Wed | Sep 28, 2022

Immigration Corner | Can I qualify if I work part-time?

Published:Tuesday | August 9, 2022 | 12:06 AM

Dear Mrs Powell,

I follow you on Facebook and I was hoping to see a post about my situation. Since I haven’t, I am writing to ask a few questions, and hope you will answer my question in The Gleaner. I am a chartered accountant with three years experience. My husband is 35 years old and I’m 29. My husband and I are interested in living in Canada. He is an accountant as well. We are just wondering if we would qualify seeing that I don’t have a bachelor’s degree, like my husband. I am qualified through ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants). Does Canada recognise ACCA? Another issue is that I have two part-time jobs. Not a full-time job. Would that qualify me? I keep hearing that Canada has a backlog of applications. Is now a good time to apply? Please let us know if we have a chance of qualifying, as we would like to live in Canada and start a family there.

CB

Dear CB,

Based on the information you provided, you could be a strong candidate under the Express Entry System. It manages economic programmes such as the Federal Skilled Worker Programme, Federal Skilled Trade, Canadian Experience Class, and many Provincial Nominee Programmes are linked to the system.

Canada has resumed inviting applicants who qualify under the Federal Skilled Worker Programme (FSWP) to apply for permanent residence. The key to success is to be able to demonstrate that you have the required work experience, strong language skills, and other factors to clearly demonstrate your ability to integrate successfully in Canada.

WORK EXPERIENCE

You indicated that you have three years’ work experience on a part-time basis. To qualify under the FSWP, the first requirement is to prove that you have a minimum of one year of continuous full-time work at one job, which is a minimum of 30 hours per week for 12 months. Alternatively, you would need to have proof of the equivalent number of hours on a part-time basis in the same role. You can have several part-time jobs, provided that the roles and duties are the same; and proof that you have completed a minimum of 1,560 hours in one year. You would need a job letter from each employer to establish this.

EDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT

Your first step in this process is to acquire an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report to verify if your ACCA qualification is equivalent to the educational standards in Canada. An ECA is used to prove that your foreign degree, diploma, or certificate is valid, recognised in Canada, and equal to a Canadian certification.

You need to get an ECA for Canadian immigration purposes. Your husband should also get his degree assessed by one of the authorised organisations.

In most cases, an ACCA certification is equivalent to a bachelor’s degree in Canada. However, although the ACCA should qualify you for immigration purposes, it does not authorise you to practise as a chartered accountant in Canada, as it is not directly recognised. Do not despair, as there may be a mutual recognition agreement between the organisation of Chartered General Accountants Canada, or the provincial bodies, and ACCA that may allow members of ACCA to be admitted as chartered professional accountants (CPA). Where this is not the case, some individuals have been required to only do a few additional courses to qualify as a CPA.

LANGUAGE TEST

Canada requires all applicants under the Express Entry System to sit a language test to prove their language ability. You and your spouse must sit the International English Language Testing System, General Training Examination. Ensure that you practise and strive to get a minimum of 8.5 for reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

Since the Express Entry System is a points-based system, you should also explore other ways to get additional points. Some of the ways this is achievable are by having proof of a sibling who is a citizen or permanent resident, language test results for both English and French, Canadian education, a valid job offer (usually with Labour Market Impact Assessment), Canadian studies or work experience and/or a nomination from a province or territory. I recommend that you seek the services of a Canadian immigration lawyer to help you and your family with this process.

Deidre S. Powell is an international lawyer, mediator, and notary public. Submit your questions via www.deidrepowell.com, or call 613.695.8777 to schedule a Zoom/telephone consultation.