Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Immigration Corner | How can I stay in Canada?

Published:Tuesday | October 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I am on long leave from my job in Jamaica and I visited Canada in June. I met a really nice guy and I have been staying with him and helping him in his business - not for money, just as a friend. I'm just helping him to sort his records out. I'm an accountant. I have a Bachelor's Degree and just need a few more courses to get my ACCA certification. I like Canada and would like to stay, but I don't want to run off or be deported. How can I apply to stay?

- L.L.

Dear L.L.,

Tread carefully. Usually, when someone visits Canada on a visitor's or temporary resident visa, they are not authorised to work and are required to spend no more than six months in the country. You should pay attention to the timelines so that you don't jeopardise your ability to remain in or return to Canada in the future.

Since you are an accountant by profession and have the basic qualifications to be able to apply under the express entry or provincial nominee programmes, I recommend that you do so.

Under the Canadian immigration programmes, you can qualify to remain in Canada as a permanent resident and later become a citizen of Canada by submitting an application under one of the self-sponsorship programmes such as the federal skilled worker programme (FSW) federal skilled trades (FST), Canadian work experience class (CEC), provincial nominee programme.

If you qualify, your application may be submitted via the express-entry portal. You stand a better chance of being selected if you are under 45 years old; have post-high-school education and a minimum of one year post-graduation work experience.

If you have a valid job offer that is supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) report, have a sibling or spouse living in Canada and you acquire a Canadian CPA certification, this helps to increase your chances of getting permanent residence in six months.

I'm not sure if you are in Nova Scotia, but you should note that recently, the province opened up its Provincial Nominee Programme and they are accepting applications from professionals in the field of accounting, financial services, civil engineering, information systems, nurses, practical nurses, legal professions, administration, marketing and public relations, to name a few.

There are many options available to you and individuals who have a degree, and therefore, I urge you to consult directly with a lawyer to help you with making an informed decision. The key is to ensure that you do not breach the laws and rules so that you do not risk harsh penalties.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public. Send your questions or comments to info@deidepowell.com. Find her on Facebook.com/jamaicanlawyer or call 613-695-8777/ 876-922-4092.