While the last eight years have seen major changes regarding immigration laws, it’s no wonder there is so much uncertainly when it comes to who is eligible to immigrate to Canada. None the less, this much is true:
Federal Business Routes
There is no more business immigration under the federal scheme such as the Entrepreneur and Investor Immigration. Years ago an individual could loan the government $800,000 and be assured of obtaining permanent residency under the Investor category. This is no longer so, as both these categories have been dormant for the past 18 months and there is no signs of the government planning to re-institute such. There is, however, a limited visa start up option where potential entrepreneurs can apply, but only a handful of this type of visa have been issued over the year.
Provincial Business Routes
Since the federal program terminated its business avenues, it is now up to individual provinces, which have agreements with the Federal government, to approve potential business applicants. In British Columbia, an individual with a net worth of $400,000 that is prepared to invest $200,000 into a start-up business and hire a Canadian could qualify under the British Columbia Regional Entrepreneur Business Program. On the other hand, it there are businesses for sale then the business succession program can be used allowing an individual to obtain a work permit within a year to purchase the business and eventually obtain permanent residency.
The province screens individuals, qualifies them, monitors their performance and in the end provides a letter that allows the individual to apply for permanent residence with the Federal government.
While processing of Provincial applications climbs, it’s now taking anywhere from one to four years for approvals. Even after fulfilling the conditions set out of the Provincial government, the applicant must still wait an additional year and a half for permanent residency.
Skilled Workers- Federal
Independent Skilled Workers applications from outside Canada are limited to lee than 10 percent of overall immigration. Due to such low numbers, the Minister of Immigration has reserved the right to select the occupations he believes are in demand, a list that changes from year to year.
Today the ideal applicant must be between the ages of 18 and 35, and must have university credentials that are equivalent to Canadian standards for the occupation. Under the trades category, the individual must either be in a procession of an approved Red Seal journeyman paper, or have a confirmed job offer in hand which had been approved by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
Skilled Workers- Provincial
In British Columbia, The Provincial Nominee Program requires a BC-based employer to sponsor the applicant, showing that it is difficult to find individuals with the skills required for the position. Applicants can usually be approved within five months by the BC PNP, and then a permanent residence application can be initiated, as well as a work permit.
If the individual has been a student in Canada and has worked for at least one year in an acceptable job, then the Canadian Experience Class is the route to go. This is an avenue favoured by the government, and allows students to obtain a three-year work permit following their university degree in Canada. Fields that are not approved for this permit include; administrative assistants, cooks, executive assistants and retail supervisors. PhD students are eligible to apply for permanent status if they have students in Canada for two full years.
Provided a Canadian citizen and permanent resident has regular income, the foreign national spouse can be granted permanent residence from as quickly as 11 months, and up to 40 months, depending on the nationality of the spouse.
Express Entry System
The government is introducing a new immigrant process, referred to as the “express entry.” It involves pooling together all potential immigrants into a common pool. While the rules have not yet been finalized (will be done by January 2015), the idea is that even if an immigrant potentially qualifies for permanent residency, it will not be guaranteed until a match has been made with an employer in Canada.
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