FAQs

Questions

 

Q1. How do I become a Canadian citizen?

Answer:

If you were not born in Canada, or have a Canadian parent, then the path to a Canadian citizenship is legal immigration to Canada. The successful completion of the immigration process leads to permanent resident status.

Permanent resident may apply for Canadian citizenship after three years of residence in Canada.

 

Q2. What is a Canadian Permanent Resident status?

Answer:

Permanent residents of Canada have the right to live, work and study in Canada. Permanent residents enjoy many of the rights of Canadian citizenship including access to the health care and education systems. Permanent residents cannot participate in elections, are not entitled to a Canadian passport, and must meet the “residency obligation” to retain the permanent resident status.

 

Q3. What is the “residency obligation” of permanent residents?

Answer:

Permanent residents are required to reside in Canada for 730 days in any given 5 years period. Failure to meet this requirement may result in loss of permanent resident status.

 

Q4. Who can apply for Canadian immigration?

Answer:

Canada accepts immigrants in three main categories: economic classes, family class, and refugees.

The economic immigration to Canada includes: skilled workers and business immigration. Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for the category under which they apply.

 

Q5. Who can be included in the application?

Answer:

The principle applicant and the accompanying family members: spouse and dependent children

 

Q6. Who is considered a dependent child?

Answer:

The Immigration Regulations defines ‘dependent child’ as a child who:

  1. Has one of the following relationships with the parent, namely,
  2. Is the biological child of the parent, if the child has not been adopted by a person other than the spouse or common-law partner of the parent, or
  3. Is the adopted child of the parent; and
  4. Is in one of the following situations of dependency, namely,
  5. Is less than 22 years of age and not a spouse or common-law partner,
  6. has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22 — or if the child became a spouse or common-law partner before the age of 22, since becoming a spouse or common-law partner — and, since before the age of 22 or since becoming a spouse or common-law partner, as the case may be, has been a student
  7. Continuously enrolled in and attending a post-secondary institution that is accredited by the relevant government authority, and
  8. Actively pursuing a course of academic, professional or vocational training on a full-time basis, or
  9. Is 22 years of age or older and has depended substantially on the financial support of the parent since before the age of 22 and is unable to be financially self-supporting due to a physical or mental condition.

 

Q7. Does Canada permit dual citizenship?

Answer:

Yes. Each country makes its own citizenship laws. You will have to obtain information regarding the applicable laws of the country or countries of which you are a citizen. Some countries have restriction on dual or multiple citizenships.

 

Q8. Where should I submit my application?

Answer:

The visa must be applied for at the Canadian visa office responsible for the applicant’s country of nationality, or country of residence to which the applicant was lawfully admitted for at least one year.

 

Q9. How long does it take to process my application?

Answer:

Processing times vary from one visa office to another. Historical data regarding processing times can be found here:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/helpcentre/answer.asp?qnum=031&top=3

There are many elements affecting the processing time of an application which are not controlled by the applicant, and are very hard to predict. The meticulous preparation of an application can reduce the possibility of unnecessary, self-inflicted processing delays.

 

Q10. What is the “Lock-In Date”?

Answer:

The term “lock-in date” refers to the date on which certain elements of the application are “locked” in the process. For instance, in a skilled worker application, the age of dependent children is locked on the day the application is stamped with the reception date by the visa office.

 

Q11. What is the “Lock-In Date”?

Answer:

The term “lock-in date” refers to the date on which certain elements of the application are “locked” in the process. For instance, in a skilled worker application, the age of dependent children is locked on the day the application is stamped with the reception date by the visa office.

 

Q12. What types of documents will I be required to submit?

Answer:

In general, the following documents are required: civil status, work experience, education diplomas/certificates, and police certificates. Each immigration category has its specific documentation requirements. Only a private passport is acceptable for immigration purposes.

 

Q13. What happens if I cannot provide a document?

Answer:

That would greatly depend on the document in question. If education credential or work experience cannot be supported by documentary evidence, and those selection elements are key to the application, it may lead to an interview or a refusal. If the authorities of a country refuse to issue a police certificate, and the applicant can provide CIC with the refusal in writing, CIC may waive the requirement for the document.

 

Q14. What is “Arranged Employment”?

Answer:

Arranged employment is one of the six selection factors for skilled workers. The ability to secure a job offer, which was validated by HRSDC (Human Resources and Social Development Canada,) from a Canadian employer, goes a long way in demonstrating the employability of the applicant in the Canadian labour market. Applicants with AE will be awarded 15 selection points, and exemption from applying through the simplified process.

 

Q15. What is “Substitute Evaluation”?

Answer:

Canada’s immigration law give immigration officers the discretionary power to replace the point system assessment of the applicant, with their own evaluation of the applicant’s prospects of successful economic establishment in Canada. Substitute evaluation can be used to render both positive and negative decisions. Decisions based in substitute evaluation must be approved by a senior immigration officer.

 

Q16. What are the “Settlement Funds”?

Answer:

Applicants under the federal skilled worker program must demonstrate the ability to support themselves and their accompanying family members for a period of 6 months. The amount required is based on the low income cut-off figures which are published annually by Statistics Canada, and the applicant’s family size. A proof of available funds is not required of those applicants with arranged employment.

 

Q17. What is the purpose of the immigration interview?

Answer:

Sometimes the immigration officer will have concerns regarding information or documents provided with the application. In such cases, the principle applicant may be called for an interview in order to verify information, authenticate documents, and help the immigration officer reach the correct decision in a manner consistent with procedural fairness standards.

 

Q18. Will I receive a refund if my application is refused?

Answer:

From the point the application is being assessed, the processing fee is no longer refundable. For applications submitted under the simplified process, the request for complete supporting documentation signifies the assessment stage of the file.

 

Q19. What is inadmissibility?

Answer:

In order to meet many of its objectives, Canada’s immigration legislation prescribes which individuals should be barred from Canada. A person caught by one of the relevant provisions of the act or regulations is said to be “inadmissible”.

 

Q20. What grounds can lead to inadmissibility determination?

Answer:

The main reasons for inadmissibility can be listed under the following headings:

  • Non-compliance
  • Misrepresentation
  • Security
  • Criminality
  • Medical

Prospective immigrants to Canada face the most stringent admissibility requirements. They must meet the regulatory criteria of their immigration class, submit police certificates, pass a medical exam, and are subject to background/Security checks. Failure to meet any of the above will result in inadmissibility finding and the refusal of an immigration application.

 

Q21. What happens if one of my accompanying family members is inadmissible?

Answer:

In the context of an immigration application, the inadmissibility of a family member will make the principle applicant inadmissible, and as a result the application will be refused.

 

Q22. I have a criminal record. Can I still immigrate?

Answer:

You may still be admissible to Canada if you are deemed rehabilitated or if you successfully apply for individual rehabilitation. The law prescribes the periods of time that must elapse before a person can be deemed rehabilitated, or be considered for rehabilitation. The seriousness of your offence, the time that passed since completion of the sentence as well as other factors will determine your chances to overcome criminal inadmissibility.

 

Q23. What circumstances may lead to medical inadmissibility?

Answer:

Three scenarios may lead to inadmissibility on health grounds:

  • Danger to public health
  • Danger to public safety
  • Excessive demand on health and social services

 

Q24. Why were changes made to the Federal Skilled Worker program?

Answer:

In an attempt to better manage intake, the existing backlog and reduce processing times, the government of Canada introduced new legislation which placed more power in the hands of the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

Under the previous scheme, the FSW program was opened to every high-skill worker who met the selection criteria. CIC had to put all applications into process on a first-come-first-served basis. The new regulations and the initial implementation by CIC, moved Canada to a pick-and-choose immigration system. The Minister has the authority to decide which applications will be processed. Ineligible applications are returned to the applicant.

 

Q25. What are the changes to the skilled worker program?

Answer:

A new preliminary screening criteria was added. There are three categories of applicant’s eligible for processing:

  • You have an offer of arranged employment, OR
  • You are a foreign national who has been living legally in Canada for one year as a temporary foreign worker or an international student, OR
  • You are a skilled worker who has at least one year of experience in one or more of the occupations listed here.

 

Q26. Who is affected by the new regulations?

Answer:

The new regulations apply to applications submitted after February 27th, 2008. Applications submitted before the effective date will be assessed against the former rules.

 

Q26. I have filed an application before February 27th, 2008. Can I submit a new application?

Answer:

Yes you can. You do not have to withdraw the old application. New processing fee will be applicable. The new regulations in essence created two separate queues. CIC recognizes it is not fair to demand applicants withdraw older applications before filing a new application under the new rules. Since there is a commitment for faster processing of applications under the new rules and at the same time uncertainty about the processing time of the old applications, applicants will be allowed to have two applications in process, until a decision is made in one of the files.