Tue | Jan 22, 2019

Immigration Corner | How do I qualify to move to Canada?

Published:Tuesday | June 12, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms. Powell:

I have an engineering degree and I have been having difficulty finding a job in Jamaica. Are there any opportunities for engineers in Canada? How can I move to Canada? Do I need a job offer first? Looking forward to your response.

- J.L.

Dear J.L.,

The field of engineering is one of the on-demand occupations in Canada. You did not indicate if you were a civil, aerospace, agricultural, biomedical, industrial, petroleum, systems, software, electrical or mechanical engineer (to name a few). Nonetheless, every day, various companies in Canada advertise for engineers to join their team.

Individuals who are able to satisfy the requirement as a federal skilled worker or under the federal skilled trades class are likely to be invited to apply for permanent residence to Canada. In fact, many engineers have been able to get permanent residence in Canada recently based on their ability to demonstrate their potential to succeed in Canada and contribute to the economy.

When you submit an application under the express entry system, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada examines your credentials and evaluates your potential to do well in Canada based on your work experience, language, age, education and adaptability, among other things. Each individual is given points based on these factors and given a rank in the express entry pool.

Additional points are usually granted if you are able to get a valid job offer, although it is not a requirement to be selected and granted permanent residence.

Also, you should note that many provinces are looking for engineers to move to their province and make a valuable contribution to their economy. Individuals who are admitted into the express entry pool are often selected by provinces such as Ontario and British Columbia and nominated for permanent residence under the Provincial Nominee Programme.

To find out if you qualify, I recommend that you consult with an authorised Canadian immigration lawyer to help you establish an immigration plan. You may also complete my free eligibility assessment on my Facebook page or at www.deidrepowell.com. This will help you determine if you qualify and if you are a strong candidate for permanent residence of Canada under the existing rules.

You should note that you need formal certification such as a degree or a diploma, that qualifies you to work as an engineer. Your work experience after your graduation will be taken into account. You must be able to demonstrate that you have had a minimum of one year continuous, full-time work experience in the same type of job within the last 10 years. It must be paid work for at least 30 hours per week. Voluntary/unpaid positions do not qualify. Although the job title is important, they are more interested in the duties that you performed to see if they are in line with Canada's National Occupational Classification.




Another significant criterion is that you will need to provide proof that you have a minimum of approximately CAD$12,500 (approxiamtely J$1.2 million) in savings or investments, depending on the number of persons in your immediate family. These are called 'settlement funds'. These funds are not taken from you. However, you must have adequate resources to make your move to Canada, and to take care of yourself while you get settled there.

You cannot borrow this money from an individual or family member as you must be able to use this money to pay the costs of moving to and living in Canada for your immediate family. This rule applies even if your spouse or children are not moving to Canada with you. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, your pooled resources will be taken into account.

If you have a valid job offer or you qualify under the Canadian Experience Class and the provincial nominee programme, you are not required to provide proof of these funds.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public in Canada and Jamaica. Her main areas of practice are immigration, real estate, wills and estates and commercial law. Send your questions to info@deidrepowell.com. Subject: Immigration. Find her on Twitter: deidrespowell and Facebook: jamaicanlawyer. Call 613.695.8777.