Dear Ms. Powell,
My father married a Canadian and he is now living in Toronto. I asked my dad to sponsor me as I have finished my degree in physical therapy and can't find a job. My mother died last year, so it's just my sister her husband who are trying to help me. I live with them. I feel like a burden to them. My stepmother says that it is not possible for my dad to file for me or my sister, but I feel that she is just saying that because she doesn't want me in Canada. Why would she say that my dad can't sponsor me when I've seen so many people get sponsored by their parents to go abroad? What can I do?
Citizenship and Immigration Canada's (CIC) policy on family sponsorship is different from that of the United States. Usually, independent adult children cannot be sponsored under the family class. Family sponsorship is generally limited to spouses, common-law partners, dependent children, and other relatives who are orphaned, under 18, and not married or in a common-law relationship.
The only time a parent is permitted to sponsor an adult family member is where the parent is residing in Canada on his own and has no other living relative or family member. So if your father was single or widowed, with no other relative in Canada, he could sponsor one relative regardless of age or relationship. To do this, one cannot have any relative who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident or who is registered as an Indian under the Indian Act.
Since based on your letter this is not your situation, I will not go into the details about that process but will highlight your other options.
I would like to encourage you to seek employment within your training in Jamaica as a physiotherapist. If you can't find a paying job, start out volunteering your time. You will get valuable training, experience, and exposure. There might be an opening at the place that you volunteer and someone might observe your aptitude and work ethic and provide you with a paying job. In any event, you can't lose out by volunteering until you find a suitable job.
The other benefit to volunteering is that you will be able to show valuable experience in your field if you choose to apply under the federal skilled-worker category. CIC is currently accepting applications for certain persons in the medical field. This includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, medical laboratory technicians, and pathologists' assistants. I have posted the list of eligible occupations on my website.
In order to apply as a federal skilled worker, you will need to score a minimum of 67 out of 100 points. To score that amount, you will need to demonstrate that you have had a minimum of one continuous year of paid, full-time employment in the eligible field or an equivalent amount of time as a part-time employee. Other factors that they will look at are:
2. Language skills in English or French
In assessing your adaptability, CIC will examine how well you will adjust to the Canadian way of living and become productive. Part of the assessment involves looking at the fact that you have relatives here who could provide valuable support.
Another way of getting into Canada is via pre-arranged employment. If you are able to find an employer who is willing to provide you with a full-time job offer, then that gives you bonus points or an ability to apply for a work permit.
BL, from the extended letter and transcript that you have provided, you are an ambitious, hard-working individual. Don't give up trying to find a job in Jamaica. I'm glad you have some family support. Be appreciative and helpful to your sister and her husband, and they shouldn't consider you to be a burden while you seek to be independent. Your efforts and positive attitude will one day be rewarded.
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, real estate, commercial, 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: Immigration Twitter: @deidrespowell