Canadian Immigration Process
Immigrating to Canada is the first step to becoming a Canadian citizen. Generally,
you need to be outside the country to apply for immigration. Immigration entitles you
to work in Canadan so there is no need to apply for a wrok permit AND immigration
separately (the goverment will charge you two fees if you do!)
Canada has two official languages -- English and French. An understanding of one of the official languages will greatly improve your ability to integrate successfully in Canada.
Canada's immigration policy is a joint federal and provincial responsibility, so your application will be evaluated by the province's immigration priorities for where you wish to settle. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
- Anyone can apply to immigrate to Canada. If you are married, you or your spouse can apply (if you are engaged, it's often easier if you're married before applying)
- Complete the application form available at a Canadian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. If you are visiting Canada and decide you want to live here, you still must apply for permanent residence from outside the country.
- Provide all requested documentation. Typically, this includes birth or baptismal certificates for each member of your family, separation or divorce papers, educational transcripts, degrees, technical or professional certificates. If they are not in English or French, they need to be translated by a certified translator (check with your local Canadian embassy for their recommendation). This will be helpful anyway when looking for employment or schooling in Canada.
- Pay the non-refundable application fee - $500 per adult plus $100 per child under 19
- If your application shows that you will probably settle successfully in Canada, you will be called to a personal interview, usually at the nearest Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission.
- You also must have a medical examination and your background checked. This is to see if there are health or legal reasons that would stop you from being admitted to Canada as a permanent resident.
- If you are currently on probation or charged with an offence and awaiting trial, you may apply for citizenship but you may be prohibited from being granted it
- When your application for immigration (and later citizenship) is approved you will be required to pay additional fees
Who can help?
Here are sources for accredited immigration consultants and lawyers:
- Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants
- CAPIC Canadian Association of Professional Immigration Consultants