Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Job hunting in Canada

Published:Tuesday | February 17, 2015 | 12:00 AM

I have interviewed for a position as an IT specialist at a company in Canada. This will be a one year contract and I strongly believe I will get the job. I have a wife and a four-year-old child. I am not a permanent resident, however, I currently have a temporary resident visa. If I am successful, what will be my next step to get to Canada? Will my wife and child be able to come with me? Will my wife be able to work and my child able to go to school?

- BS

Congratulations on being able to secure a job interview. That is a strong testament as to your educational credentials, experience and skills. This means that several doors could now be opened to you to become a permanent resident in Canada, or depending on the time constraints you could simply apply for a work permit.

Express Entry Route

If you have a valid job offer, you can apply under the Express Entry System to become a permanent resident within six months. Under this system you are more flexible and you could be on your way to becoming a citizen of Canada in a few years.

To qualify under this system you will need the following:

1. The full name and address of your prospective employer;

2. Labour Market Impact Assessment Report ( LMIA) from your employer;

3. Valid job offer with start date clearly outlined;

4. IELTS examination results;

5. Educational Credential Report;

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) will assess your application and you could receive and invitation to apply for permanent residence. This application would include your spouse and your children under the age of 18.

Work Permit Route

You may also choose to simply apply for a work permit, which is a temporary authorisation to work in Canada for a specific period of time. You will be required to submit a complete application to CIC along with all the necessary supporting documents. Specifically, you will be required to submit proof that you have the experience and qualifications to do the job in accordance with Canadian standard. You will need to submit a copy of the job offer and LMIA from your employer, along with the relevant fees.

After you have submitted your application

After the visa office receives your application it will be reviewed to ensure it is completed accurately and all the relevant supporting documents enclosed. If you submit an incomplete application it will be returned to you unprocessed.

If your application is complete, the following may be requested:

* Medical examination

A visa officer will determine whether a medical examination is required. If a medical examination is required, you will be sent a personalised form and instructions.

* Police certificate

You may be asked to provide a police certificate for yourself and family members. You will be advised by the visa office.

* Interview

If a visa officer decides that an interview is necessary, you will be informed and given instructions. Most decisions are taken without an interview. All relevant information should therefore be included in writing with your initial application.

If your application is approved, you will receive a letter from the visa office confirming your authorisation to work in Canada. This letter is not your work permit. You will be required to take the letter with you to present it to the immigration officials when you arrive in Canada, then you will get your work permit.

If your application is refused, the visa office will send you a letter explaining the reason for the denial.

Your wife may secure an open work permit.

Your wife should submit her application for an open work permit at the same time when you are submitting your application, since she plans to accompany you. You will need to submit your marriage certificate with your application.

With an open work permit, your wife may find and accept any job when you both get to Canada. She will not need a job offer or a positive LMIA to apply for her work permit. If she is granted an open work permit she will be authorised to accept employment in any sector except in health services or child care without first passing an approved medical exam. If she plans to seek employment in health services or child care, she should indicate this clearly on her application, so that medical exam instructions can be issued to you from the outset.

In most cases, minor children do not need a study permit to study in Canada, if they are included in your application. Since your child is a minor and would be at the stage of attending pre-school or kindergarten, she would fall within this category and therefore would not require a study permit to attend school.

I hope that you find this helpful. Should you and your employer require additional information, it may be useful to consult an immigration attorney to assist you based on the finer details of your case.

n Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, commercial, personal injury, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto, and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: info@deidrepowell.com subject line: immigration           Call 613.695.8777/ 876.922.8899.