Immigration Corner | Professional wants to give Canada a try
Dear Ms Powell,
I am interested in living in either Manitoba or Saskatchewan as I have friends who have moved there. I have been a manager for the past six years, and I'm ready to make a change in my life and give Canada a try. What do you suggest for a professional like me who wants a better life for his family? How long will the process take?
Canada has a very generous immigration system, so managers and other professionals with a degree could qualify to come to Canada under the Federal Skilled Work Programme and the provincial nominee programmes (PNP) of several provinces.
Each province has its own application portal, and the federal government of Canada has its own system for receiving applications from qualified individuals. The federal immigration system utilises the express entry system, which manages applications from individuals who qualify under the skilled worker, skilled trade, Canadian experienced class, and some provincial programmes. It is a points-based system, and individuals are given points based on their age, education, language, work experience and adaptability.
In order for you to qualify under any of these programmes, your first step is to ensure that you are able to satisfy the language requirements. Applicants are required to demonstrate that they are competent in at least one of the two official languages of Canada - French and English. You will be tested on your ability to read, write, speak and listen effectively. You must familiarise yourself with the exam techniques to ensure that you get the maximum available points under this category.
The two acceptable English tests are CELPIP, Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program - General test and the IELTS, or International English Language Testing System - General training option. The IELTS exam is offered at The University of the West Indies. However, you would need to visit the USA or Canada to sit the CELPIP test.
For French, you must sit the TEF Canada: Test d'evaluation de franÁais or the TCF Canada: Test de connaissance du franÁais. You should contact the Alliance FranÁaise office to book the exam.
Another significant part of the application process is that you will need to provide an education credential assessment report. This is a report prepared by one of the authorised companies that evaluates your foreign education. The report is used to determine if your foreign degree, diploma, or certificate is valid and equal to a Canadian certification. This report is a requirement to be admitted into the express entry pool and to apply for some PNPs.
You will need to send seal copies of your transcripts to one of the designated bodies. You should choose the organisation based on your profession. You must use one of these designated organisations: Comparative Education Service - University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, International Credential Assessment Service of Canada, World Education Services, International Qualifications Assessment Service, International Credential Evaluation Service. You should check the processing and time before you submit the application.
Since you are interested in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and you have friends there, you should visit the provinces' websites to find out more about their PNP. If you receive a provincial nominee then you will receive enough points to be granted an invitation to apply for permanent residence.
I encourage all applicants to apply not just under the express entry system, but also under the provincial nominee programmes to increase their chances of being selected.
There are many options available for individuals who have the education, training and work experience to become permanent residents of Canada. The government of Canada is always looking for individuals who are able to demonstrate that they have the potential to integrate into the society easily and to be productive. Individuals with high language scores, degrees, and siblings in Canada have a strong chance of being selected and could receive permanent residence in less than a year. I recommend that you consult an immigration lawyer to find out the best route for you and your family.
- Deidre S. Powell is an immigration lawyer, mediator and notary public with an office in Ontario, Canada. Submit your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org at call 613.695.8777. You can also find her on facebook.com/jamaicanlawyer and on Twitter: deidrespowell.