Sat | May 27, 2017

Why so much money?

Published:Tuesday | September 9, 2014 | 9:00 AM
Deidre S. Powell
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Dear Ms Powell,

I am working as an accountant and interested in migrating to Canada. I started looking into it and am overwhelmed with the number of things they need and the amount of money I need to have in my bank account. Why would they want so much money? If I had that amount of money in my bank account, I wouldn't want to leave Jamaica! Anyway, my mother keeps telling me I would have a better life there and she would give me the money, if we can't get around it.

I was talking with some friends who said I shouldn't worry too much about it now, as I can apply next year. Most said they were waiting until then to submit their application, as they are saving Is this true? Should I just wait until next year? Will the programme be available next year? Is there any way around the money part?

- ST

Dear ST,

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been accepting applications under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSWP) since May 1, 2014. They will be accepting a total of 25,000 applications from around the world. CIC will continue to accept applications until the cap is reached. Applications will be accepted from individuals who can establish that they have a minimum of 67 points based on age, education, work experience, language, adaptability, settlement funds or valid job offer.

There is a list of eligible occupations that can be found on my website at www.deidrepowell.com. For each occupation, a maximum of 1,000 applications will be accepted. Accountant is a popular occupation and, therefore, if you qualify and have the minimum savings required, I would strongly recommend you seize the opportunity and apply sooner than later.

Settlement Funds

If you do not have a valid job offer from an authorised Canadian employer, you will need to show proof of savings/investment.

CIC requires that you prove that you have the means to settle in Canada without requiring the assistance of the government. Therefore, you will need to prove that you have funds that are "available, transferrable and not committed to other debts or obligations". You will not need to give the funds to CIC. However, you will need proof that you will have those funds in order to successfully relocate and settle in Canada. The proof that you will need to submit is a letter from your financial institution. You should bear in mind that it may take some time for you to establish yourself in Canada and, therefore, it is important that you have at least the minimum amount required, so that you can be independent when you arrive.

So no, there is no way around the money part. The settlement funds requirement is in place to ensure you are able to take care of yourself in the first few months when you get here, until you can get a job and become integrated into the Canadian society. Trust me, you will need it! (Especially if you do not have the support of relatives in Canada).

The amount of settlement funds required is based on the number of persons in your family. The following chart may be used as a guide:

Last chance

This year is the last time individuals will be able to submit an application under the FSWP and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) programme in its current format. In 2015, CIC will be transitioning to a new immigration selection system known as 'Express Entry'.

Under this new system, if you do not have a valid job offer and you are interested in coming to Canada as an economic immigrant, you must first complete an online Express Entry profile. If you meet the criteria of one of the federal economic immigration programmes, you will be placed in the job bank/pool for possible selection. You will be matched with employers and jobs in Canada based on your skills, knowledge and experience.

Employers will have the opportunity to review the pool of Express Entry applicants and select qualified candidates. This means individuals placed in the pool will be assessed against others within the pool, and be ranked based on your ability to succeed and make a valuable contribution in Canada.

Only the highest-ranked candidates, and those with valid job offers, or provincial/territorial nominations, will be invited to apply for permanent residence. Those candidates will then be given an 'Invitation to Apply' (ITA).

Once candidates receive an ITA, they will have 60 days to apply for permanent residence under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Canadian Experience Class (CEC) or a portion of the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). It is expected that this application will take less than a year to process.

Should you wait for the Express Entry Programme in 2015? It is entirely up to you! It is a new programme and we do not have all the information about it, yet. However, my father used to say, "don't give away surety for unsurety". Bird-in-hand principle!

To find out if you are eligible for the current FSWP, CEC, PNP, or any other immigration programmes, contact an immigration lawyer to provide you with personalised service.

Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, notary public, member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, personal injury, commercial, family, wills and estates. She is on the roster of mediators for Ottawa, Toronto and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Find her on Facebook and Twitter. Tel: 613-695-8777.

# persons Funds required in family (CAD$)(including spouse (approximately) and children

under 19 years)

1 $12,0002 $15,0003 $18,1004 $22,0005 $25,0006 $29,0007 or more $32,000