Canada, unlike the United States, has no lottery program. However, there are a number of immigration programs in place for those that qualify. They include the following:
1. Express Entry Program: This program commenced on January 1, 2015. It is an umbrella program for those that qualify to apply for permanent residence under the Skilled Worker program, the Canadian Experience program, the Skilled Trades program and the Provincial Nominee Program. A successful application made under this category results in the issuance of an immigrant visa. This visa entitles the holder to reside in Canada permanently. The holder also enjoys/subjected to the rights and obligations of a Canadian citizen except the right to vote/be voted for and work in certain in some jobs requiring a security clearance. The holder of an immigrant visa is also entitled to travel to a number of countries without requiring travel visas. He/she can apply for Canadian citizenship after four years of residency in Canada. The permanent residence process takes about six months once selected.
Before commencing any application under this stream, you will need to:
a. Sit for a certified English language test like the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) – General training version You must aim for the highest obtainable scores in the Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing abilities. The higher your score, the better. Please, arrange to take the language test(s) as soon as possible as it is mandatory that whatever stream of immigration you qualify to apply for, the result of the test must be included in your profile/application. OR CELPIP (CELPIP: Canadian English Language Proficiency Index Program) – General 2014.
b. If you are bilingual, we advise that you also sit for the certified French language test -TEF (Test d’évaluation de français).
c. Get your Nigerian post-secondary educational credentials verified, assessed and certified as equal to a completed Canadian credential. Most Nigerians tend to use the World Educational Service... To do this, please see this link - http://www.wes.org/ca/fswp/.
2. Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program: This is a program that commenced at the end of January 2015. This is for an international investor who has the skills and ability to integrate and contribute to the Canadian economy. An applicant mustbe making a $2 million non-guaranteed investment in the immigrant investor venture capital fund for approximately 15 years; andhavehave legally obtained net worth of at least $10 million acquired through lawful, profit-making business or investment activities;meet or exceed Canadian Language Benchmark 5 in English or Niveau de compétence linguistique canadien 5 in French for all four language abilities (speaking, listening, reading, and writing), as proven by the results of a designated languageand have completed a Canadian post-secondary credential of at least one year (or the foreign equivalent as validated by an Educational Credential Assessment).
3. Start-Up Visa for Entrepreneurs: Applications for this new program commenced on April 1, 2013. This program started accepting application on April 1, 2013. It links immigrant entrepreneurs with private sector organizations in Canada that offer support and resources for their ideas. Candidates must be sponsored by designated Canadian investors. Review panels struck by Citizenship and Immigration will assess the applicants.
4. Work Authorization: This is otherwise known as a work permit. It is for those that have the required qualifications, experience and job offers from Canadian employers. To qualify, the Human Resources Department of Canada must be satisfied that there are no Canadians/permanent residents available for the job. There are however some exceptions to this general rule: Pastors, certain software professionals etc.
5. Student Authorization: This is for those that intend to school in Canada. The first step is for the interested party to seek and obtain admission into a recognised Canadian college/university. For a list of Canadian universities and colleges approved by the Canadian government for immigration purpose, please search the internet and also confirm in writing from the schools if they have such approval.
We do not assist with school admission. We can however refer you to organizations or individuals that can assist you with respect to school admissions.
Once you have secured admission into a course/institution of your choice, please note that there are requirements to be met in order to obtain a student visa. Please get in touch with us for assistance in regards to your application for a study permit.
6. Live-in Care Giver: The Live-in Care Giver program is aimed at those that have relevant qualifications and experience in the care giving field (care of the elderly, child care, care of disabled people etc.). They are required to obtain employment in Canada before making their applications. The visa issued here is for an initial period of two years. Thereafter, one is entitled to apply for permanent residency. Some Nurses, Care Assistants, Nannies etc. will come under this category.
7. Provincial Nominee Programs: Provinces in Canada have different immigration programs as to the numbers of immigrants they can accept based on agreements with the federal government. There are programs for investors, family members, international students and foreign workers. There are criteria to be met for each program. We can assess your eligibility for such programs.
8. Quebec Immigration Program: Quebec has a number of immigration programs based on separate agreements from the federal government of Canada. They include skilled worker program, business programs, etc. We also assist clients to prepare and file applications under the Quebec Immigration streams.
9. Others: These will include visiting visas, parent sponsorship, spousal sponsorship etc
We are happy to assist you relocate to Canada via one of the many immigration programs listed above. Our professional services include an assessment of a client’s case based on all immigration criteria, preparation, monitoring and presentation of the case by our office to ensure the best possible chance of success, provision of literature on Canada as well as pre-immigration interview counselling.
Our professional fee is very reasonable and may be paid by instalments. Our lawyers and legal assistants speak multiple languages including English, Yoruba, Igbo, Patois, Tigrinya, Mandarin, Cantonese etc.
Our experienced law firm is well positioned to represent clients at the Refugee Appeal Division, Immigration Appeal Division and the Federal Court of Canada with respect to various refugee and immigration issues including but not limited to:
a. Refugee Refusals
b. Sponsorship Refusals
c. Permanent Residency Appeals
d. Inadmissibility Findings Appeals
e. Federal Court Judicial Reviews on refusals of visitor visas, student visas, refugee claim refusals, humanitarian and compassionate application refusals, pre-removal risk assessment (PRRA) refusals, skilled worker application refusals, investor program refusals etc.
From time to time, we’ll provide you with detailed information about the above-stated programs and many others as well as regular developments about Canadian immigration.
Johnson Babalola is a Toronto, Canada-based Immigration/Business Lawyer. He is the Managing Partner of Topmarké Attorneys LLP and can be reached at [email protected]