Dear Miss Powell,
I am a Jamaican citizen and have a US green card. I visit Canada quite often and would love to move there. I find Canada much cleaner and calmer than the US. What is the fastest route to get a Canadian green card? Should I apply from the US or from Jamaica?
Dear A. P,
I must first clarify a few points. First, there is no Canadian green card and there is no typical 'fastest' route to immigrate to Canada. You will need to follow the rules and procedures, as outlined by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), based on your circumstances, and then, if you are approved, you get a 'permanent-resident card'. This is the equivalent to a green card.
Second, you did not state whether you actually reside in the US or Jamaica. Having a green card gives you the right to live in the US. However, you need to clarify if that is where you reside permanently and work. Your place of residence would determine where you send your application for processing, do your medical and interviews. Your country of citizenship determines the procedure you follow and the documents to submit. Since you have ties to both Jamaica and the US, you will also need to get security clearance from both countries.
Third, what category would you be seeking to immigrate under? In past articles I have mentioned that there are several categories under which you may apply to immigrate to Canada. They are:
1. Family sponsorship
2. Skilled worker and professionals
3. Entrepreneurial, self-employed and investors
4. Experienced class
5. Provincial nominees
You application should be based on your circumstances, qualifications, experience and financial situation. I am unable to recommend a specific route without being provided with more information.
TIPS ON AVOIDING DELAY
After you have submitted your applications to CIC, there are some simple rules you should follow to avoid delay:
1. Respond promptly to the CIC
2. Pay attention to the specific documents requested. Send only the information requested. Do not try to impress CIC with unnecessary documentation and letters
3. Keep a folder with a copy of documents you send and receive
4. Keep proof of all payments submitted
5. Submit documents in a manner that you can have proof of delivery. Use registered mail or a courier-tracking number.
6. Avoid changing your mailing address during the processing of the application. If you must relocate, notify CIC immediately. They usually acknowledge receipt of the updated address. You do not want your correspondence mislaid, as this may delay or cause your application to be cancelled.
7. Renew your passport and green card just before they actually expire. You do not want to be unprepared when CIC is ready to process your documents.
Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars, with main office located in Ottawa, Ontario. Her areas of practice are in immigration, personal injury, family and administration of estates. She is on the roster of Mediators for Ottawa, Toronto and the Dispute Resolution Foundation of Jamaica. Email: email@example.com. Subject line: Immigration