have your
valid study permit along with your passport and TRV for re-entry into Canada.

4 As a student enrolled in full time studies, you are currently allowed to work only
on campus. You do not require a work permit, but will need to get a SIN. Your
earnings will be subject to Canadian taxes.

5 Upon completion of your degree at university, you qualify to apply for a “one
time” post-graduation work permit to gain Canadian work experience. Students who have studied in Toronto will be granted a maximum of a one- year work
permit. You must have an offer of a job in your field of study to submit with your

6 You can apply for a Social Insurance Number from Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada, only if you will be earning income in Canada. You may
receive scholarship/fellowship/bursary income without a SIN, but if you are
working as a TA/RA/GA or any other on-campus job, you will need to apply for a

7 You are required to file a tax return once you have received income (from
scholarships or earned) in Canada. You may choose to file a return even if you
have not received income in Canada if you wish to register your education and
tuition tax credits for future potential earnings, or if you wish to apply for the
GST rebate and certain other tax credits for which you may qualify.

8 You do not need to have a SIN in order to file a tax return. You must however
notify Revenue Canada of this situation by including a note with your tax return
informing them that you are an international student who has not yet worked in
Canada and therefore do not have a SIN. They will process your return and
assign you a Temporary Taxation Number (this is not a SIN number) which you
may continue to use for future years’ filing. If you do get a SIN because you have
started working you need to notify CRA so that they can put your SIN number on

9 If you wish to drive in Ontario, you will need to obtain a Driver’s License. If you
have an international driver’s license you may use this during your first 60 days,
after which an Ontario license will be required. Holders of a valid US driver’s
license or countries with a reciprocity license agreement with Canada (e.g. Japan,
Korea, Austria, Germany, Switzerland) may exchange their license for a full
Ontario license at a Ministry of Transport office.

10 You may invite your family/parents to join/visit you while you are in Canada as a
student. You will need to send them a letter of invitation and a copy of your study
permit to take to the Canadian embassy in your home where they can then apply
for their entry visas. They will need to provide proof of financial support for the
period of their stay in Canada.

Tips on immigration to Canada

O Canada!
Canada maintains one of the most open immigration policies in the world, but there’s still a mountain of paperwork standing between you and your Canadian visa.
Canada remains one of the world’s top immigration destinations with the Canadian Government seeking to attract the elusive ‘skilled worker.’ To offset declining birth rates, an aging population and fill specific skill shortages, Canada is looking to attract skilled workers to its shores. With its popular points-based Skilled Worker program, the Canadian Government is looking to attract upwards of 250,000 new immigrants in 2006 alone.
If you are thinking of immigrating to Canada, or anywhere for that matter, you need to be aware; the process takes time and commitment. Those who take a step-by-step approach to immigration are often the most successful.
For your part, researching the type of visa you are eligible for and collecting the necessary documents will be the most time consuming. You’ll likely need to spend a day or so, gathering the necessary paperwork including work history documents, birth and marriage certificates and other ‘proof’ documents. If you have misplaced any of the necessary required documents, it’s important to request replacements from the various government departments at the early stage of your application process as these take time.
Several free, online assessments are available to measure individual points for the Canadian Skilled Worker visa and other visa subclasses. Most are attached to migration agencies, but some do offer the assessment service at no cost, with no obligation. Online assessments offer a quick and easy way to gauge whether or not you qualify for a Canadian visa.
Canada’s most popular and most flexible visa, the Skilled Worker visa, works on a points-based system. Pass marks are set by Citizenship and Immigration Canada with variables such as education, skills, age and language proficiency assigned a point value. In order to be eligible to apply for the Canadian Skilled Worker visa, the minimum point level of 67 out of 100 must be obtained. Once the pass mark has been attained, it’s important to keep in mind there will be fees, medicals and time factors to take into consideration when applying for a Skilled Worker visa.
Essentially, the 100 points are broken down into six categories, each with a different point maximum. Factor one, with a maximum of 25 points, is education. The more educated you are, the more points you are eligible to receive. Factor two is language, and being that Canada is a bilingual country, more points are allotted to those who speak either or both of Canada’s official languages (English and French). With a maximum score of 24 points, at least one language must be spoken with a high level of proficiency.
To a maximum score of 21 points, experience rounds out factor three. Points are given on a scale based on one to four year, with four years of qualified experience worth the full 21 points. Factor four is age; ten points for those between the ages of 21-49, with two points deducted for each year above or below.
If you have a pre-arranged work placement, subject to Human Resources Development Canada confirmation, you will be eligible for ten points under factor five. The final category, adaptability, makes up the final ten points. Points in this category are awarded for spousal or partner education, previous work and or study in Canada and family relationships in Canada.
Canada offers several visa categories for business immigrants. There are three main categories: investor, entrepreneur and self-employed. Investors must demonstrate business experience, a minimum net worth and the ability to invest in the country. Entrepreneurs must demonstrate experience, net worth and are subject to several conditions upon arrival in Canada. Self-employed persons must have the intention and ability to create their own employment and are expected to contribute to the cultural or athletic life of Canada.
Work permits, including working holiday maker visas for Canada, are only issued for foreign workers who are going to Canada for a limited time. If you are interested in living and working permanently in Canada, you must apply for permanent residence through the Skilled Worker program.
If you have an unusual case, varied work experience, a criminal record, prior immigration offence or any medical problems, you may want to think about employing a migration agent. Migration agents break the visa process into manageable steps and have a firm understanding of immigration legislation. Be sure to use a registered migration agent or Canadian qualified lawyer. You can check the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants’ web site for a listing of all registered agents.
Canada is a beautiful and diverse country, getting the right visa takes solid advance preparation. Remember to research, gather your documents early and be patient; the process can run anywhere from six to thirty-two months!

More Reasons to Immigrate to Canada!

Obviously, you have given at least some thought to immigrating to Canada or you wouldn't be reading this report. While you probably have your own reasons for considering such a move, here are a few others to think about:
As of July 26, 2005, no occupations were classified as restricted by´ Canada's Citizenship and Immigration department. Restricted occupations are ones that would not count towards your Pass-Mark score, regardless of the years of experience you have with that job. Some common jobs may be restricted if the need for workers to fill them is met.
As of February 18, 2005, the current Minister of Citizenship and´ Immigration, Joe Volpe, announced changes made to immigration procedures for the spouses and common law partners of permanent residents. Now if you are approved as a permanent resident, your spouse or common law partner of either gender can live and work with you in Canada while their immigration application is being considered. Previously, significant others had to wait for approval before moving to Canada.
Becoming a permanent resident now means you will have less time to wait´ before applying for Canadian citizenship. To become a citizen, you have to have lived in the country for at least three of the four years prior to your application for citizenship. Plus, you can become a citizen of Canada without having to give up your citizenship in your country of origin. Remember that these issues are also subject to change.
In the next section of this report, I'll be talking more about how the Pass-Mark system works so you'll understand your

Should I Immigrate to Canada?

The most important question is: Why Canada?
Are you looking for a better quality of life? Are you interested in better education for you and your family members? Are you looking for a better work environment? Are you interested in beautiful landscapes and peaceful surroundings? Well, in my opinion you have made an excellent decision when you though about Canada as an option to immigrate. We will walk together in one direction and with one goal in mind: starting your new life in this beautiful country.
We will walk together, because we have one thing in common: we both know that there are more options for living our life than the life that was assigned to us since the moment we were born. We were born surrounded by several circumstances, such as our country of residence. If we live our life unconsciously, without evaluating and analyzing the direction of our steps, we will most likely live, grow and die in the same country doing the same things. However, if we decide to live consciously, we will realize that we can create and imagine different ways to live our only life.
I am certain that you have already made a pause in the journey of your life and evaluated the direction of your steps. You are using this guide for a reason, and most likely this reason is that you are convinced that you can design a better life. You are willing to take risks and you are ready to start walking in a new direction.
Again, why Canada? Well, we will answer this question together analyzing some interesting facts about this beautiful country. One of the main reasons to choose Canada as your country of residence is its quality of life. Canada has been rated several years by the United Nations as the #1 place to live in the World, based upon various factors such as standard of living, environment, and other factors. This survey (published in the United Nations´ Human Development Report) measures several factors on life in the country; however income levels are not used as a main source of measurement.
For almost a decade (1992 – 2001), Canada was “the best country in the world to live in”. Canada had moved back to the 8th position recently, however Canada has recently moved up to 4th position in the United Nations’ human development survey, and it is now above the United States (only below Norway, Sweden and Australia).