Sun | Mar 18, 2018

I'm in school and plan to move to Canada

Published:Tuesday | January 26, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I am a final-year student at the University of Technology, where I am completing my studies in computer science. I would like to become a citizen of Canada. I have an uncle there. Can you tell me how I can qualify to go to Canada when I finish studying?

- O.J.


Dear O.J.,

Canada is one of the many countries that encourage qualified professionals to become permanent residents based on their education, experience, savings, and demonstration of ability to integrate and become a productive member of the Canadian society.

Being trained as a computer scientist is a viable skill and you could have a bright career path in Canada. You may be eligible to immigrate to Canada through the express entry system as a Federal Skilled Worker (FSW). Under this category, a person is chosen based on his or her education, work experience and ability to integrate and make a valuable contribution to the Canadian economy.

You indicated that you are currently completing your studies in computer science. Are you completing a bachelor's degree? Do you have a post-high school diploma or associate's degree in computer science? Do you have any work experience in computer science? To qualify to apply as a FSW, you will need to have a minimum of one year post-certification, work experience in your related field.

Based on the information submitted, you do not appear to be quite ready to submit an application. However, it is good to have a goal and plan in mind and to start preparing yourself to apply. I will, therefore, provide you with some basic information to assist you with your preparation.

You will also need to sit the general training, English examination that is offered at the University of the West Indies. You should contact them immediately as the waiting time to sit the examination is very long. Once you have completed your studies, you will need to request an Educational Credential Assessment Report to show that your degree or diploma is equivalent to one being offered in Canada. This can be requested from various accredited bodies in Canada after you have provided them with your transcripts and details of your studies. Medical and security checks will also be required to ensure that you are admissible to Canada.


The express entry system is very competitive, and so many individuals have chosen to do further studies such as a master's or PhD degree at a Canadian university then apply for a post-graduate work permit in order to get Canadian work experience. Once an individual is able to demonstrate that he or she has the minimum required Canadian work experience, this usually increases the chances of gaining sufficient points to qualify to receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence under the express entry system. You may also be eligible to apply for one of the provincial nominee programmes. This is a longer and more expensive route but one worth considering.

You should also note that the Canadian immigration rules and procedures are constantly changing. You should keep reading The Gleaner to stay informed and take advantage of the opportunity should one present itself. The key is to be prepared.

Best of luck in your final year!

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Submit your questions and comments to Subjectline: Immigration. Fax: 613.695.8778