Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Immigration Corner | Considering prospects in Canada

Published:Tuesday | April 25, 2017 | 12:04 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I am a final-year student at the University of the West Indies. I am studying accounting. I would love to live in Canada as the job prospects here in Jamaica are looking dimmer each day. I heard that people with degrees can apply to become citizens. I have an uncle living in Ontario and he says that he would be happy to help. How do you suggest I go about completing the process if it's viable?

- H.G.


Dear H.G.,

A degree in accounting could chart a successful career path for you in Canada. Canada is one of the many countries that provide attractive career and social advancement to highly skilled and educated persons, who wish to become permanent residents and later citizens. This is provided that individuals are willing and able to satisfy requirements set by Immigration Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

There are various steps that you can take to realise your goal. You may become eligible to submit an application under the express entry system. The express entry system is one that manages applications under the Canadian federal economic immigration programmes such as Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trade Programme (FSTP) and Canadian Experienced Class (CEC) and the Provincial Nominee Programme (PNP).

The system is designed to select individuals who are eligible to immigrate to Canada based on their education, work experience, ability to integrate and make a valuable contribution to the Canadian economy.

Individuals are selected based on the number of points that they can get based on their skills, work experience, language, education and other factors such as a qualifying job offer and nomination by a province.

Each applicant is given a comprehensive ranking score and placed in a pool with other qualified applicants. IRCC then selects individuals from this pool based on the scores. If selected, IRCC grants an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

This is a highly competitive pool and therefore your goal is to maximise your scores to increase your chances of being selected.

You did not provide details of your age, marital status and work experience or whether you are currently finishing a bachelor's or master's degree. To qualify under any of these programmes you will need to have a minimum of one year's continuous work experience or the equivalent of 1,560 hours in the same job within the past 10 years. This job must be at skill level O, A, B of the Canadian National Occupational Class (NOC). Usually this skill level is managerial, supervisory and certain trades such as chef, cooks, bakers and butchers.

Another important step is to provide evidence of your language ability. There are two English language tests available. They are the International English Language test System (IELTS), and the General Training Examination. This is offered at the UWI. You will be tested on your reading, writing, listening and speaking. You should aim to maximise your score by trying to get no less than 8.5 for each category.




You may also sit the Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Programme (CELPIP) exam in Canada. If you are fluent in French you should sit the French language examination known as the General Test d'evaluation de francais (TEF). This is offered at the Alliance Francais office in Kingston and throughout Canada.

Since your degree is from a non-Canadian university you will be required to get an educational credential assessment report (ECA) from one of the authorised organisations. You are required to provide a transcript for them to evaluate whether your degree is the equivalent to a Canadian certification. Do not worry about whether your degree will qualify as most UWI degrees do.

Since you are studying accounts you should start looking at getting certified in Canada as a chartered professional accountant. Visit www.cpacanada.ca to find out how you can become certified. Certification will improve your scores and your chances of getting a job offer.

There are other requirements such as proof of settlement funds, medical and security checks.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada, bars, with office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, real estate, family, commercial and administration of estates. Submit your questions and comments to: Email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subjectline: Immigration. Tel: 613.695.8777